Random teaching idea: Loo roll

Let me start by saying that i  ❤ this title (haha).Vicky, a colleague,  shared this idea and I am going to try it with my learners. Before I try it though, I thought I’d share it with you guys cause maybe you will think of a twist or two, share it in the comments section, and then this idea may turn out to be the teaching idea of the century… and it all starts with loo roll.


Level: elementary and over

Skills: listening and speaking

Individual then group work.

Material needed

Toilet paper


You give the loo roll to your learners and ask them to cut as much as they want. They do. You then tell them that each piece of toilet paper corresponds to X minutes of speaking about Y subject. I for example, am going to say that each piece of toilet paper is 2 minutes of speaking about summer holidays. Once all the students have their pieces of toilet paper, give them time to plan what they will talk about!!

BUT…. (things to consider)

  • What happens if a learner takes too much paper? You should set a limit. Say, ” You can take up to 4 pieces”. Also do a bit of math. Your ‘loo roll’ timing will depend on the number of students you have.
  • What will the other learners be doing while each student is talking about his/her holidays? Good point! Put your students in groups of four after they have taken their pieces of toilet paper. Tell them that they need to take notes of what their classmates did, and then see if,as a group, any members did the same things (something like a mini-survey), then tell each group that they will use this information to give a little presentation to the rest of the class.

Once you have done this with your class, you probably won’t be able to do it again cause your students will know what the loo roll really means!!

Happy teaching!! Oh!! Do share any ideas that may be a bit on the ‘wacky’ side, but have worked 🙂 If you can think of anything else that could be part of the ‘loo roll’ task, let me know in the section below. Feel free to comment in the section below and share if you like this post  🙂

loo roll

Till next time….

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9 thoughts on “Random teaching idea: Loo roll

  1. As I was reading your post, several other ways of using a toilet paper roll for a speaking activity crossed my mind. They can use it to write confessions, odd habits of theirs, problems/riddles for classmates to solve, personal anecdotes, the happiest moments of their life…options are countless. 🙂


  2. Saw a great idea at a workshop, let students take sweets/chocolates with different coloured wrappers from packet, again as many as they want, then tell them different colours refer to different subjects, hobbies, sport, a secret, whatever & they must talk about that subject to their group. Great for revising previous topics.

    These are just the sort of ideas we should share at #teacherspayitforward, please join me in this Joanna, you’ll make it great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Rachel!
      Thanks for the idea, chocolates sound fantastic (dunno about the significance of the colour though), so in my case maybe different types of sweets can correspond to a subject (says the colourblind teacher). I’d love to join you and share my ideas with you at #teacherspayitforward. I will look into what exactly it is in no time.
      Thanks for stopping by (and I hope I spelt your name right!!).


  3. Joanna, I’ve used this as a first day ice breaker and asked students to take as much as they think they need (snickers ensue) and then share as many details about themselves as the corresponding number of sheets they took. I used to use Smarties as well, writing on the board things to mention about themselves (blue=what makes them sad, green=what are they jealous of, red=what makes them angry, etc.)
    Last week, I used Lego as an icebreaker. I’ll be writing about that in my blog in the coming week. It was a fantastic experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is so clever! I’ve never really explored the mind of a teacher and looks like there’s so much going on behind the scenes of being one. I, so far, have only been the student, so reading this kind of stuff makes me feel like I’m getting the inside scoop. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Arta,
      Us teachers, we gotta stay creative 🙂
      You will see when/if you start teaching kids, you gotta keep finding ways to get them to do stuff, explain stuff. Hard work but we ❤ it!!


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