Write out a number of slips of paper of some unusual (but not wacky) sentences. You will need at least one slip per student. Some examples:
- Can you see it? You’ve stolen my phone! Where’s my ball? I’ve lost my shoes!
- I’ve eaten snails. She was born in 1963, you know. It’s so stuffy in here!
Organise the seating so that students are sitting opposite each other (i.e. like in a railway carriage).
- Hand out the sentence slips. Students must keep theirs a secret. Tell them to read their slip and memorise it exactly word for word.
- Tell students the conversation will last 4 minutes. Students sit together in the “train carriage” as if they were strangers on a long journey together, and start a conversation. Students can play themselves or roleplay any imaginary character they want.
- Encourage students to do the conversation as naturally as possible. You can prompt them to include target vocabulary from the lesson (e.g. linkers such as that reminds me…, anyway, as I was saying…, by the way, etc.). At some point in the conversation they must say their sentence. Their aim is to do this so slyly that nobody notices that they are saying what they had to say.
- At the end, stop the conversations. Ask each student to write down what they think the original sentence given to each of their fellow travellers was.
- If a student gets the gist of another traveller’s original sentence correct, they (or their team) get a point. Students also get points for each person in their carriage who did not spot their given sentence.