In this post, you can find extra ideas for activities concerning unreal past, wishes, and hypothetical meaning. They were designed for C1/C2 students and aim at providing some context for using new structures. Activities should be used for further practice or revision.
I have posted about ideas for using wish/if only here and here. This time, I would like to present 3 activity/game ideas that cover a wider range of structures and offer different degrees of support for the students. For each of the activities, you need this printable worksheet. The worksheet contains 4 sets. Each set includes a situation and a table with 6 sentence beginnings, each containing a target structure.
The grammar covered:
- wish (+ Past Simple / Past Perfect) to express that we want the present situation to be different or to express regret about the past
- if only (+ Past Simple / Past Perfect) to express that we want the present situation to be different or to express regret about the past
- as though (+ Past Simple) to indicate that the situation is unlikely
- I’d sooner (+ Past Simple) to express a preference
- it is time (+ Past Simple) to say that something is not happening and it should be
- I’d rather you /they (+ Past Simple) to express a preference
Target structures require expressing wishes, talking about unreal past, and hypothetical meaning.
Variation 1 (a lot of support for the learners)
Students work in pairs or individually. Each student/ pair receives one set. Their task is to read the situation and finish the sentences in the coloured part of the table. Then, they might read their ideas out loud and the rest of the class should guess what their given situation was
Variation 2 ( less support for the learners)
Students work in pairs or individually. Each student/ pair receives one set. Their task is to read the situation and fill out the white side of the table so as to create the dominoes tiles (the last coloured cell in the table is the beginning of the sentence which finishes in the first white cell in the table).
When they are finished, demonstrate how to cut up the tiles (horizontally!) to create the game. Students switch their sets, combine the tiles to create logical sentences. Then, you might ask them to figure out the situation described.
Variation 3 (very little support for the learners)
Present each group/ student with just the situation part of the task. Ask them to decide which structures they want to use and what sentences they want to make.
To develop this activity further, encourage your students to think of situations from their own lives they wish were different. Each student writes down one or two sentences on separate pieces of paper which are then put in a container. Then, each student draws a piece of paper, reads out a sentence and tries to guess who wrote it. This activity is quite fun especially towards the end of the term when students have managed to get to know each other better.
This option works better with more advanced groups who will use this game for revision purposes.
These activities were created in response to my students’ complaint that they don’t know how to use some new structures and see no apparent context for it. My students appreciated some more light-hearted practice and were surprisingly keen on the domino part.