This is the challenged presented by the blog ELT BITES.

Describe an activity in no more than 200 words that requires no advance preparation of materials and relies on nothing more than the students, teacher and usual classroom resources of board, pens, paper etc.

And this is my answer:

SMS swap

This is useful when you want to practise the language of SMS and any kind of instant messaging.

  1. Students write their names on a piece of paper and we swap them.
  2. They write an SMS (no more than 160 characters) on the same paper and sign with a nickname.
  3. I give messages to their recipients and they write an appropriate answer without knowing who they are writing to.
  4. Finally we swap messages again and read the results aloud, trying to guess who is behind each nickname.

You can also give it a twist asking students to write their SMS about a specific topic: a complaint, an invitation, asking for information, etc.



  1. Hi Eva

    Great post and very welcome on #ELTBITES. I was working as an English language assistant in Valencia last year for EOI, Grundtvig programme. It’s great to see you EOI guys in Gran Canaria are well into web 2.0 and using it in your English teaching. Keep in touch, I’m on twitter @inglishteacher, and please encourage your colleagues to write some of their favourite simple activities for ELTBITES 🙂

    All the best

    • Thank you, Richard. There are lots of ideas in our blog, though it’s relatively new. We created it after being sharing on a private facebook group for a while. If you desire, I can add you to the group, I’m sure you’ll like it. Most posts are written in Spanish, though. You can follow this blog on twitter @CosasParaClase and me on @esuarezguillen. Please let me know if you wish to be part of our facebook group.

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