Life Swap

Have you ever felt like you were the wrong person for the job?  In this project, students will take two hypothetical people who are very different from one another and place them in each other’s shoes.  To express the challenges that the two characters face, students will use ‘too’ and ‘not … enough’.


The Contestants

First, each pair of student should come up with two characters that are quite different from each other.  If you have time and a particularly imaginative class, students can make up some original characters.  If you are doing the Character Journey project with your class, each student in a pair might be able to apply their own characters (in this case, you may want to group the students according to how different their characters are).  Otherwise, students should be free to take characters they know well from popular fiction.

For this post, we’ll use the example of Harry Potter and the Hulk.


The Roles

Next, each pair should write a list of the following for each character.

  • 10 activities they often do
  • 5 objects they often handle
  • 3 places the might go
  • 2 items of clothing the have been known to wear


The Swap

Now each pair should swap the lists between their two characters.

The next task is to figure out what situations are particularly challenging as a result of the swap.  For example, “Hulk is too clumsy to hold a magic wand,” while “Harry isn’t strong enough to throw a car.”  Pairs can brainstorm for a while, then students should select their top 5 tricky situations for each situation.

Pairs should prepare how they want to present the challenges to the rest of the class.  The easiest way would be to write down sentences, then simply read them aloud to the class.  Other options might be to draw the situation, or two act it out (of course, doing this is likely to make the project even sillier).

Whatever their choice, students should be able to express each challenging situation using ‘too’ or ‘not … enough’.

  • There’s a bit of flexibility here.  For example, we could say “Hulk is too big to sit at a desk,” or “the desk is too small for Hulk to sit at,” or “the desk is not big enough for Hulk to sit at,” all of which express the same thing.
  • This is geared more for ‘too’ and ‘not enough’ as adverbs that modify adjectives (like ‘large’, ‘strong’, ‘angry’, etc.).  However, you may choose to allow your students to use ‘too many’/’too much’ and ‘not enough’ to modify nouns instead.


Once they’re ready, students share their swapped situations and the resulting challenges with the rest of the class.

Get more with Insider Access


Advanced Features in Student Projects

search and filter

planning info


Extra Video Content

more How-to-Teach grammar videos*

with intros, instructions, and summaries

*compared to free resources


Exclusive Supplemental Resources


posters & handouts

bonus notes


Merit Badges

Students create earnable badges for their classmates as the year goes on to reward one another for their accomplishments in the classroom.

Read More »
Writing Prompts

Different Perspectives

Students will write a description of the same place multiple times. Each time, they’ll do so from a new perspective, one that requires them to think about and focus on different things, and even the tone of the description should be a little different each time.

Read More »

Scout Patches

Students create fun, challenging, and silly patches or merit badges, inspired by the ones that Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts might earn through their accomplishments.

Read More »


Here’s a great way to practice idioms and other sayings by changing a detail or two to fit a new context. Students get to deliver jokes by substituting one of the words from that expression with another word similar in either sound or meaning.

Read More »

Share This Post