Monday, 5 September 2011

Question chains

This game is good for making a challenge out of tedious questions like “How old are you?” and “Where are you from?” Ask the student sitting at the end of the row a simple question such as “What is your name?” and pass them something to represent the question, e.g. a magnetic number 1 or a board pen. Gesture that they should ask the same question to you and pass the thing back to you. Answer the question, go to the other end of the class and ask the same question to the student sitting there, passing the same object. Then pass them another (different) object while asking another question, e.g. “How are you (today)?” After they have answered that question, demonstrate and explain that they should pass the same two objects in the same order to the person next to them, asking the same question each time. After they have done that, give them a third object and get them to make up their own question to ask the same person. When that person has answered, they should pass the same three objects while asking the same three questions, then add their own fourth question. Continue, increasing the number of questions each time. The game can finish when you reach a nice round number (e.g. ten objects and numbers), goes all round the class, or reaches such a large number that they give up. You can also play the same game in groups.

An easier to play variation is for each student to repeat just the last person’s question then add their own, so that each person is remembering one question and making one question. You can add an element of challenge by telling them that their new question can’t be one that has been used before. An even simpler version is to get them to take turns asking questions, with anyone who repeats a question that has already been used losing a point.

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