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Cambridge University Press

0521663423 - Games for Grammar Practice: A Resource Book of Grammar Games and Interactive Activities
Maria Lucia Zaorob and Elizabeth Chin
More information

UNIT 2 Past

2.3 Sweet memories

Language focus Vocabulary
Used to Verbs: grow up, fall down, break, fight with, fail, go on a trip, have a date

Level Nouns: childhood memory, toy, tree house, pet, (school) subject, complaints, idol, hero, date, curfew,
school dance
Intermediate or
This game provides a lot of input and intensive practice with a wide range of verbs in the simple past
Board game
and habitual past with used to. Because the subject of childhood and teenage memories is so close to
Topic everyone’s heart, the game promotes a lot of conversation and better student rapport. As such, it
Growing-up memories should be reserved for the more communicative end of the lesson and used for fluency building.

Interaction Language output

Groups of two to six
A: Who did you use to fight with when you were a teenager?
Time B: I used to fight a lot with my sister.
20–30 minutes A: Why?
B: Well, because she used to borrow my clothes without asking me first.
Material A: And who used to win?
Board and dice (one per B: She did, because my mother was always on her side.
group), counters (one per
student) Procedures
1 Prepare questions related to childhood and teenage experiences. Ask one at a time, elicit answers from
the class, and continue the conversation from there, as shown in Language output. Draw students’
attention to the meaning and use of used to, and contrast it with the simple past if necessary.
2 Divide the class into groups and hand out the material.
3 Playing the game:
◗ Players place their counters at the starting point (symbol of birth: the stork) on the board.
◗ They take turns casting the dice and moving along the board accordingly.
◗ Whenever a player lands on a square with a question in it, someone in the group asks him
or her that question, and the player answers. The group should then explore the topic with
further questions, answers, comments, etc. Encourage the appropriate use of the simple past
and used to.
◗ Whenever a player lands on one of the squares containing happy or unhappy events of life, he
or she must follow the instructions in them.
◗ The first player to get to (but not beyond) the finishing point (symbol of graduation: the
mortarboard) wins the game.

1 If you are teaching teenagers, change the questions so as to suit their young age.
2 If you want to let your students decide what to talk about and formulate the questions themselves,
replace the questions on the board with prompts, e.g. GROW UP, SCHOOL, TOYS, GAMES,
Note on class size
If students are playing in pairs or groups of three, use coins instead of dice. That way they will move
either one square (heads) or two squares (tails), and have more opportunities to talk.


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What did you use What complaints
More information
Who used to You fail your
to love doing? did your mother
be your idol maths test.
What did you use to have
or hero? Miss a turn.
hate doing? about you?

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Cambridge University Press

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How often did
Where did you What did you
you use to spend
grow up? What use to do at
the night at
was it like there? weekends?
Maria Lucia Zaorob and Elizabeth Chin


2 28 37 36 18
You go on your What used to
first trip with be your
your friends. biggest dream?
Play again.

3 29 35 17
Did you use to be
What kind of Who was your What used to a good student?
place did you first date? be your biggest What was
use to live in? How did it go? problem? your favourite
32 34
4 30 31 33 16
You fall down You don’t have What used to You learn to ride
and break your arm. Did you use to a date for the be your favourite a bicycle. Move
Move back have a curfew? school dance. place to be forward 2 squares.
2 squares. Miss a turn. alone in?

From Games for Grammar Practice © Cambridge University Press 2001 PHOTOCOPIABLE
5 15
What is your
Who used to be
your favourite
relative? Why?
0521663423 - Games for Grammar Practice: A Resource Book of Grammar Games and Interactive Activities

8 10
6 9 11 12 14
7 13
Did you use
What did you Who did you use
What used to Your father builds to have a pet?
use to do in your to fight with?
be your you a tree house. What? If not,
school holidays? Who did you
favourite toy? Play again. did you want
use to play with?
Sweet memories 2.3