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Grammar Treasure Hunt

by Lynne Clark | 18 Jul 2018
Resource Description: This is a lesson I use with advanced level learners as a cumulative review of all grammar points. 
Audience: University
Audience Language Proficiency: Advanced
Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Language Skill: Grammar
Content Area:

English for Academic Purposes

English as a Second Language 

English as a Foreign Language

Materials and Technology:

I create flash cards with the following grammar terms written on them:








Passive Voice




Adjective Clause

Adverb Clause

 A copy of the article, Smartphones don’t make us dumb ( printed out double-spaced. 

Objective(s): The aim of this lesson is to review the use of the parts of speech, commonly used verb tenses, passives, modals, clauses, infinitives, and gerunds.
Outcome(s): By the end of the session, the students will have identified examples of each of the different elements of language in an authentic piece of writing. 


1. Divide the students into pairs.
2. Each pair will get a flashcard and has to give an example of the grammar term on the card. All the items are from earlier levels.
3. Write the term and one example on the board.



1. Explain that today they are going to work in pairs or small groups (always with at least one person who speaks a different native language) to read the article.
2. Write the list below on the board, and explain that as they are reading they should identify examples of the following:
a. Six different prepositions
b. Four different verb tenses
c. An adverb used to describe a verb
d. An adverb used to describe an adjective
e. An adjective clause or phrase
f. An adverb clause or phrase
g. The passive form of a verb
h. A gerund 
i. An infinitive
j. A modal
3. The article has been printed double spaced so that they can make notes. 
4. This should take them the whole lesson, but if they are finished early, have them compare their notes with another pair/group. 
5. Circulate as they work – they may have questions about vocabulary.

6. After about 35-40 minutes, call time on the activity. They should have 18 individual items. Ask how many of them have 18, 17, 16… and elicit examples of each one


This lesson could be used at lower proficiency levels with limited lists and specially edited texts.

I have also used a similar approach with our local student newspaper and had students simply find examples of whatever grammar item we are studying in that.

References: None
TESOL Interest Section: English as a Foreign Language, English for Specific Purposes, Intensive English Programs