This is not a _____ it is a_________
This "game" is excellent for beginners, but like most activities, can be developed further for more advanced learners. I often use it the first day with newcomers with great success. The basics are this: Students sit in a circle (although, it can be adapted to any classroom setting). The necessary prop is anything. And I do mean anything. I have used an eraser, a ruler and a pencil. But I've settled on a Kroma, which is a scarf in Cambodia. The first student holds the Kroma and says: "This is not a Kroma it is a....." and they say anything, any noun, any object. For example "it is a snake", and then they manipulate the Kroma to "show" a snake. (if you use an eraser (whiteboard size) the line is: "This is not an eraser it is a_______") The improvisation can be quick, and often is at the beginning, but can also build and have words. Indeed details can be added, either by choice or by teacher direction depending on your goals. For example you can add: your description must have an adjective: "This is not a Kroma, it is a large snake." Or a location: "This is not a Kroma, it is a snake inside of a basket." They then pass it to the next person who says: "This is not a snake, it is a ......." adding their own, new object: a car, a castle, a beard...whatever fancies them. The key is they have to be encouraged to show what the object is. A kroma, or a scarf works well because it is easily manipulated. The videos I have show a basic game--you can see that not all the students were yet ready to do more than name the object. I found it hard to video a good session because the ones that worked best I was actively side-coaching trying to elicit more action. In the next week or so I will try and get a good video of that. A pre-activity with students very new to English is to break into groups and brainstorm a list of nouns. The students who are very new can use these words in their first sentences. In the next videos show some examples of how to use this game to build scenes, for more advanced students. I haven't explored this option as much as I would like and plan on doing so with my own class of newcomers in the next week or so.