Identifying your friends by the things they like: Favorite Colors Edition

The 4th grade interview and three hint quiz activity all about what kids’ peers like is always a roaring success. So, this year I decided to adapt a plain interview activity about friends’ favorite colors in the 3rd grade curriculum into the same format. Behold! ‘I like blue. How about you?’ A complete lesson in one worksheet.

I use this worksheet for the 3rd grade intro lesson in the YICA curriculum. I have adapted it to my 3rd graders’ abilities to focus and pay attention… Or not pay attention at all, as it were. Each space has written in simple Japanese what’s supposed to go there. The answer key with their own top three favorite colors starts off attached to the paper so they don’t forget what their own favorite colors are. And, the tiny scissors and dotted line let kids know that this part will be cut off and turned in at some point. There are only a handful of interview spaces so that the slow paced kids can finish in the allotted time as readily as the clever kids. This worksheet went through so many drafts to get it to the point that my kids who never pay attention could intuitively understand. There is so much climbing uphill with this year’s 3rd graders.

Anyway, the grammar pattern is up there at the top.

My name is Katherine. I like blue, green, and orange. How about you?

But this worksheet also works just as well with.

My name is Katherine. I like blue, green, and orange. What color do you like?

The idea here is that while there are only a few socially acceptable favorite colors, the top three favorites are a little more unique to each kid. Kids interview their friends to fill them in on what their favorite colors are, and those kids in turn inform them of their own favorite colors. After the interview papers are filled out with data from their buddies, they cut off and turn in the bottom of the worksheet that lists their own likes. You, the teacher, then read out some kid’s top three colors and the students have to examine their interviewed kids list to see if they can figure out who you’re talking about.

Here’s how I break it down in the classroom.

Right away I pass out the papers and tell kids to get out their colors. Review the grammar call and repeat style as you fill out the bottom of the paper together as a group.

Hello (Hello)

My name is Katherine. (My name is Junosuke.)

How about you? (How about you?)

Names, please. No kanji!

I like… (I like…)

I like blue, green, and yellow. How about you?

Colors, please. Best three!

Once everyone has filled out their own information, demo an interview with one kid, exaggerating your movements as you fill in that kid’s answers on your worksheet.


My name is Katherine.

How about you? (My name is Junosuke.)

I like blue, green, and yellow.

How about you? (I like orange, blue, and black.)

Thank you!

Let the kids loose to interview their buddies. When they come up to you telling you they’re done, mime cutting and point out the scissors icon on the bottom of the worksheet. Collect the paper slips as the class slowly finishes.

When everybody has finished up, turned in their paper slips, and sat back down, tell them to make groups. Now it’s a game. Each group works as a team and uses the info they gathered during the interview portion of the lesson.

Hint One: I like green.

Hint Two: I like yellow.

Hint Three: I like black.

What’s my name?

Each correct name is one point. Shuffle the slips of paper to avoid going in an obvious order. Alternate boys and girls to avoid giving any one gender an advantage. Naturally, the group with the most points when you run out of time wins the game.

I like that this variation of the favorite colors lesson gives the kids a clear incentive to gather info on their peers. It can be hard to push the kids along if they are too rambunctious but it is so worth it.

And, just for fun, here are my failed versions of this worksheet.

The boy and girl were an attempt to get them to interview the opposite gender some. Nope. Didn’t work. Too many cooties. And then I had them write their on likes on the separate slip of paper. Nope. They would forget they even had that paper and then forget what their own favorite colors are. Oh, well. Live and learn.

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