Classroom Activity: Teaching Adverbs of Frequency

By Cathy Sunshine

At Language ETC, we always put our students first. We often come up with creative activities for the classroom. Teaching at Language ETC is sometimes challenging, but it is never boring!

Students tackle adverbs of frequency in Level 2A, Unit 5, and most of our students at all levels can use practice with them. Here are a couple of activities that students may enjoy.

Make an Adverbs Ladder

Adverbs of frequency go in a scale, or ladder, from least frequent (never) to most frequent (always). The first thing to do is to construct the ladder. Ventures 2 provides the following scale in Unit 5, Lesson C:


For higher levels, you can expand the list:

almost always
hardly ever
almost never

1. Copy the list before class, making half as many copies as students (as they will work in pairs). Cut up the lists so that each adverb is on a separate slip of paper. Paperclip the slips together so that each set has one copy of each adverb.

2. Have students work with partners. Give each pair a set of adverbs and have them arrange the slips of paper in order of frequency on their desks.

3. Afterward, the class can construct the ladder together on the board. One student from each pair can come up and add the next adverb in the sequence until the ladder is complete.

Write Wacky Sentences

Students can then move on to using the adverbs in their own sentences. Pay special attention to placement of the adverb. In sentences using a form of the verb “to be,” the adverb usually comes after the verb: “I am often late for class.” In sentences using other verbs, the adverb usually comes before the verb: “I often come late to class.”

1. Before class, print out the two lists below and cut them apart so that each phrase is on a separate slip of paper. Put the phrases from the first list and those from the second list in separate bags or envelopes. There are 12 phrases in each set; if you have more than 12 students, add more phrases.

Set 1: Phrases to use with the verb “to be”

still awake at midnight
late for work
in a good mood
in a bad mood
tired at the end of the day
hungry in the middle of the night
sleepy in the afternoon
polite to other people
sick to my stomach
happy with my life
bored in English class
friendly to my co-workers

Set 2: Phrases using other verbs

travel by plane
drink beer at breakfast
take a bus to work
visit my country
eat rice at dinner
talk on the phone to President Obama
buy groceries at Safeway
sleep until ten o’clock in the morning
win the lottery
feel very tired
go sky-diving
go out dancing until midnight

2. To model the activity, work together as a class to construct one sentence with each adverb of frequency. Encourage creativity! Write the sentences on the board, noting the placement of the adverbs.

3. Have each student draw one slip of paper from each of the two bags. Students then write two sentences with adverbs of frequency, using the phrases they drew. Examples: I am sometimes sleepy in the afternoon. I often eat rice at dinner. I never win the lottery.

4. Finally, ask each student to come up to the board and write one of their sentences. Encourage the class to suggest corrections. Cycle through the class twice until all the students have written both their sentences. If any students report talking often with President Obama — as one of my students cheerily claimed to — ask them to say hello!

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6 Responses to Classroom Activity: Teaching Adverbs of Frequency

  1. EKUNNIYI Opeyemi Idowu says:

    I really like this guide. It has wonderfully helped me in my classroom teaching during my teaching practice.

  2. Aryan Srivastava says:

    thanks a lot

  3. Alan Duffy says:

    That’s a really nice idea for a fun lesson.

  4. Mahbubeh From Iran says:

    Thank you

  5. oliver says:

    Thank you . It is great.

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