Lesson: Find Out If

This lesson is based on the idea that we all have exciting stories to tell. Although it’s similar to the traditional “Find Someone Who,” the focus here is not to write down a name and “win” the game. Rather, it’s for students to find out about their classmates personal stories and experiences.

  • Skills: Speaking
  • Levels: Intermediate through advanced
  • Materials: Copies of the Classroom Handout, one for each student
  • Preparation: 5 minutes
  • Time: 45-60 minutes

Directions: Introduce the topic by asking the class how much they really know about each other. How much do they know about their teachers? Which student has a tattoo, for example? (Don’t tell–even if no one has a tattoo, it will get their imaginations going.) Pass out copies of the classroom handout and go over any unknown vocabulary. You may also want to do a brief grammatical review of present perfect vs. simple past. Remind students that conversation is quick and fluid. (I actually teach the no gap/no overlap rule.) Tell students that they are going to find out which of their classmates have had these exciting experiences. They can ask anyone in the class any question; if the person says “yes,” they need to ask at least three follow-up questions to get the story.

Instruct students to get up and start asking questions. They do not have to start at number one, nor do they have to get through all of the questions on the list. Instead, they should choose the ideas they find the most intriguing and use these as the starting point for good conversations.

Students should very quickly become engaged in telling their personal stories. During this time, you can circulate and encourage individual students to elaborate on their experiences.

With about ten minutes left in the lesson, call the class back together. Ask individual students to report on the most interesting/surprising/exciting story that they heard. Encourage students to retell the story, asking the original classmate for clarifications if necessary. You could also ask for a report back on one of the topics. For example “Did anyone find a classmate who has a tattoo?”

Encourage students to continue their conversations outside of class.

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