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Toss a Question and Catch an Answer

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Skill Area: Listening and Speaking
Level: Low beginning/or adapt material to higher levels for review

I use this game with literacy/low beginning adult students. They have fun and surprise themselves by realizing what they can do.

For lower students you may want to put the questions and answers in view the first couple of times you play. For more advanced students this can be a form of review of what they have learned. They can form questions and responses from memory.

I use a soft ball (like a nerf ball) or a small object. Explain that they will be practicing the questions and answers you have been studying. Begin by throwing the ball to one student and ask her/him a question. The student who catches the ball must give an appropriate answer. She/he then must ask another question and throw the ball to another student. The student who catches the ball must give the appropriate answer and ask the next question, and so forth. The students have fun with this game, help each other, and surprise themselves when they can speak English. There is some suspense because they do not know who will be chosen next; therefore, they pay attention to the other students who are speaking. This really helps their listening skills.

Sample question/answers:
What is your name? My name is __________.
What is your address? My address is ______________.
What is your telephone number? My telephone number is _____________.
What do you do? I am a ______________.
Where are you from? I am from ____________.
How old are you? I am _________ years old.
What is your birthdate? My birthdate is __________.
Are you married or single? I am __________.
What is your area code? My area code is ________.
What is your zip code? My zip code is _________.
What is your last name? My last name is __________.
What is your first name? My first name is ________.
What city do you live in? I live in ___________.


You can adapt the game to practice a structure/tense such as What do you do? I am a ______, She is a _______, He is a ________, (present tense) and so forth. Advanced students can become more creative with the questions/tenses -- What is your favorite song? ...... The possibilities are endless.

The first student will answer the question What do you do? and then throw the ball to the next student. The next student will say I am a ________., and say what the student(s) before said as well. He is a field worker, She is a waitress and so forth. They can call each other by name -- Juan is a field worker, Sue is a waitress. As the game progresses the students must become better listeners.

Sherry Chapman
[email protected]
Modesto, California, USA

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