The TEFL Life: A TEFL blog

a story about bad grammar and non-existent punctuation and my TEFL adventures

Famous Names: a foolproof game

Seeing as my last few posts have been about sharing other people’s ideas and strokes of genius, I thought today I’d share a game that I use constantly in my lessons and which has never let me down.

Many people know this game as Twenty Questions, and it can actually be used for any topic, but for some reason I’ve always known it as Famous Names.

How it works:

Before class, cut up paper so you have a rectangle for each student. On each paper write down the name of a celebrity that everyone is familiar with – dead or alive.

Hand out the papers to your students face-down, so they cannot see which name they have been given.

On your count, all the students turn over their papers and hold them to their foreheads – again, they  must not see who they are. Instead, they can see who their classmates are.

The students now ask each other questions to find out who they are. The thing is, the questions can only be Yes/No questions.

Am I a man?

Do I have blonde hair?

Am I married?

This continues until everyone has figured out there identity.

As you can see, this game can clearly be used for practise vocabulary on topics, such as occupations, countries, food or to introduce topics or even to practise a language structure.

Trust me, students love the fact that Juan is actually Queen Elizabeth or Claudia is Mickey Mouse.




2 comments on “Famous Names: a foolproof game

  1. TatyGoRaELT
    January 28, 2016

    I like the twist to make it an open class activity. I’ve used this activity a lot, but usually in a controlled setting when one student is at the front and the class is making the twenty questions, this way I usually keep track of the common errors and make corrections later. But I really like this strategy, I’ll give it a try in my next class.

  2. Kirsten C
    January 28, 2016

    I find that letting the students do activities like this in a freer context encourages them to participate more as individuals, so they all end up talking and communicating a lot more.

    Hope it works for you!

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This entry was posted on January 19, 2016 by in activities, games, General TEFL, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .
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