Activities for Practice: Box of Stuff

(excerpted and adapted from Tutoring ESL: A Handbook for Volunteers)

MS Word .doc version (39 kb)

Purpose: Warm-up, creative use of language.

Materials: A box of everyday or culturally interesting items—perhaps items that review earlier-taught sessions.


The student selects an item. The student speaks for one minute, or makes 3 to 5 sentences about the object she’s chosen.

If you have two students, one can select an item (unseen by the other), and the other student must ask questions to elicit information and guess what the object is.

The students can select one to several items and make up a dialogue or role-play using the objects.

Ideas for objects

Sewing supplies

Kitchen implements

Hand tools

Home remedies (tea, salves, etc.)

Personal care items (toothbrush, comb, hair brush, razor, etc.)

Winter wear (scarf, ear muffs, gloves, etc.)

Summer wear (sunglasses, swim suit, beach sandals, etc.)

From Tutoring ESL: A Handbook for Volunteers. Reproduced with permission from the publisher, Tacoma Community House Training Project, Tacoma, WA 98405.

Excerpted and adapted, with permission, by

Kaizen Program
for New English Learners with Visual Limitations
email: kaizen ( at )