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Find the Mistake
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Purpose: To improve grammar awareness and promote self-correction.

Info: Use this activity after students have practiced the target language. The Wrap Up at the end of a lesson is also ideal. This activity helps students become more aware of grammar structures, which leads to more accurate speaking and self-correction.


Step One: The teacher writes from three to five sentences on the board, with at least one mistake in each sentence. Some mistakes should center on the target language of the lesson, and other mistakes should revisit previously studied material. The teacher may also consider linking the sentences together to form a narrative or story. Take a look at the below example. The mistakes have been highlighted for convenience here:

Global warming are a serious problem which effects everyone in the world. If temperature continue to rise, and glaciers melting and sea levels rising. But there will be less water and less food. Diseases spreading too.

Step Two: Students write the sentences in their notebooks exactly as they appear on the board. This means students include all the mistakes and don't correct at this point.

Step Three: Students work individually for several minutes to identify and correct the mistakes.

Step Four: Students get into pairs and compare the corrections from the previous step. If any answers differ, they should discuss the differences in an attempt to reach the same answers. Although English should be encouraged, lower-level students may discuss the corrections in their L1. The focus of the activity is on correction, not fluency. However, higher-level students should discuss the mistakes in English because they have the ability to do so.

Step Five: The teacher now writes how many mistakes the sentences contain as a whole. As students will have missed one or two corrections, this step will force the class to return to the sentences for a second, closer look.

Step Six: After several minutes, the teacher writes how many mistakes are in each sentence. Students again look to their sentences and make any needed changes. As in Step Five, everyone again closely examines and discusses the sentences, target language, and other grammar points.

Step Seven: Pairs of students form groups of four and compare answers.

Step Eight: Step Eight: The teacher takes the corrections from the students and writes these on the board. With any mistakes common to the class, nationality, or with the target language of the lesson, the teacher should prompt for the reason and/or additional examples.