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T&A Wrestling


SUBMITTED BY: Patrick Bickford


EDITED BY: Tatyana Safronova

GRAMMAR: Comparative/Superlative

EXAMPLE: I am stronger than you.

DATE ADDED: Jan 30, 2009


    Large Classes (16-39 Students)Ó


15-30 min.

3 Votes: 1 star

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BRIEF OUTLINE This no-prep activity has students facing off against each other to compare physical attributes.



  1. Have two of the biggest boys in the class come to the front of the room and prepare to arm-wrestle each other. Ask the class which boy is stronger. The students must answer the question with, "I think ... is stronger." Then, have the two students arm-wrestle each other. The champion is applauded and both boys are sent back to their seats, usually rubbing their now-hurting arms. Again, ask the students, "Which student is stronger, 'student 1' or 'student 2'?" I've found that students are pretty active and able to answer in full-sentences after the wrestling event. (BTW, I purposely say "student 1" and "student 2" because I embarrassingly don't know most of the students' names).
  2. Next, choose two female students in the class and have them come to the front. At this point, you should have every student's attention in the class. Get a show of hands from the class of which girl they think is 'better'. When the girls start to setup for arm-wrestling, I ask them what they are doing. I usually receive confused looks from them. I then proceed to explain that they will be thumb-wrestling. I have them thumb-wrestle by having them put their arms flat on a desk and linking their hands together. I tell them that they are not allowed to lift their arms from the desk. If they do, they automatically lose. Like in the actual sport of wrestling, the winner is whoever can pin the other person's thumb with her own thumb. Have the class applaud the winner
  3. After the arm-wrestling boy group and the thumb-wrestling girl group have demonstrated, have six students volunteer to come and pit their strength against their friends. If there are no volunteers, randomly select 3 more pairs and have them come to the front of the class. Each pair is not afforded the luxury of choosing their wrestling style; rather they flip a coin: heads=arm / tails=thumb.
  4. Once all the groups have finished, have all the students write all 5 sentences in their notebooks.



  • This activity doesn't only need to be restricted to wrestling. You could have students compare: height, hand size, arm length, nose size, etc. If this variation is used, I would suggest choosing two students and sending them into the hall before  you tell the class what you want them to compare. 



  • In case you're still wondering, the 'T' in the title stands for "Thumb", while the 'A' means "Arm".
  • This activity could be done using other props like pictures / diagrams but I like using students because it seems to keep their attention focused.
  • The competition rounds could take a while, so you should set a time limit. I found that by using a timer with a short time limit (15 seconds), the situation allows a chance to use the following comparison expression: "'Student 1' is as strong as 'Student 2.'"

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