Monday, 27 August 2012

Love Spider

A love spider.
I'm not sure how many of you will be winding up classes at summer school at the moment: if you are, let me share my all time favourite last lesson activity with you. If you are just embarking on a new term/session then this is well worth putting up your sleeve and keeping for the end of your course.

 I have road tested this lesson with EFL and ESL learners: with  levels ranging from pre-intermediate through to  upper-intermediate: it never fails to engage and delight. It's also a great way of revising grammar and lexis: particularly character adjectives. 

  • One A4 sheet of paper for everyone in the class (and yourself too)
  • Pens/pencils for all
  • Kind learners (or at least, no bad eggs...)
  • Seats arranged  in a circle/horseshoe formation 
  • Board and monopoly money (for the grammar auction stage)
  • Write your name in the middle of a blank A4 sheet of paper, and draw a circle around it. Draw eyes on top of the circle if you wish.  Encourage your learners to do the same. Tell your class they are going to make a spider. Not just any old spider though: we are talking about a lurve spider.
  • Then pass your piece of paper to the person on your right, and ask class to do the same
  • Draw a "leg" from the name in the middle of your piece if paper and tell learners that this is a spider's leg. At the end of the leg they are going to write something nice about the person whose name is in the middle of the piece of paper (Encourage them to make their language as interesting as possible!) This can be a compliment about the person's appearance, character, mention of a special talent this person has, an interesting fact you remember about this person or a positive prediction about their future.
  • The learners keep passing their bits of paper round until it has come full circle. It is very important to allow the learners time to read the existing comments on the love spider they receive, as there should not be repetitive comments on any spider. 
  • When everyone has written about everyone in the class, collect all the papers in.
  • Hold a quick grammar auction. To do this, write a selection of 8 sentences from different love spiders on the board. Choose a mixture of grammatically correct and incorrect examples. Divide class into groups of four and distribute equal amounts of Monopoly money. Groups have to bid for correct sentences: the winning group is the one which has bought the highest number of correct sentences.
  • Give the love spiders back to their owners and enjoy watching a roomful of faces beam with delight as they read the kind things their classmates have written about them.


  1. That's a funky idea. I will have to give it a blast tomorrow. I love your blog by the way.

    Mike in Phuket

    1. Hi Mike,

      Thanks very much indeed! Good luck for tomorrow - let me know how you get on! :)

  2. See that "lurve spider" at the top? The one with "Genny" written in the middle? Any chance of seeing what's written on the legs??

    No, I thought not, but it was worth an ask! Sounds like a great activity to wrap things up on a high!

  3. Hullo Clive,

    Hm, that spider is a wee bit blurred isn't it? I can assure you that it's mostly nice things written on the legs...

    Classes start up again next week, so I need to get thinking about first lesson activities now!

    Hope all well with you!