Hands over Mouths

This is part of a series of lesson plans on word stress, timing, and intonation. Click here to read a short introduction.

Name: Hands over mouths

Prep Time: None (Enough time to print the worksheets)

Materials: Worksheets (Click to download or see below)

Primary Objective: Practice Word Stress

Other Benefits: Discuss Travel


15 Minutes

Give the students the worksheets. First they should write their own endings to the sentences. Then they should match the given endings. Just walk around and check them as they’re writing.

15 Minutes

Now, read the sentences out loud for the students. They should listen and repeat. Pay careful attention to make sure that they are stressing the correct words. If you’d prefer, you can play this track for them instead.

5 Minutes

Now, students should look at their sheets and underline the stressed words.

5 Minutes

Next, read the sentences out loud and have the students repeat them again.

10 Minutes

Walk around and give specialized help as the students practice reading in pairs.

5 Minutes

Now, choose a random sentence and read it with your hands over your mouth. The students should guess which sentence you read. Do another. Ask them how they were able to guess if they couldn’t understand any sounds?

5 Minutes

Now the students should again practice reading the sentences in pairs, but this time with their hands over their mouths. Partners should guess which sentence they were reading.


After reading each sentence again, students should ask each other: Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Ideas for Homework: Write 10 travel sentences and underline the stressed words.

In case you have trouble downloading the handout, here are the sentences for this activity. Of course you can also write different sentences that better suit your class.

I like to travel alone, but sometimes I travel with other people.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you travel to?

When I fly, I prefer to have a window seat.

I spent too much time on the beach and got sunburned.

I’d much rather walk around a museum, than sit on a cruise ship.

There’s no way one suitcase would ever hold everything I want to bring.

The last place on earth I’d want to go is Alaska. It’s too cold!

I never forget to bring my towel when I travel; it’s the most important thing for me.

I just love tasting all the new foods when I’m at restaurants in new cities.

My advice is to travel in the fall; it’s not too cold, but it’s also not too busy.

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