Thursday 8 October 2009

Crazy Comparatives & Superlatives

I have to say that I used to dread teaching comparatives and superlatives and always found it really hard to think of something original to get my students interested, so when I saw this site I was really delighted. It's not only quite funny, but has some excellent materials for covering what can be a really dull language point.

The site is called the Universal Record Database and it is a collection of user generated and very unofficial world records. Anyone can go on the site and create their own world record. As proof they simply add an image or a video of themselves creating the record.

Here's a few examples:

Most People Simultaneously Drinking Out Of A Pineapple

The widest tongue

Most Handshakes Elicted From A Dog In 30 Seconds

Most Women Named Wendy To Eat At A Wendy's

There are lots of ways to use the Universal Record Database with students.
  • Show them some images and videos and see if they can guess what the record was.
  • Tell them the type of record and see if the can guess the number or amount (e.g. how wide is the widest tongue)
  • Get students to think of their own crazy records and create a picture or video to upload to the site.
  • Create your own class records and try to get each students to have a record.
  • Get students to try to break one of the records from the site.
  • Get students to find their favourite record on the site or the one they think is funniest and share it with the class, or blog about it.
The Universal Record Database certainly wasn't made for educational purposes, so be careful to check for appropriacy according to your students, but I think it's a wonderful example of the kind of bizare things you can use from the web. I know my daughter was always fascinated by the Guinness Book of World Records, so I'm pretty sure students will enjoy this and it will liven up those dull comparatives and superlatives class.

Anyway, here's my favourite record, Tallest Tower Of Humans Wearing One Sock Each, Brushing Teeth And Listening To 'Thriller'.

I hope you find this useful and have a lot of fun with your students.

Here you can find more than 100 online activities for EFL and ESL students

Related links:


Nik Peachey


Nick Jaworski said...

That's a nice idea. You could get a lot of laughs with some of those records. Even better, get your class to make one and upload your own.

Nick Jaworski said...

Oops, you mentioned uploading their own already. My bad :P

Nik Peachey said...

No problem. We all do it!



susanacanelo said...

Hi Nik:
as usual you're giving us your great ideas.
I'll add the link to my blog with a class activity.

Thanks !!!!

Nik Peachey said...

Hi Susan

Glad you like the idea. Let me know what your students think of it.



Dan Rollman said...

Hi Nik.

My name is Dan Rollman. I'm the president and co-founder of the Universal Record Database. Thanks for your extremely thoughtful post about our website.

We see great opportunities for classrooms and youth groups to get involved with our project in many of the ways you mentioned. If you (or anyone reading this blog) wants to get more info on how to create/document URDB world records, shoot me an email ( and we'll get you set up.