Note down, pair, share listening and speaking activity

NOTE-DOWNPAIRSHARELISTENING-AND-SPEAKING-ACTIVITYThe aim of this activity is for the students to practice their listening and speaking skills. It is suitable for any level, groups of 2 and more students. It is best used to create interest in the lesson topic or to close the class.

The Task

The most important step is deciding on the video. I have recently found AJ+ to be an excellent source of interesting, thought-provoking, and informative short videos. You might choose a video that ties in with your lesson topic or simply a clip you think is going to interest your students.

Play the video, twice if necessary, and ask your students to note down 3 things they found particularly interesting. Tell them not to worry about taking extensive notes, keywords will suffice. Allow them some time after playing the video to decide/work on their notes.

While the videos are playing, you might put some interesting vocabulary items on the board to discuss with your students later and encourage them to use it during the next stage of the activity.

Next, pair the students up and ask them to share their 3 interesting pieces of information with their partner. They should take turns telling each other why they thought these particular ideas were interesting. They also need to find out their partner’s opinion about at least one of the points in their notes. Allow enough time for your students to share their thoughts and opinions.

Finally, ask each pair to share one of the following with the group:

  • an idea they both agreed was interesting/ shocking/ thought-provoking
  • an idea they didn’t see eye to eye about

Personal Experience

This activity is a great energiser for the beginning of the lesson especially when students talk to a different partner each time. Sharing one’s thoughts with others resembles real-life communication where the purpose is to compare ideas or simply tell the other person what we were thinking. It encourages active listening, interaction, and naturally generates discussion.

Here are my three favourite videos:

The Free Food Cafe

A Library for Homeless People

Indigenous People Run Their Own Cellular Network



  1. Thank you for this great idea. I’ve been working with listening and this sounds pretty useful for the warm up. Gonna try it out tomorrow.

    • Good luck! Let me know how it goes. I’m trying it with a new group today as well.

  2. Hi Gosia, This looks great and I will try it tomorrow.
    I did ‘Room 101’ recently and it worked very well. Thanks

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