First Contact- Brainstorming and Jigsaw
Lesson Plan Text
First Contact- Line by Line Brainstorming and Jigsaw
Look at just the title below, covering the rest of the text with a piece of paper, book, etc.
Brainstorm suitable phrases for that situation, choose the most suitable phrase that you
brainstormed, then reveal just the hint in the next section to see if you have the right idea.
If you had the wrong idea of what was coming next, brainstorm again. Then look at the
next section with the wording to see how similar it is to what you guessed. Brainstorm
possible responses to that line, then choose which phrase you thought of is most likely to
be coming up. Look at the next hint (only) to see if you had the right idea, then brainstorm
again if it not similar to your ideas. Then reveal the next line. Continue in the same way,
always guessing before revealing, until the end of the worksheet.
Useful phrases for doing the activity
“(In this situation) I think (s)he will say/ write/ ask/ reply…”
“I think we should say/ write/ ask/ reply…”
“Actually, (in this situation) I think it’s more common to say/ write/ ask/ reply…”
“I think you’re right. Let’s check the hint.”
“I can’t think of any more ideas. Why don’t we look at the hint?”
“I have no idea. Shall we look at the hint?”
“That hint matches what we said, so let’s look at the phrases”
“That doesn’t match what we brainstormed, so we need to think of more phrases”
“That’s slightly different to what we said, but I think our phrases are also okay. What is
the reply, do you think?”
“Okay, that seems fine. What comes next, do you think?”
Read out the whole worksheet and then continue communication from there, e.g. finishing
the phone call or replying to the email.
Put cut-up copies of the worksheets into order (like a kind of jigsaw). First split the phrases
into face to face, phone and email, then try to put them in order (from the receiver
answering the phone to “…”, etc). To check, read them out loud to see if they make sense.
Make a shorter version of the dialogue or email by folding your worksheet or taking away
some of the cards from the bottom of the jigsaw, and continue from that point. Other
phrases not in the original are fine, as long as they come next naturally and match the
Choose just one line and try to use that in a roleplay conversation, phone call or email
Test each other on the phrases:
Say one line and see if your partner can say the next line
Say the hint and see if your partner can say something suitable
Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2020
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