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Who the $#@! am I !

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Level: intermediate
Prep involved: Write up an "identity sheet" of things/characters/people which the students will be somewhat familiar with (translation in parenthesis if required) I.E.: superman/hermit/Captain of the Titanic/a gorilla/God/Tarzan/etc. The more, the better.
Divide the students into small teams, start each team with some points, say 3 or 5, and give each team a list of key clues as to their identity . . . example: one team's slip states: (occupation--security guard, home--a house, age--7, favorite food(s)--meat and bones, hobbies--scratching and digging, dislikes--felines and mailmen). Also, allow teams to use dictionaries for unknown words, or else provide a vocabulary reference sheet with translation for those words which may be foreign to the students. If 3 teams, the first team to correctly assess their own identity gets 3 points. The next team gets 2, etc. Wrong guesses lose points. This is necesarry to curb random guesses which do nothing in the way of furthering vocab. Then, after all identities are known, the winning team responds to key questions from the other teams: What is your occupation? (I am a security guard) What are your dislikes? (I dislike cats and mailmen). A team which thinks it can identify the team in question, may guess (though at the risk of losing points) when they think they have enough information. Thus it's important to have a long list of possibilities on your identity sheet. I have about 50 on mine. For this particular identity (dog), the dislikes and the age are good keys as to the answer. Other characters will have different areas of info. which provide key clues. Now comes the grammar: As the information is being discerned about the identity, put it on the board, just as it is on the identity slip (Occupation--security guard, etc.) When the identity is discovered, be sure to fill in all categories. Now, have the teams attempt to say in proper English the full gist of what is posted on the board: "You are a seven-year-old dog that lives in a house and works as a security guard. You don't like cats or mailmen but you do like scratching and digging, and your favorite foods are meat and bones." The team to accomplish this attains a point.
My students really love this game, but it can only be played several times until all the good identities are made known. Good luck.

Richard Kurtz
Carden School

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