an archive of lesson plans

Author: Marie Segura

F2020 Online: Ice-breakers #2

Conversation Class Lesson Summary

Language Resident Name:

Marie Segura

Day and Date:

Week 1, second class, Fall 2020

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class):


Class theme/topics discussed:

Getting to know each other #2

How did you structure the class?


Use a very short poll to start your class, eg:

  • What’s the strangest thing you did while attending an online meeting? (Multiple choice)
    1. Ate breakfast
    2. Wore pajamas
    3. Brushed my teeth
    4. Cooked lunch/dinner
    5. Watched Netflix
    6. Other but my lips are sealed
  • What’s your best personal remote work hack? (Open text)
  • In one word, how are you feeling right now?

Activity 1 – Interviewing each other

  • Pair up participants in twos.
  • Give them a list of questions to ask each other.
  • Ask each pair to interview each other, either via email or in breakout rooms.
  • When all the participants convene together in the same virtual room, each participant will introduce the participant they interviewed.

Activity 2 – Thumbs-Up or Thumbs-Down?

  • Students should choose a view that allows the entire class to be seen at once. They can also use a voting function if one is available in the virtual tool. Students take turns stating something they like/dislike or something they’ve done. For example, “I like shrimp.” or “I’ve visited Washington, DC.” Classmates indicate their similarity or difference with the person by showing a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down (or by using the voting function).
  • To personalize the activity even more, challenge students to offer an activity or accomplishment that they think is rare or unique about themselves, and see if anyone shares it. For example, “I cleaned out my refrigerator last night.” or “I was born on February 29.”

Activity 3 – ‘One Random Object’ Virtual Training Activity

  • Ask a student to pick one random object that is in their room and not tell anyone what it is.
  • Explain that the other participants will have to guess what it is, by asking questions that require a yes or no answer.

Online tools you can use:

You could use a chat board for this, but it is not necessary. You could just run the activity by speaking and maybe use a virtual board to record the scores.

Activity 4 – ‘Take a Picture of Something’ Class Activity

  • Ask participants to take a picture of something.
  • Typically, you choose a specific theme. For example, ask participants to take a picture of their shoes, or a picture of something that is on their workstation or the view outside their window.
  • Remember to ask participants to take the picture and upload it before the training session starts, as otherwise it might take too much time out of the training session if they were to do it in real time.
  • Ask participants to share the picture on a virtual board.
  • Start a discussion. For example, you could ask why they chose that particular item on their desk, or what they like the most about the view they can see from the window etc.

Online tools you can use

Online whiteboard, chat board, or a shared google doc.

Activity 5 – Find someone who

  • To run the activity online, create a 5 by 5 table with interesting facts, one for each box of the table. For example, you could write things such as: speaks more than two languages, has been to Argentina etc. Or, it would be a good idea to tie the facts with the topic of the class.
  • Share the file with the table with your participants, either in advance or during the session. You can share by email, through the file-sharing feature of the web conferencing system or with an online sharing tool such as a Google doc. Alternatively, you could do the activity in real-time using a tool such as Padlet.
  • Depending on the size of your class, send students into breakout rooms or do it as a whole class. Ask participants to write their name under each of the statements that apply to them.
  • Ask them to share the answers and discuss.

Activity 6 – Would you rather

  • Send students into breakout rooms in groups of 3/4.
  • Send to every room a series of “would you rather question” and ask students to discuss and defend their opinion.

Resources used:

  • Shared google doc
  • Zoom chat
  • Breakout rooms

Some comments:

There are too many activities in the class, but depending on the group, some may work better than others, I think it’s always better to have a variety of activities at hand, and some can also be used to start any other class.

Potential technical difficulties: students may not be able to take a picture, so activity 4 may have to be skipped. Having too many breakout room changes can take a lot of your class time, maximum twice in one lesson should work.

F2020 Online: Ice-breakers #1

Conversation Class Lesson Summary

Language Resident Name:

Marie Segura

Day and Date:

Week 1, Fall 2020

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class):


Class theme/topics discussed:

Getting to know each other

Goal of the class:

  • Dealing with the administrative aspects of the class
  • Assessing the students’ technical capacities
  • Introducing myself
  • Getting to know the students and their needs/interests/feelings about the class

How did you structure the class?

Setting up Zoom

  • Ask students to make sure they put the name they want to use as their username or to change it accordingly (maybe add their pronouns)
  • Brief explanation that the videos should be turned on as often as possible (except if discussed before or if impossible) because it makes conversations more natural. The mic will be off to start with/during instructions but students should feel free to interact before the class starts/after instructions/in breakout rooms. If a you have a big group, maybe ask them to raise hand or signal themselves before speaking (but it truly depends on the size of the group, it may be easier to just jump in).

Activity 1 – Where are you joining us from?

  • Depending on the size of the group, it may be useful to use a word cloud
  • Ask students where they are (city, country…)
  • Start introducing yourself by explaining where you are + where you are from, then ask students to introduce themselves: name, where they join from, where they are exactly, what their workspace looks like (if they have the video on) or what their virtual background represents for them, why they chose it etc.

Activity 2 – Introducing myself, Jeopardy Style

  • In pairs, students are asked to think of two questions they would like to ask to get to know me. Pair them up orally and ask them to come up with two questions in a private chat or use the breakout rooms.
  • Then, they are shown information about the LR on a powerpoint presentation (for instance dates, colors… that are answers to questions you may ask to get to know someone). To be allowed to ask the questions they have just prepared, students must, in pairs, try to find the question that might match the answer. 
  • Eg: on the screen, write you birth date. Students should ask you “When were you born? “, “When is your birthday?” etc. If they find the right question, they can ask you an extra one that they had prepared.

