This session is particularly appropriate for classes who need practise speaking and listening to each other.
Draw a fairly fleshed-out character on the board, including features such as hair, fingers and shoes.
This is your friend, they are all the things you like in a friend. However, we don't know what they are yet so we are going to have to ask some questions about them such as, 'How old are they?'
Split the class in two, right down the middle. Both sides have 2 minutes to think of as many questions as they can.
After 2 minutes regain the class's attention and choose one side to start (or flip a coin). The chosen side (Let's call them A) ask a question and then the other side must come up with the answer which you briefly note on the board. It might look like this:
Side A: What is her favourite food?
Side B: She loves pizza and chips
Teacher scribes: Loves pizza+chips
Side B then asks a question that side A answers. Continue going back and forth, noting their ideas on the board around the figure you drew. After the first couple get them to pick up the pace; “Good! Another question then? Chop chop!” and throw out one word ideas for them to use “Hobbies? Family? Job? Age? Dream? Live?
During the set-up pupils are required to ask questions to each other about their friend (drawn on the board) The questions are therefore in the 3rd person and need clear, simple answers. It is important to be rigorous about the language they use. Run this with the same strictness that you would run a warmer or a game. In fact, I would run this session without a warmer as this effectively is one. Here is a couple of examples of mistakes that pupils have made
“What's your name?”
At this point I would remind them that we are talking to each other about a third person so the question needs to be 'What's his/her name?'
Pupil A: “Has he got a dog?”
Pupil B: “He has a dog and two cats.”
At this point I would intervene, pointing out that it is a yes/no question.
The purpose of this is to make sure they are listening carefully and responding with strict relevance to the question.
After you have filled the board with all this information you will have a fully fleshed-out character of the pupils' own design. At this point you tell them that this is indeed your friend but it is your friend from 10 years ago but everything has changed. How old is he now? Tell the pupils that for each piece of information written up they need to think of what has changed. At this point give them some more time to confer whilst you edit the visual. I have compiled a list of changes that I might draw on, depending on how I feel:
- Longer/shorter hair or bald
- Arm in a sling
- Wooden leg
- Shirt and tie
- Lose one shoe
- 'Japan' written on the shirt
- Guitar in one hand
- Top hat
- Wooden leg
- Bulging waistline
Task Question: What has changed? How?
- Is he/she still your friend?
- What is important in being a friend?
- Is he still your friend if he doesn’t remember you?
- Is he still your friend if you don't remember him?
- Is she still the same person?