find someone who (with a twist)

We are all familiar with “Find someone who…” speaking activity. Traditionally the teacher provides a series of tasks -written/displayed on the board or on printed handouts- for the students to mill around and ask each other in order to exchange personal information. The aim might be to practice a given grammatical structure, such as the modal verb “can”, as in “find someone who can play a musical instrument”, “find someone who can count to ten in more than two languages”, “find someone who can sing a song in English”, and so on. The present perfect is another common grammar target in this speaking activity. In addition to drilling questions and practicing the grammar, the students get to talk about certain topics.

findYour average “Find someone who…” sheet. Source: islcollective

How about if the students create their own find someone who? Here is how.

Ask your students to get a piece of paper and dictate items you want them to write answers for. You can use this example or you can think of your own items depending on whether you want them to drill specific grammar patterns or have discussions around a given topic. This will make a good dictation activity to start off with.

They must write down what is being said to them. They will be given some time to write answers later.

  • My perfect holiday destination
  • A videogame that I like
  • Do I prefer cats to dogs or dogs to cats?
  • Do I recycle a lot?
  • Am I a morning shower person or a night shower person?
  • Am I a Facebook person or an Instagram person or none?
  • What is my favourite possession?
  • A description of my town in one word
  • an English word that I have learned in the last 10 days
  • What is my pet peeve? (you might need to explain what a pet peeve  is later). Here is a definition from Wordreference)

Once you have read out this list, let the students help each other to make sure they have the complete list. Then elicit the items from the students and write down (or explain) any words they might not have understood. At A2 level and with the exception of none and pet peeve, they should have done a good job of it.

Next, give them some time to write answers for the items. Tell them it’s not essential they provide answers for all the items. They have four or five minutes to provide as many answers as they can (limited to one answer per item).

While they are writing their answers, write on the board:

FIND SOMEONE WHO…

  • loves … as a holiday destination
  • likes … (name of videogame)
  • prefers cats to dogs
  • recycles a lot
  • is a night shower person
  • doesn’t like Facebook or Instagram
  • has a … (favourite possession)
  • thinks that our town is (adjective describing town)
  • knows the meaning of … (English word or expression)
  • hates … (pet peeve)

Now collect their papers and write random answers from the students in the gaps. For example, you may write Bali in the first gap from a student paper, The Legend of Zelda for the second gap from a different paper and so on.

Finally, it’s time for them to mingle and have conversations around the items. Ask them to think of follow-up questions. For instance, if the answer to – Do you like The Legend of Zelda? is yes, the student may ask for things like what do you like about it? what is the goal of the game? Are you good at it? Do you play it online? etc.

Make sure you eavesdrop on your students’ conversations in order to check they are on task and to provide help or corrections when needed, to suggest vocabulary, etc.

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