This is a communicative, personalised activity for introducing defining relative clauses.
Ask your students to write the numbers 1-8 on their paper. Next to no. 1 tell them to write down a place where they like to eat. They should write the name only. You are going to read out 7 similar categories and they should similarly write down just the answer. Here’s the (suggested) list in full:
- a place where you like to eat
- someone who annoys you
- a time when you were surprised
- an activity which you hate doing
- someone whom you love
- a reason why you got up this morning
- something that you can do really well
- a place in which you feel relaxed
Now you can ask the students to look at the first one and say what you said to make them write it down. Hopefully they’ll come up with “A place where you like to eat” and you can board it.
Next, ask students to remember with their partner what you said for the other 7. They should keep their lists hidden from their partners, though. Elicit the phrases and board them.
Pick a student and ask them to tell you one of their answers, without telling you the number. They should precede it with “What is…?” Let’s imagine they say “What is McDonalds?” Ask the rest of the class to guess which it is. For example, “McDonalds is a place where you like to eat.” Bingo! Write the sentence on the board. Now in pairs, the students can do the same and guess what each others answers mean to them. (To make it harder you could rub out the phrases on the board halfway through this task.)
When they’ve finished, you ask them to tell you what grammar they have been practising, and go over the features of defining relative clauses, eg. underline all the relative pronouns in their phrases, notice the punctuation, elicit the function, etc.
I’ve done this with adult Upper Intermediate students and they really enjoyed guessing each others lists.