The aim of this activity is to practice using reported speech in the context of gossip. Reported speech lends itself quite nicely to be used in such context (repeating what somebody else had said) and the activity encourages a lot of creativity in students. It is suitable for levels pre-intermediate and above.
In pairs, students choose 4 situations from the worksheet and write very short stories using the keywords given (3-4 sentences) Each story should be written on a separate piece of paper and signed by the author (using a real or a fictional name). (5-7 mins)
Mini stories should be exchanged among students so that each pair ends up with 4 different stories written by other students. In pairs, they should take turns retelling the stories to each other, beginning with “Have you heard about… / that…?” pretending they were told this piece of gossip by its author, prompting them to use reported speech. (10 mins)
Elicit the funniest or the most absurd stories from the group. (5 mins)
Keywords: Jane, party, divorce, Japanese man
Story: “Jane went to a party last Saturday. She met a Japanese man, fell in love with him and now she wants to divorce her husband!” (Author: Laura)
Re-telling the story: “Have you heard about Jane? Laura told me that Jane had gone to a party the previous Saturday and she had met a Japanese man, had fallen in love with him and then she wanted a divorce from her husband!”
Want some more fun grammar practice? How about practicing third conditional with this fun speaking activity.
This activity took a lot of monitoring and correction, but at the same time it allowed a lot of creativity, and my students managed to come up with stories much juicier than the example I posted!