Level: elementary, intermediate-advanced. The subject matter is adaptable. You could focus on Present Simple, or active and passive for intermediate students, or conditionals and hypothetical language for more advanced students.
Suitable for: teenagers, adults. Small groups, even numbers to form pairs.
Skills: following instructions, engaging with text, consolidating Present Simple, practicing Simple Future, vocabulary to describe objects and lines. Specifically suitable for speaking and even writing practice.
This project is inspired by an old Catalan gentleman, an erstwhile tourist client, who had the township near Plettenberg Bay at his feet when we visited a shebeen one night and he offered to read patrons’ palm lines. It was one of those memorable nights where cultures met and drank and appreciated one another!
You need to be sensitive to the feelings of individual students on this one: very religious students may consider this a forbidden activity. You may want to pair males with males etc, depending on the make-up of the class. At all times make light of it, and it can even become a teaching opportunity for the subjunctive or the second and third conditionals i.e. “we know this is not true, but what if, let’s have a laugh…”)
A very useful text is at http://www.wikihow.com/Read-Palm-Lines. It can be printed out as is, with the illustrations, or adapted to suit the level of your class. The image below is taken from that site:
Divide the class into pairs, with the instruction to read the text first and find any concepts that are unfamiliar. Clear those up.
Then leave the pairs to:
– find and identify the lines on each other’s palms
– interpret the meanings according to the text, writing down the interpretation for each line
– prepare a presentation – oral or written – on the partner’s personality and life (keep this light-hearted) based on a combination of line interpretations. On the elementary level this would obviously be limited to something like “X is ………… and ……….and ………….. According to her …………line, she will……………..” while the possible permutations for higher levels are limited only to your imagination.