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Greatest Bad Ideas

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For some reason, this exercise is almost unfailingly successful in generating conversation and laughs with intermediate and adanced students.
First take about 30 queue cards and write hypothetical "problems" on them (eg. "My winter coat is not warm enough", "I can`t afford to pay my rent", "My cat makes me sneeze", or something more absurd like "My doctor scares me").
Explain to your students that you need their advice, but that they should avoid giving you obvious advice, and try instead to give you strange or stupid advice. Provide examples like: "If your winter coat is not warm enough, you should pour hot coffee in the pockets"; "If your pants are too big you should gain 50 pounds by only eating cake"; If your nose is too big you should have surgery to make the rest of your face bigger", etc.
Even if your students have to struggle to express these ideas, it`s a good exercise, and is almost always solidly entertaining.
Variation: Let your students read out the problems, role playing that they are their own, then solicit the advice of other students, coaching them as needed.
Will Habington, Takada, Japan

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