Teaching Comparatives, Superlatives and Adjectives Through Food

Writer(s): 
Julia Raina Sevy-Biloon, UNAE: Universidad Nacional de Educación

Quick Guide

  • Keywords: Comparatives, Superlatives, Taste Test, Potato Chips, Food, Adjectives
  • Learner English level: Pre-intermediate and above
  • Learner maturity: High school and university
  • Preparation time: One hour
  • Activity time: 30 minutes
  • Materials:  Three handouts, three types of potato chips

When reinforcing grammar it is always more efficient to have students complete a task which connects to students interests. This activity utilizes food to spark the students’ interest in grammar learning and language, while helping them create authentic associations to English. It also allows students to bridge new language and grammar through the genuine act of eating. Since the students are allowed the novelty of eating while learning, this creates a more comfortable relaxed learning environment while also motivating the students to use the language and grammar they previously learned. This ultimately motivates the students intrinsically. 

Preparation

Step 1: Pre-teach comparative and superlative forms, what adjectives are, and how they are used.

Step 2: Discuss food, and students’ food preferences in order to choose what to use for the taste test activity. 

Step 3: Buy the food or potato chips that will be used in class. 

Step 4: Create two worksheets. Worksheet A (see Appendix A) has a list of 10 or 12 adjectives to describe food and students can use worksheet B (see Appendix B) to complete the taste test. This worksheet has the names of each type of food/potato chip (or other food used) and space for students to write sentences for each food.

Procedure

Step 1: Give students worksheet A, which contains a list of adjectives they can use to describe food. First, review the adjectives with the students to make sure all of the vocabulary is understood.  Then, have students work in pairs to write down the meaning of each word in their native language. Next, discuss in groups what foods can best be described by each word in the list. Finally, work in pairs to come up with two or three new adjectives to add to the list and come together as a class to discuss the findings.

Step 2 Separate students into groups of two or three students and pass out three different types of potato chips, or the food chosen by the group, and have students individually complete the taste test.  

Step 3: Allow time for a discussion of how each chip or food tastes. Ask students to use previously learned comparative and superlative forms with adjectives from the list to describe the chips. 

Step 4: Complete worksheet B about the taste test. Students will write sentences comparing the chips using the adjectives from their previously created lists of comparative and superlative forms. 

Step 5: Assess the students through the completion of the worksheet and the use of grammar and vocabulary.

Conclusion

This task-based activity not only aids in the students’ learning processes, but also motivates them to learn. Students tend to enjoy learning grammar and vocabulary more when they can create an intrinsic connection. Using food in the classroom is an authentic way to help students remember new vocabulary and how to use it in correct forms. The culmination of this activity is that students become clearly more comfortable when speaking and writing, and are able to use the grammar and vocabulary more naturally. 

 
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