How to be the best roommate, English Template, Intermediate Low

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  • Most activities are 30 minutes in duration, unless otherwise specified.
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How to be the best roommate


Students will discuss their daily habits and personal preferences. They will exchange information about their living situations. Students will practice appropriate ways to confront roommates about different types of conflict.

Proficiency Level:

Intermediate Low 


daily habits, personal preferences, information, living, situation, roommate, conflict resolution, habits

NCSSFL-ACTFL World-Readiness Standards:

  • Standard 1.1 Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.
  • Standard 1.2 Students understand and interpret spoken and written (target language) on a variety of topics.
  • Standard 1.3 Students present information, concepts, and ideas in (target language) to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics.
  • Standard 2.1 Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of (target language).

Idaho State World Language Standards:

  • COMM 1.1 - Interact and negotiate meaning (spoken, signed, written conversation) to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions
  • COMM 2.1 - Understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.
  • COMM 3.1 - Present information, concepts, and ideas to inform, explain, persuade, and narrate on a variety of topics using appropriate media in the target language.
  • CLTR 1.1- Analyze the cultural practices/patterns of behavior accepted as the societal norm in the target culture.
  • CLTR 1.3- Function appropriately in diverse contexts within the target culture.
  • COMP 1.1 - Observe formal and informal forms of language.

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can talk about my daily habits and personal preferences
  • I can exchange information about my living situation
  • I can confront my roommate about a conflict

Materials Needed:

Google Slideshow (Linked)


1. Begin by introducing the Can-Dos for today’s activity and opening the Google Slideshow

“Today, we are going to chat about daily habits and personal preferences. We will exchange information about living situations. We will also decide appropriate ways to confront roommates about conflict.  

2. Have students pair and share (have students number the rules by most irritating things a roommate can do and why):

Never takes out the trash.

Never tells you when there will be guests, they make a lot of noise.

Never changes the toilet paper

Always eats your food.

Puts on loud music and sings with the songs.

Never cleans the dishes.

3. After a few minutes, ask each student to come to a consensus on the rule that is the most important.

“If you could only choose one rule to implement in your dorm, what rule would you choose?” 

4. Situation: if you had to live with one of the rules always being broken by your roommate, which would it be?

"What rule does your roommate never follow?" 

5. Ask groups to talk to each other about their living situation and if they have roommates.

“Take a few minutes to talk with your partner about your living situations. How many roommates do you have? What are some of your living rules?”

Main Activity

1. Have students individually come up with ideas of what makes a "good roommate" (write on whiteboard)

“Now, make a list of good characteristics of a roommate. You can write 3-5 points that you look for in a roommate.”       
2.  Have the students get into pairs of 2 or 3 where one student will be a "bad" roommate and the other(s) will be a "good" roommate(s)

“In groups of two or three, they will receive a situation with one (or two) good partner (s) and a bad partner. Thesloth is the companion who breaks the rules. The monkey is the good companion, the one who will face the sloth If they are in a group of three, the cat is going to be the mediator partner, the one who helps the two partners solve the problem. ”

3.  Following the situations on each slide, the "good" roommate/s from each group should try to confront the "bad" roommate about the problem/bad habit, the "bad" roommate will justify their action. Situations:

    1. “The sloth” never takes out the trash but continues to put trash on top of the bin and it’s really full. 

   2. “The sloth” always listens to music at a high volume and never uses headphones, when “the monkey” is doing homework.

   3. “The sloth” leaves its things all over the house. “The monkey” is constantly tripping over his things.

  4. After a long day of work, “the monkey” returned to the house with desires to rest, he opens the door and “the sloth” is having a party.

  5. “The sloth” never washes the dishes and while he cleans the plates they are still covered in food. (Not cleaned well)

  6. You return home from college, you find the “sloth” using the “monkeys” food to talk. “The monkey” asked if the food is for them both and “the sloth” said no. (he doesn’t want to share)

5. If students finish early, have them switch roles and practice from different perspectives. 


Ask some of the following questions to finish the lab:

Is there anyone that has had a bad experience with a roommate? What happened?

What things can you share with a roommate? What things should you and your roommate buy for yourselves?

What is the best way to find a roommate?

If you could choose a famous person (alive, dead or fictional) to be your roommate, who would you choose and why? 

End of lab:

• Read Can-Do statements once more and have students evaluate their confidence. 
(Use thumbs up/thumbs down or download our student cards.) 
• Encourage students to be honest in their self-evaluation.
• Pay attention, and try to use feedback for future labs!

Relevant NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

  • I can talk about my daily habits and personal preferences
  • I can exchange information about my living situation
  • I can confront my roommate about a conflic

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