Ed Edgar

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
junior high school speaking any 25 mins none

I have always found Gambling to be the English-teaching-world's finest sure-fire winner, so the obvious next step is to investigate the development of other kinds of vice in the classroom. This activity probably doesn't break any laws, and helps consolidate the students' lying skills, thus furthering their future integration into contemporary Japanese society.

Here's the basic concept:

  1. Make teams.

  2. Have a volunteer from one of the teams come to the front of the class and make a statement.
    ("Yesterday I went to 7-11" or whatever; If you want you can restrict this to a sentence with one particular grammar point.)
    It's up to them whether they say something true or something false, but it's better to get them to tell you (secretly) at this point which it is, as this avoids cheating later.
    (It helps if the ALT and JTE are the volunteers for the one or two rounds, just until the kids get the hang of it.)

  3. The other teams (and the ALT and JTE) can then cross-examine the volunteer to try to figure out whether or not they're lying. Ask questions like, "What time did you go?" and "What did you buy"?
    (I let them use Japanese for the first few questions until they got the hang of it, but that's up to you.)
    If the volunteer is lying, they have to make up answers on the spot. If they're telling the truth, they can try to make it look like they're making up answers on the spot.

  4. When they've run out of questions, go around the class and ask each team in turn if they think the volunteer is telling the truth or not.
    (In my case we were practicing "Yes s/he did!" and "No s/he didn't", so I'd ask each team, "Did [volunteer's name] go to 7-11?", but this would depend on your grammar point.)
    Write their answers on the blackboard.

  5. Finally, get the volunteer to reveal the real answer.
    (I had them do this by flipping around a big flash-card, which they could do very slowly to help build up the suspense.)
    Give one point to every team that got the answer right. And for every team that got the answer wrong, give a point to the volunteer's team. On average two or three teams will get the answer wrong, so having someone volunteer usually nets the team two or three points, giving the team an incentive to volunteer one of their members.

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