Itís All Relative: 6 Simple Class Activities for Practicing Relative Clauses

Itís All Relative
6 Simple Class Activities for Practicing Relative Clauses

Susan Verner
by Susan Verner 241,539 views

Are you looking for some not-so-typical activities for practicing relative clauses?

Try one of the following.

Enjoy These 6 Simple Class Activities for Practicing Relative Clauses

  1. 1

    The Longest Sentence

    How much do your students know about world-famous people? You might find out in this simple game which requires students to use relative clauses. In each round, two students will face off to find out who knows more information about a given person. Have the youngest person of the two go first and make a simple statement about a famous person. (For example, Albert Einstein was a scientist.) The next person must then add a piece of information to the sentence (using a relative clause) without changing what the first person said. (For example, Albert Einstein, who discovered the theory of relativity, was a scientist.) Play goes back to the first person who must add another piece of information to the sentence, and so on. When one player can no longer add a true piece of information to the sentence, the other person scores a point. If you like, divide your class into two teams and have one person from each team come to the front of the room each round. You can play this game orally or in writing.

  2. 2

    Puzzle It Out

    Help your students review the structure of sentences containing relative clauses with this hands on activity. Write several sentences using relative clauses in the middle. Then cut apart your sentences into three pieces – the beginning of the sentences, the relative clauses, and the end of the sentences. Shuffle all the pieces together and give them to a group of three or four students. They must then work together to assemble each of the sentences correctly with the pieces you have given them using context clues.

  3. 3

    Chain Writing

    You can have your students work together to write a funny story in this pass the paper activity. Have each person in your class start with a blank piece of paper. They will write one sentence on the paper that begins with the following: It was the day that… They will then complete the sentence, fold over the top of the paper, and then pass it to the next person. That person completes this sentence: There was a girl/boy who… They then fold over the top of the paper and pass it to a third person. That person finishes this sentence: She met a girl/boy who…

    When the fourth person gets the paper, they finished this sentence: They had to defeat a monster that… The fifth and final person finishes this sentence: The outcome was something that…. When all five people have finished their sentences, have them give the papers to you. You will then unfold each paper and read the completed story. Your students are sure to get a laugh from these silly, multi-author stories.

  4. 4

    Clues for You

    In this game, students will give clues to an object as the class tries to guess which object it is. Divide your class into two teams. Have each team take turns choosing an object in the room to give clues about. Each clue should start with, “This is something that/which…” Each team will give three clues for its chosen object. If the other team is able to guess the object after just one clue, they score three points. If they need two clues to identify the object, they score two points. After three clues, they only score one point. If they are unable to guess the object after three clues, they score zero. Play until one team reaches twelve points.

  5. 5

    It’s All Balderdash

    Balderdash, by definition, means a lot of nonsense. It also happens to be a board game which is great fun to play in class. If you don’t have the game itself, you can play this modified version, which will give your students a chance to practice using relative clauses. Start by printing off a list of unusual holidays and observances that your students will probably not be familiar with. Your entries should include the date and the reason for the observance. Then cut your list into small slips of paper and put them into a hat. Have students draw one from the hat without showing it to their classmates. They will then use that slip to write three sentences about that date. One of the sentences should say the date and what the true observance is. The other two sentences should say the date and give false observances. For example, one person’s sentences might read as follows:

    July 4th is the day that Americans drink and wear green.
    July 4th is the day that Americans celebrate their independence.
    July 4th is the day when Americans remember their deceased loved ones.

    Each student then takes turns reading their sentences to the class. The rest of the students try decide which statement is true.

  6. 6

    Apples to Apples

    This simple game is popular with players of all ages. In the game, each person gets five cards with random words on them which they must link to another random word logically. You can make your own modified version of the game by writing vocabulary words and common English words on index cards. (The more cards you have for each group of three to four players, the better. You can even have students make their own cards before starting the game.) Have groups shuffle their cards and then deal five to each person in the group. On a player’s turn, he lays one of his cards face up on the table. The other players must then choose one of the cards in their hands that they think best connects with the one their classmate played. Once everyone has laid down their cards, players take turns explaining the connections between the cards using relative clauses. For example, if I had the cards holiday and mug, I might give this explanation: People drink mugs of eggnog on the winter holiday which is Christmas. The person who played the first card chooses which connection he likes best, and the person who made it scores a point. Keep playing until everyone has had at least one opportunity to lay down the first card in the round or until one player scores five points.

What are your favorite activities for practicing relative clauses?

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