Pet Hates

Posted on March 15, 2011


Pet hates and grumpy old Vokis

This lesson contains a roleplay, a short video and a conversation activity on things which tend to get on our nerves / drive us up the wall. As a follow-up homework activity, it suggests using Voki (see example below) to create an on-line speaking avatar of someone moaning about their pet hate.

Step One : Roleplay

  • Do a bit of open-class chatting about the good and bad things of keeping dogs as pets. Make sure the problem of dog excrement in the street is mentioned.
  • Put your students into pairs and get them to do the roleplay below. Give them a couple of minutes to think about what they are going to say and to ask you for vocabulary before they do the activity.


  • Optional activity : Ask your students to write the dialogue that they have just enacted.

Step Two : Video Clip

  • Show your students the video below and ask them for their reactions.
  • Optional activity : Get your students to add English subtitles to the Polish video using Overstream.

Step Three : Conversation

  • Ask your students to discuss the following questions in pairs or groups.

Step Four : Create a Grumpy Old Voki

  • Show your students the Grumpy Old Voki below (or one you’ve created) and ask them to create their own for homework ( They could choose one of the topics from the conversation questions in Step Three or use their own ideas. Note : If your students don’t want to record themselves, they can use Voki‘s text-to-speech function.
  • Embed your students’ Vokis in a class blog/wiki and organise a vote on which is the grumpiest.
  • Possible language focus : What really gets on my nerves is … / What drives me up the wall is … / What I can’t stand is … / What really annoys me is … etc
  • If either you or your students need help on how to use Voki, consult Russell Stannard‘s (@russell1955) excellent step-by-step tutorial.

Hope you enjoy this activity

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