Causative: Family Meeting! (ESL Speaking Activity)

“That’s it! It’s time for a family Meeting!”

Skill focus: Speaking

Grammar: (Active) Causative (verbs: make, get, have, help, let)

ESL Level: Intermediate and Upper-intermediate

Overview: Students roleplay a family meeting. Students use causative verbs in and after the meeting to discuss the meeting’s resolutions.

Number of students: 3+

Materials needed: one worksheet for each pair.

Worksheet Downloadfamily-meeting-causative-speaking.docx

Time Required: 30 minutes


This is a good activity for practicing the causative in speech. This activity should be done after teaching the nuts and bolts of the causative (e.g. My father let me go; my mother helped me cook it; my sister had me carry her bag; the teacher made us stay late.)

Firstly, when you look at the attached document, you’ll find a different version of the speaking activity on each page.

Page 1 (see below)

This worksheet is for less creative students who cannot brainstorm family-related problems on their own.

Activity Execution & Notes:

  • Should be done in groups of 4 ideally
  • Assign each student a role or let them choose amongst themselves. They will then read their roles (and not the roles of others), and then when the father is ready, the meeting will start.
  • Note: Tell students that they don’t need to use the causative in every sentence. This is a free speaking activity, so they should focus on communicating. Afterwards, they’ll have a chance to make sentences using the causative.

speaking activity to practice the causative

Page 2 (see below)

This worksheet allows students to brainstorm their own issues to discuss in a family meeting.

Activity Execution & Notes:

  • First, put the students in pairs. Have them do Part A below. They should add their own ideas to for the boxes #1 and #2.
  • Next, group them with another pair of students to do Part B. In Part B, they first have to decide who will play the role of the children and who will be the parents. Once they’ve done this, they use their own ideas (from Part A) as the reasons for holding the family meeting.
  • Note: Tell students that they don’t need to use the causative in every sentence. This is a free speaking activity, so they should focus on communicating. Afterwards, they’ll have a chance to make sentences using the causative.

speaking activity for practicing the causative

Causative Speaking Activity Wrap-up

After they’ve had their meetings, do Part 3. Ask students to use the causative to make sentences about the outcome of their meetings. Ask them what the parents will make/have/help/get/let their children (to) do. Write ideas on the board.

I’ve done this activity once (using the second page) and it went well. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

– Matthew Barton / Creator of www.englishcurrent.com

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3 comments on “Causative: Family Meeting! (ESL Speaking Activity)

  1. Esther Lopez (Posted on 5-23-2016 at 17:16) Reply

    thank you!!!! you saved my day …

  2. Ana (Posted on 6-23-2017 at 02:50) Reply

    Just reading through this I am sure it will work well with my students. Thanks!

  3. Farz (Posted on 2-10-2018 at 03:01) Reply

    It was quite helpful.thanks for providing these worksheets

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