Have you ever been to an auction? I once bought a car at an auction. It’s great fun, making bids and so on. You can also adapt this necessity of commerce into an classroom activity.
Give your students a list of sentences, they find the mistakes and then bid against each other to win the correct answers. This focuses on grammatical accuracy and can be adapted to suit you grammar point and the level of your students.
Prepare a list of sentences, some that have grammatical mistakes and some that don’t. The number of sentences depends on your target time, but I’ve found that between 6 – 10 works best (any more can get a bit boring). You can write these sentences yourself to focus on a language point you’ve covered recently or take the real mistakes that your students have made. Print these out or write them on the board.
Optional. Look at some auction vocabulary before you start.
Time: 10 – 30 minutes
When: Warmer or cooler
Level: Elementary – Advanced
Happy students: ****
- Put students into groups. 3-4 works best.
- Give them the list of sentences and they find the mistakes. When they find the mistakes, you can also ask them to give the correction. Set a time limit.
- While they are working, write each team name on the board. Also, decide on and write an amount of money that each group gets – around €400.
- Go through the answers. For each sentence, hold a mini-auction. Students bid against each other. The highest bidding team give their answer
- Subtract the winning teams bid from their total.
- If the winning team give the correct answer, they win that sentence. If they give the incorrect answer, they lose their bid money and you can hold the auction again (or give the answer and move on)
- Once a team runs out of money, they can’t bid on any more sentences.
- The team with the most won sentences at the end are the winners.