Stand If…


The purpose of this activity is for students to demonstrate their understanding of key vocabulary illustrated with images by orally responding using a language chunk and key vocabulary or by reacting to oral or written prompts.


  1. The teacher prepares and distributes a class set of images or pictures illustrating a selection of key vocabulary from the unit or lesson.

    Note: Images or pictures can be repeated within the class set.

  2. The teacher picks one image from the target vocabulary, displays it to the students, and, using the target language, gives the cue sentence (My name is…) or question (What is my name? Who am I?).

  3. All students with that image stand and respond to the cue sentence (I am a …) or question in the target language using language chunks or sentence starters.  (Your name is…  You are …)  The teacher continues until all students have an opportunity to participate.

  4. The teacher repeats the sequence, changing cue sentences (I live in a tree.) or questions (What is large? What is yellow?).

  5. All students with appropriate images stand and respond using language chunks or sentence starters.

Adaptation for Online/Distance Learning

  1. Synchronous

    Put students in small groups (use breakout room if possible) and members take turns reading teacher-prepared statements or questions and others in the group respond by choosing appropriate image(s) and giving an oral response.

Helpful Tips

  1. Variation 1 [Interpretive Only]:

    Each student has two or three images. The teacher gives a sentence that incorporates a product or place, and students with images that connect to that product or place stand. Students then walk to or point to a map or visual representing the place where the product or image is from.

  2. Variation 2 [Interpretive Only]:

    Write several statements or prompts based on the key vocabulary and learning targets/can-do statements of a series of lessons. Read each statement. Students indicate if the statement is true (personally or based on the unit or lesson context) by standing. Continue through all the statements to allow for maximum participation.

  3. Variation 3 [Interpretive Only]: Sit Down If… 

    This variation does not require any output from learners and can serve as an intermediate check for understanding prior to a Stand If… activity. After distributing the images, all students stand. The teacher says statements or questions, and students sit down if their image corresponds or “fits” the teacher's statement. Continue until all students are sitting. Repeat the process with different cue sentences or questions.

  4. Group the selected key vocabulary by learning target and/or can-do statement to allow for multiple opportunities to work with a limited set of images.

  5. Best used with key vocabulary that can be clearly depicted by an image.

  6. Provide response starters in the form of language chunks so that students can practice responding in sentences.

  7. If using statements, construct them so that students must understand more than single words in order to respond. Narrow listening or reading requires students to process input more thoroughly.


  1. Students at lower grades or lower proficiency levels can respond with a word or words instead of a 'language chunk + key vocabulary' sentence.

  2. For higher proficiency levels:

    Variation 2 (see Helpful Tip above): Ask students to respond to a simple yes/no follow-up question about the prompt to ensure that they have understood. (Interpretive)

  3. For higher proficiency levels:

    Small group work: distribute images and put students in small groups to come up with statements or questions about each image. (You do together if minimal or no scaffolding)


  1. Teacher master set of images based on current unit or lesson key vocabulary

  2. Class set of images based on current unit or lesson key vocabulary