This is a set of ESL vocabulary activities rather than a typical ESL Brains lesson plan. Each of the activities can be used separately as a time filler, a warm-up, etc. Students work with compound adjectives, advanced phrasal verbs and phrases with the word time. They also complete gapped sentences and create anagrams

C1 / Advanced60 minStandard LessonPremium Plan


In the first activity, students complete gaps to create twelve compound adjectives in context (e.g. absent-minded, thought-provoking). The adjectives are missing some letters only. The second activity is a CAE-style gap-filling task in which students think of a word which can be used in eight sets of three sentences. After they finish, they complete two jokes with the words used in the sentences. Each of the jokes contains an idiomatic expression (e.g. hit the ceiling). After the exercise, students can explain the meanings of the idioms or build sentences with them. 


In the third exercise, students come up with prepositions missing from twelve phrasal-prepositional verbs (e.g. do away with, cut down on). To do that, they use four different prepositions each of which can be used only three times. Then, students answer six questions about the use of the advanced phrasal verbs in context and in collocations. In the fourth activity, students have to complete sentences with missing words to create phrases with the word time (e.g. time is on our side, do time). Letters from each of the completed words are then used to create one more phrase with time. After students finish, they need to write a sentence with the phrase. The final activity is about anagrams. Students rearrange letters in ten words to create two more words containing the same letters (e.g. react – cater, trace). The teacher can decide to set a time limit for the task and do it in groups. 




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  1. nataliachernova

    Incredibly useful lesson plan, thanks a million!

    1. Justa

      Happy to hear that 🙂

  2. Mariola Moçka

    Brilliant lesson plan! My students loved it!

  3. Ana Martínez Martín

    Very useful 🙂 thanks guys!

    1. Justa


  4. Filipe Nunes

    Great stuff. My students loved it. Cheers!

    1. Justa

      Thanks, Filipe!

      1. Filipe Nunes

        Justa, I’ve used this material several times now. The result has always been fabulous. It is a splendid way to review and booster vocabulary. I also enjoyed the fact that you brought the “trios – gapped sentences” back. I’ve always enjoyed that activity. Cheers!

        1. Justa

          Thanks for taking the time to comment! It’s great to receive such positive feedback and I really appreciate that. Cheers 🙂

  5. Marianna_esl

    Love this lesson! thank you

  6. Megan Prattley

    Awesome lesson!

    1. Justa

      Thanks 🙂

  7. Suzan Augusto

    Great lesson plan, I have used it many times and it’s always a hit.

    Do you have another lesson plan similar to this? Like like penny for your thoughts and my two cents?
    I have also used the Put a Ring on it which is perfect.

    I’m just asking for more, please and thank you!

    1. Justa

      Great to hear that! Thanks! We have a couple of worksheets like that. You can check out the one on vocab puzzles, on the verb ‘take’, on ‘make/do’, on ‘get’ or a lot of worksheets with idioms. I hope you find them useful 🙂

  8. Fayh

    This is extremely useful, just what I needed for time fillers. Thank you

  9. Lynnette Aizpurua

    This is a great lesson do we have anymore of these in other levels.

    1. Justa

      Thanks! You can find more of these here. Also, look at one of the comments above for more links.


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