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Permission Hot Potato

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After working through several silent classes, I decided to get the students out of their seats and moving. This is a mixture of two old favorites, Hot Potato and Musical Chairs, that practices asking permission.
The students get into a circle around the room. Every third or so student recieves an item that you brought: I used everyday items such as chopsticks, an eraser, a pencil, a calculator, shoes, a fan etc. I also had a cd player and fast-paced song prepared. The game goes as follows:
When the music starts the students turn to the person on their right (if that person currently has an item) and asks "Can I/May I/Could I see/use/borrow your _________, please?" If the answer is yes, they recieve the item. If it is no, the person who asked the question is skipped and the item is passed to the next person. That person is then asked the same question by the person next to them.

When the music stops (chosen at opportune times by you...) the people who have an item must then repeat the question they asked to get the item, ie "May I borrow your eraser, please?" or "Can I see your shoe, please?" It is fun because the students don't want to be holding an item when the music stops, so the game moves rather quickly. The game ends when everyone has received each item at least once, or whenever you feel like it.
I used this with my Japanese 1st year high school students, and it was very successful.

Good luck, and have fun!

Shelley Barnett, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan

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