Speaking Activities:

How to Use the Sentence Starter Speaking Pages

 This guide is a sample from the ESL Curriculum Membership

In the sentence starters speaking apges there are pictures at the top and example sentence starters at the bottom.

For many lessons, there are 2 versions: an emerging version and an entering+ version to make it easier for you to differentiate!

For many of these pages, you can fold the bottom half of the page under, cut it off completely, or cover the words with a book. That way students can practice saying sentences while only looking at the pictures.

You can fold the answers under.

Familiarizing Students with the Sentence Structures

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Type: Group

Go through the example sentences together as a class, getting students to repeat them a few times until they are familiar with them.

Use an inductive approach to get students finding the differences between the sentences. This helps them pay attention to the different changes in grammar. Check out this article for more information on this Larry-Ferlazz0-favored teaching method.

With each sentence, you can also have students use TPR (total physical response) with each sentence, sing them, or chant the sentences with a fun clapping pattern--whatever gets them saying the sentences a lot.

Other Recommended Grammar Activities

You can also find these activities on each unit page under the Activity Ideas Tab for each practice page.

Fun and Effective ESL Speaking Activity Don't Laugh (600x600)
Fun and Effective ESL Speaking Activity Speed Challenge (600x600)
Fun and Effective ESL Speaking Activity Rock Paper Scissors (600x600)
Fun and Effective ESL Speaking Activity Seesaw App (600x600)

Checking In Individually

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Type: Independent

Goal: Each student can get a bronze, silver or gold speaking medal for making sentences to describe the pictures (or use the words in the word banks) at the top of the page.

Now that students have had a fair amount of practice with the sentences during the group practice, you can set a goal a student needs to meet in order to attain a bronze, silver or gold medal.

(The #s next to the medals on the speaking page are there for reference. Feel free to adjust for your own context.)

  1. Students can choose how they want to practice—by themselves, with a partner, on paper, or saying them quietly to themselves.
  2. When a student is ready, that student attempts to say sentences to you while only looking at the pictures. 
  3. If he or she can do it, circle the appropriate medal and sign or stamp at the bottom.
  4. If not, that student goes back to practice some more.

Note: Students who get a bronze or silver medal, but still have time can go for the next medal up.

Note: Have a worksheet or activity ready for students who finish quickly so that they keep busy. You can also have stronger students help weaker students practice their sentences.

Note: If you have a lot of students or need time to coach weaker students yourself, you can have stronger students listen to students say their sentences and stamp their papers. This frees you up entirely to be a coach or a cheerleader.


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