common adjectives

Here is a very minimal preparation activity for Basic learners of English that focuses on reviewing common adjectives for the language level. At the same time they can revise basic nouns that they know.

I compiled a list of common adjectives and grouped them into sets of six:

common adjectives

Display this image on the board or write down the adjectives. You can also dictate the adjectives to your students and then ask them to group them into sets of six. It’s important that opposites go in the same set.

Then get your students into pairs or small groups. Each pair of students or group will need a dice (alternatively they may use online virtual dice on their phones or they can also google for “random number generator”). Ask them to choose any two sets and roll the dice twice. The first roll of the dice will determine the adjective chosen for the first set and the second roll will determine the adjective for the second one. For instance, if we chose the first two sets and the numbers were 4 and 6, the two adjectives would be “important” and “short”. The students, in their groups, would have to think of something that is important and short (a poem, a news story, a shopping list, breathing…). In some cases it may lead to controversial answers but, far from being a problem, you can use it to your teaching advantage and generate interest and discussion. “How about life? Is it short?”.

I am going to use Virtual Dice and Coin Flip,  for the first two sets.

  • 6 + 3 (interesting and hot): Senegal, fire, hot yoga, sauna
  • 2 + 3 (new and hot*): fashion, a haircut, a smartphone
  • 1 + 1 (old and heavy): an (old) computer, an (old) elephant, and (old) TV
  • 3 + 4 (flat and cold): roads in Sweden, ice, a knife in the freezer

*here you could let the students know that “hot” can also be used informally to describe something that is trendy.

Give your students about five to ten minutes to work in their groups and circulate to provide help with possible answers. Then you can play a few rounds in plenary mode to wrap things up.


4 thoughts on “common adjectives

  1. love this activity, i think dice throwing is great to have things magically be selected. this can sometimes reduce stress in the classroom. and dice are fun. i use my son’s dungeons/dragons dice, they are really attention grabbing.
    thank you Tamar.


    1. The aim is for Basic Learners of English to review very common adjectives and also to review and practice some nouns they may know by establishing associations with the adjective combinations. They can also explore some other nouns by listening to associations made by other students in other groups with/without help from teacher.


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