Finding activities to have your students practice Reported Speech or 3rd Person Singular is not hard. There are lots of great approaches out there.
However, I have often heard from teachers that sometimes the practice of these grammar topics in particular can be a challenge because, depending on how it is conducted, it can be a little artificial and mechanic.
Bearing that in mind, I decided to test several Drama Games in order to promote a more natural and fluent practice moment in the classroom.
One of the games that worked the best with several age and language levels was “Gossip”.
I like it especially because it can be adapted for either outgoing or introverted groups of people, eliminating the dreaded feeling of being on the spot as one has to report something to the whole class.
Caution though! During this activity students will be doing a lot of talking and it will be up to you, teacher, to monitor their performance. It is important to have a correction moment afterwards, but not during the game, since it can impair fluency and foster anxious behavior from students.
Well, that being said, I hope you and your students have lots of fun gossiping in your classroom!
Drama Game: Gossip
Language level: all
Aim: Acquire and report information
Material: Set of pre-written questions, paper to make notes
Timing: 7-10 min
Have students either sit or stand in a circle, depending on how outgoing or introverted they are.
Assign partners for pairwork. Partners should be sitting next to each other. This is “Pair 1”.
Ask students to look at their partner “1” in the eye and say “Hello, partner ‘1’”.
Ask students to look at the person sitting on their other side. That’s “Pair 2”.
Ask students to look at their partner “2” in the eye and say “Hello, partner ‘2’”.
(This brief activity of looking people in the eye and verbally expressing who they are enables students to better comprehend the logistics of the game, and it tends to loosen them up too)
At your command, students look at their partners, either “1” or “2”. Say: “1”. “2”. “2”. “1”. “1”.
(This is a warm up to keep them alert and responsive.)
Tell them now it’s for real.
Tell students that they will interview their partner in “Pair 1” and they can take notes of their partners answers.
Tell students that they will gossip about their “partner 1” to their “partner 2”.
You will say the number of the partner and they have to either interview or gossip about their partners.
Model with some students. Check if everybody understood the intructions.
Have students do the activity as you give them the command “Talk to partner ‘1’” or “Talk to partner ‘2’”.
PS: Don’t forget to walk around and take notes of positive and negative production. At the end of the activity, you can conduct correction and praising with the whole group.
PS2: As for the content of the pre-written questions, you can grade and adapt them according to your groups’ needs and level.