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Parallel Universe Shopping Spree

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The Parallel Universe Shopping Spree!


This is an activity that revises shopping role plays and gives students something to think about! Tell the students they are in a parallel universe which is exactly the same as this one in all respects except that some nouns are different. For example the objects we know as 'Cars' are known as 'plates' in the parallel universe.

Set up four shops in different parts of the classroom. These can be a clothes shop, green-grocer, toy shop and electrical shop. Each shop is staffed by one or two shop assistants. These have a list of items in our universe and the equivalents in the parallel universe.

The rest of the class are shoppers. They each have different shopping lists prepared by you of four things to buy, but They do not know what the equivalents are. Suppose one shopper has 'Cabbage' on his list. He goes to the green-grocer. But the green-grocer directs him to the clothes shop. 'Have you got a cabbage?' he asks. 'Certainly, what size?' is the reply. The shopper begins to suspect that cabbage is an item of clothing 'Medium' he says. 'Colour?' 'A Blue one' 'Silk or cotton?' 'Cotton please.''This style is very popular.' 'I'll take it'

The shopper realises that 'cabbage' actually means 'shirt'. He buys this and writes 'shirt' next to 'cabbage' on his list. In the same way he buys the other items on his list, and writes what they are in the world we know.

The shoppers guess the item from the questions the assistants ask and from the things they say. The shoppers are not allowed to ask 'What is it?' The shop assistants are not allowed to tell them.

When all the shoppers have finished you can check they have got the correct 'Translations'


The shop assistant's list.

Our universe / Parallel universe

radio = cabbage
Cabbage = radio
doll= shirt
Shirt = doll
fridge= bicycle
bicycle= fridge
melon = jigsaw
jigsaw = melon
trousers = batteries
batteries = trousers
washing machine= football
football = washing machine.
pineapple = tie
tie = pineapple


An example shopping list:

'You want to buy the following things:

tie =__________
radio =___________
melon =___________
jigsaw=___________

Fill the blank with what the word means in our universe.

Simon Mumford
Izmir Turkey

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