Home | Conversational ESL English Discussion Topics
Here's one of the three reusable chapters in this book. There is an extensive resource section (show below) to help in reusing this lesson model many times.
Lesson 2 of 3
This lesson encourages descriptions of a familiar topic using adjectives properly.
1 To add depth and description to a conversation by describing something with multiple adjectives.
2 To discuss a topic in related contexts.
Choose a topic from Resources at the end of this lesson, for example, "City and Shopping: Road, Fountain, Street Light, Bus Stop, Pedestrian Crossing, Bridge."
If students are unfamiliar with adjective order, prepare a preliminary worksheet or small practical activity to ensure a certain level.
1 Warm-up and Objective
Introduce building conversations with students.
Introduce the main topic of the lesson chosen in the preparation work.
Talk about the sequence of adjectives before a noun.
Talk about the lesson's final goal: students will use adjectives to define an object in more detail.
2 Exploration and Comprehension
Write the six words on the board and discuss what they mean and how to use them.
Go through each word to check comprehension. Ask for adjectives for each word and write them around the words.
If students have not mentioned the pre-class preparation adjectives, now would be the time to introduce them.
Ask questions about the adjectives written around the words on the board.
Ask students to work out categories, for example, size, and see which other words could go in those categories.
Create a table using the types given and include three samples for each on the board.
Talk about the sequence of adjectives when we use one before a noun. Explain that it is essential to remember this sequence, giving an example that ignores the rule.
Ask students to create a sentence using three adjectives in order, followed by a noun.
For one last example, choose something in the classroom to describe, for example, a clock. Then, talk about the clock to the class using a range of adjectives, but keep the object name a secret.
Students should now look around and guess what they are describing.
3 Guided Student Practical
Now the students have an example to follow. They can create descriptions for other objects.
Pair up the students and ask them to find an object and give three adjectives.
Do this a few times until the process improves.
4 Student Presentation and Evaluation
After practicing in pairs, students should now try to be as creative as possible with the entire class.
Tell students they can also describe things they see through the windows, so long as these objects are visible to everyone.
One rule is that students can have only five attempts at guessing.
The student is the winner if the class cannot guess the answer.
Continue until everyone has had a go or no more items.
5 Review and Assess
Check student comprehension by repeating sentences with feedback questions.
Discuss the adjective categories covered and the main topic.
By the end, if there is time, try to describe a few more unusual items, for example, a door hinge.
6 Bonus Activity - Student Knockout Game
A simple but fun activity is to have a knockout game.
Write a noun on the board and choose two or three students randomly.
The students come to the front of the class and have 20 seconds to create a sentence.
If time ticks over, they are out.
The winner is the last student remaining.
Below is a list showing the usual adjectives with examples for each. In addition, I have made groups of six words for specific topics that students will talk about and brainstorm.
The lists vary in their intermediate-level topics.
Order of Adjectives
1. Quantity: two, many, several
2. Opinion: lovely, amazing, delicious
3. Size: tall, big, short
4. Physical quality: thin, fat, slim
5. Shape: square, round, triangular
6. Age: young, old, 15-year-old
7. Colour/Color: pink, purple, flame red
8. Material: wooden, metal, plastic
9. Origin: Japanese, Swedish, American
10. Purpose: cooking, sewing, cleaning
Banking and Money
Withdraw, Account, Statement, Bankrupt, Borrow, Exchange
Cash, Credit Card, Currency, Debt, Deposit, Exchange Rate
Loan, Mortgage, Invest, Pay, Save, Savings
Investment, Cashier, Check, Shares, Customer, Budget
