Speed Search

Purpose: to practice using the comparative and the superlative in conversation

Prep time: 10-15 minutes; allow more time if you want to write your own descriptions

Materials: slips of paper with descriptions on them (the handout includes 30 descriptions)

Preparation: Before class, make a copy of the descriptions.  Cut them apart along the lines and place them in a box, basket or bowl.  You may want to eliminate descriptions that contain grammar or content that isn’t appropriate for your students.


I do it:

  1. Model the activity and explain the purpose. 
  2. Draw a slip of paper from the box and read the description to the class. 
  3. Elicit from the class what questions you need to ask. 
  4. Ask a student to time you.  You have two minutes. 
  5. By questioning the students, find as many people as you can who fit the description on the slip of paper.  Note their names on the paper.
  6. When the time is up, tally your points and report your results, using the comparative and superlative forms.  You receive one point for each name.

We do it:

  1. Repeat the demonstration with another description or have a student volunteer model the activity with the group.
  2. Now each student draws a slip of paper from the box. 
  3. Give the students a few minutes to think about the questions they’ll need to ask.  Students may ask questions of both the teacher/tutor and their classmates.
  4. The first time through is a “trial run”.  When everyone has a slip, the “search” begins.  The teacher/tutor assists as needed.
  5. Stop at the end of two minutes, go through the tallying process, and check to make sure everyone understands the activity.
  6. Choose several students to report their results, using the comparative and superlative forms.

You do it:

  1. Everyone takes another slip and continues as before. 
  2. The teacher/tutor determines the number of rounds to be played.  After each round, choose several students or ask for volunteers to report their results, using the comparative and superlative forms.
  3. The student with the most points wins!
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