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Fortune telling

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I came up with this activity to use with senior school students in my school in Hong Kong.

(Don't outline the activity until steps 1 and 2 have been completed)

1. Give each student an identical piece of paper.
Each student writes a fortune for one other student in the class. They are not to tell anyone whom it is for. The fortune should contain a mixture of both good news and bad news. (I found that the activity works much better if there are a few juicy bits of bad news, so I'd advise you to ask to give a mixture of good and bad news)
Students should feel free to write whatever they like, as they will not be asked to identify themselves as the writer, nor asked to present it directly to the person it is intended for.

2. The papers are collected, reshuffled and redistributed.

3. The following activity may now be explained to the class.
The students will circulate, read the fortune he/she has in hand to another student and try to convince that student to accept that fortune. (He/she may wish to make a decision at first as to whom the fortune may be most suitable for) The second student may choose to accept that fortune, or decide to go on to another student in the hope of being offered a better fortune. The fortune should be offered to only one student at a time, so that students work in pairs, rather than in groups. The fortune card must be read aloud by the student holding it, and not passed around to be read by others.
The aim is to get the best fortune for oneself, and to dispose of the fortune in hand. In giving the fortune, the student holding it should try to convince the one being offered it that it is suitable for him/her.
Students may not keep the fortune originally given by the teacher. Fortunes may not be modified in any way. Students who have accepted and disposed of fortunes may team up with others to help them complete the task. (Alternatively, they may wish to continue bargaining for an even better fortune)

I found this activity really got my students up and talking.
If you try it, let me know how it goes.
Steve Nolan
[email protected]

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