a project for Present Perfect
Before you tell students that the get to act as celebrities, tell them that they’re going to interview celebrities. As a class, brainstorm a bunch of questions you might want to ask a famous person and write the ideas down on the board for everyone to see. Let the students think freely at first, then prompt them with more specifics: What would they ask an actor? a singer? a writer? an inventor? someone who discovered something great or explored something amazing?
Also get them to consider questions for the following categories:
EXPERIENCES – personal or job related; dramatic or hilarious
STATUS – What are some things true about their lives now, and how long have those been the case?
UPDATES – What have the done recently, and what were the results?
Choose a Celebrity
You can now reveal that while one member of their team will be conducting an interview, another member of the team will be filling the role of a celebrity. It’s up to them to decide who they want to portray. They can pretend to be real celebrities, characters from popular fiction, or even an original character that the team creates. If your class is doing Insights’s year-long Character Journey project, this would be a good time to use those characters.
The celebrity will obviously need to answer a lot of questions, but it’s okay if the students don’t know the true answers (as might be the case for pretending to be an actual celebrity). It’s fine to make up answers.
Write the Script
In their pairs or trios, students should write down a series of questions and answers. Many of the questions should involve the Present Perfect tense (and possibly the Present Perfect Progressive tense), so you may need to review it or write a few example questions for the class before they begin writing their own questions.
Teams can use some of the brainstormed questions and can also come up with some fresh ones, perhaps ones that target their specific celebrity. Remember that many of the questions (but not necessarily all of them) should be about experiences, status, or updates. Teams should also come up with the celebrity’s answers at this time. Don’t forget to include a brief introduction and a sign-off.
When they practice reading the questions and answers out loud, the full interview should be 2-3 minutes long. (If you have a very small class, maybe push it up to 4 minutes.)
Once the students have finished, you might want to review everything to ensure correct grammar among other things.
Perform the Interview
The groups can take turns performing their interviews before the rest of the class. The interviewer can start with the introduction, then the ‘celebrity’ joins them on ‘stage’, then the interview begins.
If you want to give your class an added challenge, at the end there could be a brief Q&A open to the audience (everyone in the class who’s not a part of the performing team).
Check out Insights’s Tenses Series to view our videos on Present Perfect and related topics. In these videos, we share innovative teaching methods to make it easier for students to understand and remember grammar points.