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Q & A Ice Breaker‏‎

Q and AQ & A Ice Breaker is an activity designed for a new class so that the students get to know each other and you, the teacher, can begin to understand the level and interests of your students.

There are a number of different ways you can use this activity. Essentially thought it begins with you preparing a series of flashcards‏‎ on which you have a lot of random questions. These should be interesting and provocative without being too personal or intrusive. For example, you could prepare questions like these:

  • What is your favourite film?
  • If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
  • What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  • If you could meet anyone from history, who would you like to meet?

Notice that these questions include a number of conditionals‏‎ and so would not be suitable for a beginners‏‎ class. One method to make your questions useful to any class is to group them into levels by using colour coded card. For example, questions on red cards are for advanced students, questions on green card are for beginners and above.

Usage

The cards can be used in different ways depending on the class. Essentially though each student picks a card at random, answers it and then asks another student.

With small classes (or if the class is in groups‏‎) then each student can answer the question. With larger groups you can restrict it so perhaps just one or two students answer the question.

And of course, don’t worry if a discussion develops amongst the students from the question – as long as it’s in English!

Typical Questions

These are typical questions you might use; feel free to add your own to the list though and to tweak them for the class/culture you are working with.

Beginners (green)

  • Who is your favourite movie star?
  • What is your favourite food?
  • Are you a morning or night person?
  • What is your most valuable possession?
  • You were just given a yacht. What will you name it?
  • What’s your favourite sport?
  • You have won a million dollars. What will you do with it?
  • What’s your favourite song/movie?
  • Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?

Intermediate (orange)

  • What was your perfect holiday?
  • Who is your favourite fictional character and why?
  • What is your ideal job?
  • What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?
  • If they made a movie of your life which actor would you want to play you?
  • What was the best thing that happened to you this weekend?
  • What is your favourite way to waste time at work/school without getting caught?
  • Which famous person would you like to meet?
  • Where will you be in 10 years time?
  • What is your passion?

Advanced (red)

  • If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
  • What is one goal you’d like to accomplish during your lifetime?
  • If you could have any super power, what would you have?
  • If they made a movie of your life, what would it be about and which actor would you want to play you?
  • Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
  • If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?
  • Who would win a fight between a badger and a baboon?
  • If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

Variations

The game can be played with focus on a particular grammatical elements or structures if you wish. For example, with a class who are studying comparatives and superlatives‏‎ or the present perfect simple‏‎, the questions could be biased to this area, for example:

  • What’s the best recipe you know?
  • What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?
  • What’s the best thing you’ve ever smelled?
  • What’s the worst present you have ever given someone?
  • What’s the best present you have ever received?
  • What’s the worst film you have ever seen?

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