We're going to America! (I'm going to~ Activity)

Activity aimed for 2nd Year JHS that teaches kids about various American cities while giving them a preview of the American TSA experience.

Hello, folks!

I'm back with another wild activity!

I'm American, and I realized that many of my students don't know cities in America other than New York and LA. So I made this little activity to help them learn about some American cities, while also forcing them to participate in arguably the best part about traveling to America: the TSA!

(Note: This activity centers around America, but could easily be edited to be centered around other countries as well!)

Part 1: Travel Flyers

I've made seven posters on various American cities, all with two options of what to eat there and what to do there. Students are to look at these posters and mentally select which city they'd like to visit. ~10 minutes

Part 2: Making Passports

After the kiddos are all nice and excited about seeing American cities, tell them that "We're going to America" and that they need to make passports. The passports do need a little bit of prep; you do need to cut the pages in half to get them to the correct size for a passport.

PLEASE NOTE: my sizing is a bit off on my print; kids need to fold the passport on the edge of the passport, not the dotted line provided.

This is super easy, have them fill in their name, birthday, and place of birth and draw a little picture. This takes about 15ish minutes depending on how artistic your class is.

Part 3: The TSA Forms

Introduce the entrance forms. These are designed to look like American customs forms; students are to write sentences referring to the poster they mentally selected earlier. They can of course look at the poster again if they need to, and they only need to choose one food and activity from each city. I will also take a moment to teach the "I am going to stay for (time)" grammar point, and let them know that the TSA will not let them stay in America for more than 6 months.

Part 4: Customs Inspection

When they're finished writing, they can present their forms to the TSA agent (the ALT). Interview the students by asking them the questions on their forms. Check for any errors, and if any are found let them know that they'll have to fix the errors. When they present a form error free, stamp their "visa" and they're finished with the activity. I personally bought a little America stamp to stamp with, but I'm sure any stamp will be fine.

That's it! I figured this would be a fun way to spice up this grammar point while also teaching about my home country just a little bit.

I've included the Powerpoint I made the Passports in just in case you'd like to make this activity reflect another country other than America.

The posters I made in Canva, and you can access the designs here:


Small update: Because of time restraints, I ended up grouping the students myself and focusing on teaching the grammar point.

Because of the way my stamp was made, I had to hold it in my palm and use a little bit of force while stamping in order to keep it in my hand... resulting in a loud "BANG" each time I stamped. The students loved this and were literally lining up to get their passport stamped.

Thing is, I wouldn't stamp if they didn't correctly write their sentences, so it encouraged kids to really double check their work. While unintentional, this activity was a great (and fun!) way to get the students to make sure their grammar/spelling was correct.

So make a show of it! It's meant to be a fun activity.

Small files
  • passport activity.pptx (705 KB)
  • Medium files (requires an account to download) -
  • passport small.pdf (6.97 MB)
  • travel flyers (1).pdf (37.6 MB)
  • 63
    Submitted by robertsbp April 18, 2024 Estimated time: Whole class period
    1. lsuna April 19, 2024

      this is awesome

    2. JunointheInaka April 26, 2024

      I did this activity with my students this week and it was great! It took us two lessons to get through (lower level students, had vocabulary tests at the beginning of class) but we managed to get everyone approved by the TSA. Helped them through writing everything then tried to be like a real TSA officer for the check, so only English and not caring so much about the sentences being perfect but caring about the length of stay, asking for their birthday, checking signatures, etc. This activity is super fun and I hope it gave my students a glimpse into what international travel is like and some confidence if they ever come face to face with a real TSA officer. Pretty sure I had more fun than my students did but it is a great activity either way :).

    3. robertsbp April 26, 2024

      @JunointheInaka I'm really glad that you and your students enjoyed it!! This activity definitely takes some trial and error, I just finished running the activity myself and it looks like we're also going to need some additional class time next time to get all the students stamped. It can get a little chaotic which also reflects American Immigration xD

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