a project for Question Tags
Give each student eight notecards, and on the board write the following topics:
- Notable Experiences (over their life)
- Interests & Favorites
- Home & Possessions
- Dreams & Goals
- Recent Experiences
Students should write one question on each notecard, using at least five of topics (for the remainder, they can repeat topics or come up with their own topics). These questions, by the way should not be question tags; subject and object questions work best for this part. The questions should address things that best friends should know (not necessarily that they are likely to know), but that other people who aren’t close to them wouldn’t know.
For example “What’s your favorite color?” is too easy, but “What color is your favorite dress?” is something that most people wouldn’t know, but your best friend might. Also consider questions like “What is your mother’s middle name?”, “What was the last movie you saw?”, “How many pets have you had?”, “What’s your dream job?”, etc. You may need to make sure some of the questions aren’t too specific or embarrassing.
Once they’re done, collect the note cards and shuffle them. Student can now get into their pairs/trios.
Put about 3 teams at the front of the room, and give each participant either a mini-whiteboard or a large notepad. They’ll also need markers. Whoever isn’t a participant for this game will be an audience member for now, and they can be a participant in a later game. In The Newlywed Game, pairs sit next to each other, but to avoid shenanigans, you may want to place one person from each team on one side of the room and their partners on the other side. If they do sit next to each other, they should be angled such that they can’t see what the other is writing.
Each team should select one person to be the target for this round, which means all the questions will be about them. Draw one of the question cards and ask it to all the contestant. Each person on a team should answer according to their team’s target for that round. (For example, suppose the question is “How many cousins do you have?” Chloe and Jane are on a team together, and Chloe is the target. Both of them should consider “How many cousins does Chloe have?” Chloe’s answer will be the correct one, and hopefully Jane’s answer will be the same.) The participants have thirty seconds to write their answers down (these do not need to be full sentences). When time is up, one team at a time should reveal their answers, with the target going last.
Here’s how the answer reveals will go. The non-target(s) will hold their mini-whiteboard/notepad up for everyone to see. (Jane reveals that she wrote “6”) Then, they speak their answer in the form of a sentence with a question tag. (Jane says, “Chloe, you have six cousins, don’t you?”) Remember that their voice should go up at the end if they aren’t sure, but down at the end if they’re confident. Next, the target reveals their answer and addresses their friend. (Chloe shows that she’s also written “6” and says “Yes, I do!”) If their answers match they get a point! If the question tag was expressed correctly, they get another point, which means each team can have a maximum of two points per question.
Do four questions in a round, then switch targets for the next round. The team with the most points at the end wins.
*If you class doesn’t know each other all that well, first do a get-to-know-you game, perhaps in an earlier lesson. Then the questions that students write in the first part of this project should be easier ones (like “What’s your favorite color?”).
If most of the class is paired up with their close friends but you have a team or two of no-so-close friends, give them time to ask each other questions in preparation. Perhaps they can prepare as other games are happening and will only participate in the last game.
Check out Insights’s Question Forms Series to view our videos on Question Tags and related topics. In these videos, we share innovative teaching methods to make it easier for students to understand and remember grammar points.