Sesión 4

Welcome to The Teachers’ Room. The show all about teaching practice. Grab a cup of coffee, pull up an armchair and relax. Learn something new, remember something fundamental or just have a giggle.

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The Teachers' Room

3 Minimal Resource Activities

Dan and Sian talk about 3 activities you can do with minimal resources

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3 Minimal Resource Activities

A great speaking and question-forming game, which links to telling personal stories. Have students prepare a short talk about something e.g. “My last holiday”. They should be prepared to talk for between 1 – 2 minutes. Then write a list of question words on the board. Put one student in the hot seat and get them to tell their story. The other students can interrupt whenever they like by asking a related question using one of the questions words, which gets crossed out. The hot seat student should try to finish their story before the group completes their list of questions.

Ranking activities
These are great for practising vocabulary and the speaking skills of agreeing / disagreeing/ arguing and persuading. Simply, have students work individually to rank, in any way, a list of things. E.g in order of usefulness: kitchen appliances. They don’t have to be concrete nouns. E.g. in order of severity: crimes. The pair students up and get them to create a new list, but they must agree on it. Do this again and again and eventually the whole class will be discussing it.

Invisible picture
Hold up a blank sheet of paper and tell students ‘This is a photo of me…’ completing the sentence however you like. E.g. …in a supermarket. Then students can ask you questions based on what they imagine to be in the picture. Their questions are always correct – you cannot say, ‘No that isn’t in the picture’. Once they understand the idea, get them to pair up try it. Great for speaking practice, fluency and a laugh too!

King of the castle
If not you then designate one student as the king and put the others in groups. Their job is to convince the king to build his castle on the land that they represent. One group can be mountains, another costal region etc. Have them prepare a list of arguments to convince the king and then have the king listen and decide.  Great for fluency, negotiation and improvisation (for when the king questions them back!)

To do

Try our quiz to see if you've picked up our tips.

The Teachers' Room Quiz

3 Questions

Check what you've learned about using minimal resources by selecting the correct answer to each question.

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Get involved

Well, those were just a few ideas that we here at BBC Learning English had, but we know that you teachers out there have lots of fantastic ideas too, and we’d like you to share them with us and everybody else.

If you have a great tip or technique for teaching with minimal resources, or anything else, please email us at Your email could be posted here on this page, or may even be mentioned in our show.

We are also looking for video tips to include in the programme. In order to do this, please include whether or not you’d like to be included for video with your tip, and we'll get in touch with you. You could be rewarded with a T-shirt for your efforts.

End of Session 4

Next up is Learners' Questions. What will this week's Learner Question be? Whatever it is, Dan's here with the answer! Join us in Session 5 to find out.

Sesión de vocabulario

  • 3 Minimal Resource Activities

    • Busybodies
    • Ranking activities 
    • Invisible picture
    • King of the castle