Emotion Dialogue

A dialogue making activity to practice the "emotion + to infinitive" grammar (ex. "I was happy to hear that.")

Submitted by ThatOneALT

August 31, 2020

Estimated time: 30 - 50 minutes


  • Worksheet - cut the first page into six (Each pair gets one of the small squares and one copy of the second page. Ignore the third page.)
  • Dictionaries (one for each pair)


  1. Split the class into pairs and give each pair the small worksheet with circles and lines on it.
  2. Have them take turns drawing three faces (the emotions) and writing five actions. It helps if you review what emotions / words you can use with the grammar. For example, we don't say "I'm sleepy to ~," so be careful about what the students draw. This should take about 5 minutes.
  3. After a pair is finished, collect their little paper. Once you have all the papers, shuffle them, then redistribute them. Make sure each pair has a different paper than the one they made.
  4. Now, give each pair the second page of the worksheet. This is the dialogue worksheet.
  5. Have each pair decide on characters and write a dialogue that uses at least two emotions + two actions in the form of the grammar. Each character should have at least one sentence with the grammar.
  6. While the students are writing their dialogues, walk around and help them. Try to help them make the dialogue funny or creative. Take note of any you think are especially good / interesting.
  7. If the students finish their dialogue, have them draw a picture in the box that matches the dialogue. The picture is not required though, so make sure the students focus on their dialogue first.
  8. After about 20 minutes (or an amount of time you deem good), choose the pairs you thought had good dialogues and have them perform their dialogue at the front of the class. Make sure to ask them "Who are you?" first so the class knows who they are. I chose about three or four pairs. If they drew a picture, show the class their picture too.

Other Notes

  • You should use dictionaries for this activity, but when you hand them out is up to you. At the very least, you should give them dictionaries for the dialogue writing.
  • If your school allows, you can hang the dialogue worksheet up in the hallway for the students to see.
  • This activity's time varies greatly depending on the level of your class. I had one class finish in 30 minutes, but another one took the whole period. Be prepared with a follow-up activity just in case they finish this one quickly.
  • UonumaRobert August 31, 2020

    I like having the students create dialogues. Could you give a few examples of the sort of sentences the students come up using this grammar point?

  • ThatOneALT September 1, 2020

    Yeah, so if the students have a paper with an "angry" face and the action "write my name" they could make the sentence "I was angry to write my name." Another good sentence that came up was "I was surprised to drink shoyu."

  • ThatOneALT September 1, 2020

    Since the grammar feels very specific with what we'd normally use it with, I let the students get away with more ridiculous things. Sentences like, "I was surprised to drink shoyu" aren't perfect, but I let them go.

  • UonumaRobert September 2, 2020

    Cool, I like that. Give them a bit more freedom to be creative. Good for building vocabulary.

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