Guess Who (Modified)

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The purpose of this activity is for students to independently ask questions to find out the identity or name of the person, object, or place their partner has secretly chosen. Students take turns asking yes/no questions to figure out characteristics of the person, object or place. Once they are sure they know who/what their partner picked, they end the activity by asking “Are you...?”

Instructions

  1. The teacher divides students into pairs.

  2. The teacher displays a set of choices related to the current theme—these could be people, places, cultural products, or a mixture. (See samples below)

  3. The students each secretly select one of the items displayed. Alternatively, each student could draw a card with a picture on it. If done on the screen, dach student should write down the name of the choice they selected.

  4. The students take turns asking their partners yes/no questions. Partners must respond honestly.

  5. The round ends when someone correctly identifies who/what their partner chose at the beginning.

  6. The teacher can continue by (1) keeping the same pairs, each student makes a new secret selection from the existing choices; (2) give a new set of choices and/or change partners.

Adaptation for Online/Distance Learning

  1. Synchronous

    1. The teacher displays a set of choices related to the current theme—these could be people, places, cultural products, or a mixture. (See samples below). This set of choices should be shared with students (via Google docs, Google slides, etc.) so it can be referenced when students are in breakout rooms.

    2. The students each secretly select one of the items displayed. Alternatively, each student could draw a card with a picture on it.  Each student should write down the name of the choice they selected.  

    3. The teacher divides students into pairs and puts each pair into a breakout room

    4. The students take turns asking their partners yes/no questions. Partners must respond honestly.

    5. The round ends when someone correctly identifies who/what their partner chose at the beginning. 

    6. The teacher can continue by (1) keeping the same pairs, each student makes a new secret selection from the existing choices; (2) give a new set of choices and/or change partners.

  2. Asynchronous

    Develop a set of pictures of people, objects, places, that either align to the topics, themes, or content of the current or a previous unit. Students must come up with 5 questions for which the answers are NO for each one. The students retain these questions for synchronous work at the next class meeting.

Helpful Tips

  1. This activity requires that the students already understand and know how to ask the key questions of the unit.

  2. This activity works best at the end of the unit. The goal is for students to produce the questions without using notes or prompting from the teacher.

  3. This activity works best when teachers require a minimum number of questions students must ask before they “Guess Who.”

  4. If individual cards or sets of cards are not available, have students write down their secret selections at the beginning of each game/round to avoid cheating and conflicts.

  5. Timing the question/answer time can also be a good idea to keep students on task.

  6. Include in the instructions on what students should do if they finish before time is up (shuffle pictures, choose again, play again.)

  7. Variation: For whole class play the teacher displays pictures on the projector and calls on individual students to ask the questions. For small group play, each group has a set of pictures and alternate who chooses a picture while other members take turns asking yes/no questions.

Differentiation

  1. Intermediate+: Instead of yes/no questions, require questions to use a specific set of question words, appropriate for the people, objects, places found in the unit. This requires that the card holder give a detailed answer to the partner’s question. Require questions to have a grammatical component, e.g. using the impersonal, using a conditional introductory phrase (If I were to see this person at my school, would I be scared?), etc.

Materials

  1. Pictures of people, objects, or places, based on the theme, topic, and content of the unit, either on one slide or screen, or pre-printed on individual cards or in sets of cards.