Thursday, April 28, 2016

What's my problem? - A question game for MFL classrooms

Are your students creative? Can they think outside of the box?  I mean, r-e-a-l-l-y far outside of the box? If yes, the following activity will be fitting for them. If no, this activity may be what they need to help them tap into their creativity.

You could use these as a brain break for a week or use it when you have a few minutes at the end of the class.

 Step 1: The teacher writes a problem that an imaginary person has. Oh, did I forget to mention above that the teacher ALSO has to be creative to come up with a good "problem"? If you think you're not in that category, I'll share a few of the problems that I used with my students below:

- I think I'm a bat.
- I only eat my cereal with mayonnaise on it.
- I think (choose a famous person) is my sister.
- My teeth are made of chalk.
- I'm afraid of shoes.
- A tiny person lives in my cookie jar.
- I can smell colors.

 Step 2: A student pulls one of the cards and takes on that problem.  I allowed the students to do this with a partner so they both are answering questions.

Step 3: The students ask Yes/No questions in the TL to attempt to find out the problem.

I did this activity with my Spanish 4+ this week as a trial run to see how well it would work. The longer they played, the better they were able to think outside of the box and ask some quite interesting questions.  In fact, some of the questions they asked when determining the problem, I will use the next time I use this with students.  

Update - 1 yr later: French teachers, check out Steve Smith's blog HERE post for his variation of this game, but using sticky notes. Also, he has some ideas in French ready to use!      


  1. I've done a variation of this to practice subjunctive - I tape a problem to each student's back and the other students have to give him/her advice to suit that problem to see if s/he can guess it!

  2. hey can I know some of the examples of the problems