Assessing Tenses

Type of tool: 
0-30 min
Topics addressed: 
Group dynamics

The students are organized in groups of 5. The students from a group, holding their hands, have to gather their points from the four readers who are placed in the 4 corners of the classroom. According to the gathered points they will get their grade.


The main purpose of the activity is to assess tenses. Having in view that they have to hold hands while they are moving from a reader to another to gather the points by answering to their questions, we can also say that it is a team building activity which helps to alleviate the pressure caused by tests and the tensions between some students.


This activity is like a quiz. It may be adapted to other contents too,  not only to tenses.

Step by step process: 

1. The teacher chooses the four readers. The readers are always the best students from the class. Every reader will be placed in a corner of the class. Every reader will have a number: reader 1, reader 2, reader 3, reader 4.2. The readers will be given a piece of paper containg 5 questions. Each question is related to a different tense. The first question is about the situational use of the tense, the second one is related to the structure, the third is a sentence formation using a certain tense and the fourth is a question about the time expressons of a given tense and the fifth one is 3. The rest of the students are asked to say a number from one to four in an order set by the teacher.4. Students uttering number 1 belong to group 1, students uttering number 2 belong to group 2, students uterring number 3 belong to group 3 and students uttering number 4 belong to group 4.5 The members of a group holding their hands have to move from a reader to another in the clockwise direction and answer to one question. If they know the correct answer the will get a star. Once they answered to the reader's question they can move to the next one.6. The four  readers have 5 questions on their papers so fully there are 20 questions. The groups could gather 20 stars if they knew the answers from every reader. Every star  acquired worths 5 points so they can gather 100 points if they know all the answers.7. If the groups answer is not complete they will get only a half star.8. Once the groups answered  all the questions, the teacher will count their stars and set the mark of the group.  9. Finally the members of every group  are asked to write on a piece of paper their names according to their contribution to the acquirement of the stars. The best -- The weakest The readers are asked to validate the list by expressing their agreement or disagreement. Once they reached to a consensus, each member of the group will get a mark from his group mates. This is the member mark. The final mark of every student will be the average between the group mark and the member mark  

Materials and resources: 

4 sheets of paper for the readers. Every reader will get a paper containing 5 questions related to the assessed tenses. 16 red points made of paper for the readers to offer them to the groups in case of a good answer.


-easy and pleasant way to assess tenses-team building activity- develops the spirit for competition


AdvantagesLoved by studentseasy assessing wayDisadvantages-weaker students might get better marks than they deserve being helped by their group mates.-some students might feel downgraded by their group mates

Notes for further use: 

This activity might be succesfully used by teachers to assess other grammar structures. The questions from the readers' papers could vary from the activity to activity.They can be related to a number of set films.  The questions could ask information and details from  5 set stories for reading.

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