I have chosen to share with you ‘Who am I?’ activity which can be used in class as an icebreaker, inspired from ‘Very Young Learners’ Classroom Mural by Sarah Phillips. It is a get-to-know you activity based on speaking and listening skills as it can also be used by teachers to evaluate their learners’ level for the first day of class. “Who am I?’ is also a very fun activity, that does not need a lot of preparation to revise tenses like the present simple, vocabulary related to a taught topic or a guessing game about famous people. Moreover, the activity covers well the different learning styles as it can be used with young learners aged from 8 to 14 or above. All you need is to print and make cut ups out of worksheet N°1. If there is a lack of resources like no papers or printer, you can draw the character on the whiteboard and ask students to replicate it on a separate sheet of paper.
10 minutes before starting the session, change the setting of the classroom to a café style in order to get 3 groups of 4 learners at each table. Then play a background music, at the beginning of the session, to get some smiles or laughters and thus relax the atmosphere.
To set up “Who am I? you will:
- Draw a stick person to represent yourself on the board
- Draw 4 arrows out of the character
- Write 4 facts about you like in the first picture where I wrote: Pictures , Minou , Sarah, and number 9
In turns students ask questions to try to guess what these words/ number mean to you. For example Student: “Is your cat’s name Minou?” You: “Yes, it is”
4. Show a “Who am I?” card
5. Ask students to individually fill it in with 4 facts that are not known by others
6. Check learners’ understanding though the following questions and use gestures:
- Do you put your name on the card? (No)
- Do you write 3 or 4 facts? (4)
- Does someone help you? ( None)
7. Give out the cards by taking into account their gender, as illustrated, to each member of the group.
8. Allow 1 to 2 minutes for learners to write down their words/ statements.
In next stage:
9. You will gather the cards and mix them up.
10. Let students know that they will get one card which is not theirs
11. They will then mingle and ask questions related to the written facts to try to find the person behind the “Who am I?” card.
12. Ask concept questions to see if learners understood the instructions :
- Do I give you 1 or 2 cards? (1)
- Do you use the facts to ask questions? ( Yes)
Notes: If the students are very young, give them time to write questions on the back of the card. It would help them to be confident to talk with the other members of the class.
Use your hands to ask the young learners to stand up and go around the class with their cards. While they are interacting, go around and monitor by encouraging shy students to talk with their classmates but also pay attention to mistakes.
Those who will find the person who is behind the card, would then sit together. After 5 minutes, ask learners to volunteer to introduce their new partner.
To end up, a classroom portrait mural will be set up at the back of the class, where you will enhance learners to go and stick their cards.
Variation: If children make some errors that you find it important to correct. You then will do a classroom feedback by comparing “two structures and ask them to tell” you “which sounds right” (G.Roth- 25, 1999)
The activity is suitable for both young learners and adults. However, both the instructions and concept can be changed according to the level of each group respectively. It can be adapted to teenagers by putting symbols, or adjectives instead of words. The language used should also meet the classroom and learners’ level.
Undoubetly, you will use this activity again with my learners because:
- They know the game structure and they are comfortable going through the stages.
- They will be able to move in class and speak freely while doing the activity.
- It is an interactive and fun game that can generate creative outcome.
Moreover, the same activity can be set up differently to teach vocabulary, English sounds and or grammar. It would then be called “What am I?” and young learners would have to find the right sound for instance.
If the activity did not achieve its aims, you would have to further simplify the stages or even omitte some steps.
Click here if you would like to print the lesson plan.