Food (Cooking and Equipment)
Bake, Boil, Broil, Fry, Grill, Poach
Roast, Scramble, Simmer, Steam, Braise, Stew
Can Opener, Fork, Strainer, Spoon, Spatula, Knife
Rolling Pin, Ladle, Microwave, Mixing Bowl, Paper Towels, Timer
Bottle, Can, Carton, Bag, Bowl, Cone
Dish, Envelope, Folder, Tube, Jar, Jug
Case, Crate, Drawer, Hamper, Tub, Bucket
Basin, Basket, Bin, Box, Cabinet, Backpack
Environment (Pollution and Protection)
Nuclear Energy, Solar Energy, Conservation, Nuclear Waste, Forest Fires, Global Warming
Greenhouse Effect, Nuclear Power, Ozone Layer, Pesticide, Pollution, Waste
Wildlife, Oil Slick, Exhaust Fumes, Aerosol, Acid Rain, Unleaded Petrol
Rain Forest, Protected Animal, Climate, Animal Welfare, Protesters, Endangered
Barbecue, Christening, Family Gathering, Funeral, Get Together, Anniversary
Birthday, Dinner, Fancy Dress, Graduation, Wedding, Memorial
Bonfire, Holidays, Religion, Firework, Display, Festival
Halloween, New Year, Procession, Valentine's Day, Christmas, Social
City and Shopping
Street, Avenue, Square, Building, Park, Pavement/Sidewalk
Road, Fountain, Street Light, Bus Stop, Pedestrian Crossing, Bridge
Bargain, Cheap, Cost, Expensive, Instalments/Installments, Price
Purchase, Receipt, Discount, Refund, Spend, Wallet
Hobbies (Camping and Equipment)
Adventure, Fishing, Night, Day, Forest, Hunting
Insects, Nature, Park, Path, Trip, Wildlife
Sunscreen protection, Boots, Cabin, Camp Fire, Insect Repellent, Map
Flashlights, Compass, Sleeping Bag, Backpack, Tent, Water Bottle
Actor, Actress, Characters, Critic, Director, Hero
Film/Movie Review, Film/Movie Script, Plot, Producer, Supporting Actor, Villain
Action, Adventure, Animation, Documentary, Drama, Foreign Films
Horror, Musicals, Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller
Media (Musical Instruments and Singing)
Composer, Instrument, Lyrics, Melody, Musician, Notes
Opera, Rhythm, Singer, Song, Tempo, Tenor
Cymbal, Clarinet, Drum, Flute, Guitar, Harmonica
Piano, Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, Violin, Xylophone
Media (The Arts and Performance)
Audience, Backing Group, Cast, Composer, Conductor, Drummer
Guitarist, Musician, Orchestra, Pianist, Producer, Singer
Carving, Drawing, Painting, Pottery, Sewing, Ballet
Concert, Exhibition, Film, Play, Opera, Sculpture
Argentinian, Australian, Austrian, Belgian, Brazilian, Canadian
Chinese, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Greek
Indian, Israeli, Japanese, Mexican, Filipino, Russian
Singaporean, Korean, Spanish, Swedish, British, American
Personal (Memory and the Mind)
Brain, Emotion, Genius, Idea, Intellect, Knowledge
Logic, Memory, Mind, Skill, Talent, Thought
Analyse/Analyze, Calculate, Forget, Memorize, Recognize, Remember
Work Out, Brainy, Bright, Gifted, Imaginative, Intelligent
Personal (Emotions and Feelings)
Admiration, Calm, Caring, Excited, Generous, Glad
Happy, Kind, Love, Crazy, Afraid, Frightened
Gloomy, Lazy, Lonely, Anger, Anxiety, Boredom
Cruel, Embarrassed, Envious, Naughty, Greedy, Exhausted
Science (Computer Software)
Software, Word Processing, Drawing, Games, Spreadsheet, Internet
Open, Save, Delete, File, Folder, Help
Output, Input, Keyboard, Mouse, Printer, Scanner
Network, Memory, Monitor, Database, Interactive, Hardware
Science (Space and General)
Astronaut, Earth, Gravity, Launch, Moon, Orbit
Planet, Space, Space Craft, Space Station, Space Suit, Weightlessness
Computer, Satellite, Microchip, Microscope, Microwave, Robot
Speedometer, Thermometer, Inventor, Researcher, Scientist, Technician
Car Racing, Cycling, Snowboarding, Gymnastics, Horse Racing, Motorcycle Racing
Paragliding, Skiing, Golf, Squash, Table Tennis, Tennis
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Football, Handball, Hockey
Polo, Rugby, Soccer, Volleyball, Athletics, Swimming
Football, Basketball, Bowling Ball, Baseball, Shuttle Cock, Saddle
Helmet, Skates, Sports Shoes, Pad, Outfit, Mask
Exercise Bike, Racing Car, Bat, Cue, Golf Club, Golf Ball
Sailboard, Skis, Surfboard, Racket, Hockey Stick, Target
Airport, Check-In, Fly, Land, Landing, Plane
Take Off, Destination, Journey, Passenger, Travel, Baggage
Camp, Cruise, Excursion, Hostel, Hotel, Luggage
Motel, Tourism, Suitcase, Tour, Tourist, Vacation