This is a fun and easy lesson to get students making sentences using words as puzzle pieces. And it promotes kinesthetic, visual, and auditory learning. I use this activity for lots of different grammar forms, but in this example, I am using them for adverb clauses for a level 4 grammar class.
First, I developed a list of words that I want the students to use, depending on the lesson and level. Because this course was EAP (English for Academic Purposes) I used academic nouns and verbs, along with the adverbs which make the dependent clauses for our objective: Adverb Clauses. I made four sets for this class, which had about 12 students. That put three people in a group to create sentences using adverb clauses.
The students then lay out the words to take a look at what they're working with. I usually let the students add their own words, if they want to, in which case, they would need to make their own scraps of paper. For example, if they want another noun or verb to fit their sentence, they can make their own "puzzle piece."
Sometimes students have a hard time getting started, but once they get the hang of it, they can usually make quite a few sentences in the time allotted. I gave the student about 15 minutes in this class.
Because the verbs aren't conjugated (and I didn't provide nots), I asked the students to write out the sentences they created using the puzzle pieces. They then shared what they made with the class.
This is a fun and quick-to-assemble activity that can be used for almost any type of grammar lesson. Try it out and see students succeed!