This is a task from the TBLT ELT LinoIt board (more info on its page) that I did with my pre-intermediate reading class at university. This was a replacement task for a dull spread comparing two cities in an otherwise OK set text.
For homework they were assigned to get information about a city from a brainstormed list and print it out.
About two thirds did the homework. This was enough and I knew that I could rely on the majority of the class to generate enough content.
Aside: I did try to get some students who hadn’t done the homework to work together to try to catch up by finding 5 interesting facts about a major city but this was pointless as the lazy students were lazy and the forgetful but relatively conscientious ones did all the work instead.
I then had the students pin their printouts/notebooks/paper to the wall with adhesive tack (Blu-Tac). I then set the task: read as much as possible and rank the cities by livability.
Pairs read as much as possible within five minutes after being told reading different parts from each other would enable greater coverage. They then did the ranking exercise and reported back to the whole class on their top two and lowest one. This generated vocabulary through different pairs’ questions and also grammar awareness through written recasts on the board.
After the main bit I had the students take down three vocabulary items (chunks or words). I boarded them, corrected pronunciation and elicited student definition where possible.
The students said it was a bit difficult but that it was interesting to read up on several very different places.
I’m pretty sure I’ll do something similar again if only because it generated so much language that came from the students