This is a practical speaking lesson, designed to be part of a task based learning style lesson for a strong intermediate class. The material is adaptable for a variety of levels.

[CLICK HERE to download the handouts.]


 Lead in

Students discuss in pairs:

  • “If you lost your luggage on holiday what would you miss the most, and why?”
  • “How would you feel if your suitcase was lost by the airline and you didn’t have any of your belongings when your plane landed?”

Open class feedback – have any of the students had this experience? What would they do if it happened?



Students are told they are going to lose their luggage.

Each student is given a luggage card and a ticket. Print one page of each for every 8 students in the class.

02 - Luggage pic.png01 - Ticket Pic.png

They need to make notes so that they can give their personal details, and the details of their missing luggage, to the staff at the airport.

Students put their notes aside and are each given the ‘lost luggage form’ that the airport staff will use.


Students work in pairs and write down, in their notes, what questions they will be asked to get this information. Ensure students understand that they will be asked these questions once they have landed at the airport. The timing is important, because they should write “When did you arrive?” not “When will you arrive?” and “How long are you staying/are you going to stay?” not “How long did you stay?”

Monitor and assist where necessary so students have correctly worded questions.



Pairs are divided into ‘A’s and ‘B’s. ‘A’s work at the airport and ‘B’s have just landed at the airport and lost their luggage, then take the luggage cards away from the ‘B’s (they can keep their tickets).

Give students two minutes to review their notes. They need to remember as many details as possible. ‘A’s review the questions and ‘B’s review their luggage details. Then students pair up to do the role-play. ‘A’s should only have the lost luggage form to complete and a pen, ‘B’s should only have their plane ticket.

If you can have students sat opposite each other, with a table between them, that’s ideal.

Monitor and make notes for delayed error correction. Once students have finished, they swap roles and repeat the activity with new partners.


Find the luggage

Students return to their seats and discuss the role-play in pairs, reviewing their notes. Did they forget any details? Were there any questions they asked differently?

While students discuss the activity, place the luggage pictures around the room. Students use their lost luggage forms to find their partner’s luggage and return it to them.


Language review

Use your notes to generate sentences for error correction. I often split my class into teams for error correction – the activity is outlined here (game 2).

Finally review the lost luggage forms. Students should try to remember the correct forms of each of the questions without referring to their notes.



I’ve included the luggage cards in different forms so that the activity can be used with various levels. At lower levels students can use their own address and pick the contents of the bag. At the question generation stage you could give students more help in the form of a gap fill, or by eliciting the questions with the whole class and writing them on the board.

At higher levels students can write their own descriptions of the luggage and extend the list of items. They’ll require less help in generating questions and you may be able to skip that stage entirely for an added challenge.




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