This is another one-hour conversation activity. For an introduction to the series, click here. Enjoy.
Prep Time: 10 minutes (enough time to collect the materials)
Materials: 15+ kitchen items—the more the better (or pictures/drawings of kitchen items)
Primary Objective: Become familiar with kitchen conversations
Other Benefits: Improve descriptive skills
Pre-Speaking (20 minutes)
Have the students write ten things people often do in a kitchen. Write a few examples on the board before they start (e.g. make eggs, eat pasta, etc.). Tell the students they should be specific. “Cook” is not a good activity. “Cook chicken” is OK. Walk around and monitor them while they write activities.
Now, place all of the kitchen objects where everyone can see them. Also, put a stack of white paper with the objects.
Choose a kitchen activity that you will demonstrate. Pick out the objects that you need to demonstrate the activity and demonstrate it. If the students can’t guess what you’re doing, draw a picture of any missing objects. (For example, if they can’t tell you’re making eggs, draw some eggs.)
Then, ask the students to name the objects that you used. Write the names of the objects on the board.
Do it again. Then, have a few students do it using one of their activities.
Write the names of any unused items on the board.
Speaking #1 (15 minutes)
Distribute the kitchen items to the students. With whatever object(s) they have, they should answer these questions:
Which activities on your list can you do with this object?
What other objects do you need to do this activity?
Model it for them before they start. After they finish with one object, they should pass it to another student. They should repeat the process with all of the kitchen objects.
Speaking #2 (15 minutes)
While the students are passing the objects around, write these questions on the board:
What are the most important things in a kitchen?
What does every kitchen need?
Do you have any unique/strange items in your kitchen?
What is the most interesting thing in your kitchen?
How often do you cook?
Do you like cooking?
Who is the best cook that you know?
How often do you eat dinner with your friends/family?
How often do you eat alone?
Is it a good idea to eat with other people often? Why/Why not?
Is your kitchen clean?
They should discuss these questions in pairs or small groups.
Hold up each object and ask the class for several activities that you can do with each object.
Finally, ask the “Speaking #2” questions to various students. Ask follow-up questions as appropriate.
Hide the objects from the students’ view. (For example, put them under boxes or outside the door or just have everyone close their eyes.)
Now, reveal one object to one student (but not to everyone else). The student should describe the object until the class guesses what it is.
For a super long extension (if you’re in a country where English is the main language), you could take a field trip to a restaurant and visit the kitchen.
Ideas for Homework: Prepare a dinner at your home and take pictures of each step. (They can use the cameras on their phones.) At the beginning of the next class, show the pictures in groups and guess what was going on.
Modification for Lower Levels: Reduce the number of objects and only choose the most essential kitchen items. (So, skip the whisk and stick to forks, etc.).
During Speaking #1, change the questions to: What is this object? What do you need this object for? Write sample answers on the board.
During Speaking #2, write sample answers next to the questions.
Modification for Higher Levels: It should still be OK. Make sure to include some lesser know objects (e.g. spatula, spice rack, etc.). You might have the students suggest some more questions for Speaking #2.
Modification for Small Groups: It should be OK. For Speaking #1, you can distribute the objects evenly and then ask the students to ask follow-up questions. It might go a little quicker, so be ready to do the extension.
Modification for Private Lesson: Instead of passing the objects around, you might just trade objects back and forth with your student. You could also go to a restaurant. When your food arrives, make sure to discuss what was needed to make it.
Modification for Different Themes: Just pick objects related to a different theme and change the questions to suit the theme. For instance, if it was clothing unit, you could bring in clothing items. If it was travel unit, you could bring in pictures of different places. For a nature unit, you could bring in plants, pictures of animals and camping supplies.