Activity 3 – Speed dating

  • Split your students into groups of 3 or more and allocate them to breakout rooms.
  • Ask each group to write down as a list on an online whiteboard or virtual sticky note all the interesting things that they all have in common (ask them to avoid obvious things, such as all being students or taking a conversation class) and something unique to each participant. They will have 5-10 minutes for this task. (online tip: set a timer for your breakout rooms + send a message 2mn before the end to warn the students that their time is almost over).
  • At the end of the 5-10 minutes, ask each group to share their list to the rest of the class via an online whiteboard.

Extra-activity 1 – New Academic Year’s Resolutions

  • Share with your students a google doc with a table showing different resolutions. 
  • (If the class is big) Students are separated into groups of 3/4 and sent in breakout rooms. In turn, they randomly pick a number (can use an online tool/Siri for that or just choose randomly) and discover their new year’s resolution. Then, they have to convince their skeptical friends that they are actually going to keep their resolution this year and to explain why it is so important to them.

Advanced: Besides explaining why it’s an important resolution, students have to explained how they plan on doing it. The others, the skeptical friends or relatives, can ask questions about the resolution.

Extra-activity 2 – 2 truths 1 lie

  • Ask one participant to write three statements about themselves: 2 true and 1 false.
  • Ask the other participants to vote on which statement is true and which is false.
  • After the first person has shared their statement and the group has decided which statement is false, the first person will reveal the truth.
  • Move on until each person in the group has shared their statements.
  • The participant with the most incorrect votes wins.

Online tools you can use:

Resources used:

  • Breakout rooms
  • Online whiteboard, chat board, other collaboration tools such as Padlet or Lino.
  • Google doc to share with the class in the chat
  • Ppt presentation

FR F19 INT Hobbies & clubs

Goal of the class:

Review vocabulary about hobbies, talk about what they like doing + frequency, using the Turf dinner that had just happened. 



To introduce vocabulary related to hobbies, I told the students a story about my hobbies throughout my life, using slides to illustrate what I was saying.

Activity 1

  • Survey: what do you do in your free time? What kind of activities? Each student has a short survey and must interview another student to fill it in. For the advanced class, I asked them not to tell what their hobby was and their partner had to guess based on their answers. 
  • Each student then briefly presents their partner’s hobby to the rest of the class.

Activity 2

  • Students who have very different kinds of hobbies are paired up. Together, they must create a club that they would present to the Turf dinner. The club must be a mix of their  two hobbies plus another element that I randomly gave them (tea, pets, knitting…). They need to fill in a chart with information about the club and prepare a presentation for the Turf dinner. 
  • Fake Turf dinner: in turn, each pair presents their club to the rest of the class. The other students must find, in pairs, at least one question to ask to each group (asking for more details, for clarifications etc)

Resources used: 

  • Powerpoint presentation
  • Table for the survey/for the creation of the club

FR F19 INT/ADV Dorms

Goal of the class: 

Revise furniture vocabulary & revise the structures “I want”/“I need” while talking about a subject they are familiar with as they have probably just moved in. 


Warm up

Questions about them: in what kind of dorm they live, on campus, in Oldenborg, first time…


Story about my arrival here, description of my apartment, then mentioning the one I used to have in France that was empty and that I needed to furnish. ➔ Introducing vocabulary + structure they will need + questions about their own dorms to check their comprehension. 

For the intermediate class, I would use a powerpoint with pictures of furniture to give them more vocabulary before starting. 

Guided practice

Together, establish a list of the furniture a student might need in their new room. You can use a word cloud and ask each student to give 3 words for the advanced class. 


  1. You just arrived in your new dorm and it is completely empty so you need to buy everything. In pairs, go on the website You have a budget of 400 euros to refurbish your room. What would you buy? 
  2. Change of plan: you are now real estate agents. In pairs, think about the best arguments to rent the room you just furnished. Present your selection to the rest of the class and convince the others that your room is the best (because it looks good, because it is very practical…)
  3. Creating rules for the ideal flat-share (eg sharing food/having friends over/cleaning). If they were to live together, what would their 5 main rules be?

Resources used:

  • Ikea website/students’ laptops 
  • Paper to write the rules

FR F19 INT Traveling – Surprise trip

Goal of the class: Practicing vocabulary related to traveling, discovering different French-speaking places. 


Warm up (5-10mn)

Do you like traveling? What does traveling mean to you? What are the advantages and disadvantages of traveling? Do you think traveling is a form of education? What places have you been to? Would you like to travel on your own? 

Input (3mn)

Story about my trip a year ago to Montreal, mentioning the different means of transport I used, the different kinds of activities I did there etc. 

Activity 1 – What type of traveler are you? (10mn)

Tell the students, in pairs, that they have received a free trip but they can’t choose where they will go. The only thing they can do to get a trip they would actually enjoy is fill in a chart explaining what type of traveler they are. They have to choose and rank the 5 things they most like 

Activity 2 – organizing the trip (10-15mn)

Organize a surprise trip for another pair of students using their preferences. Each pair of students receives another pair’s list of travelling preferences. They then have to organize a surprise trip, by first choosing a destination (4 destinations are proposed on a handout with the main activities you can do there but they can also choose another French-speaking destination and look up for information online) and then deciding on different aspects of the trip: length of the trip, means of transport, housing, activities organized there… 

When they’re done, students pick 10 items out of a list that they would pack for this trip. They can add things if they want to. 

Activity 3 – Presenting the trip/receiving the gift (5-10mn)

Each group present the trip they organized to the rest of the class. The group who receives the surprise trip has to react using expressions proposed on a powerpoint.

Post-activity – traveling habits

Show a chart that presents different ways of travelling and discuss.



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