Identifying your friends by the things they like!

This very simple activity is great for any level, but this particular version is part of the first lesson grouping of the year for 4th graders per the YICA curriculum. Kids gather information about their classmates likes, and then you, the teacher, quiz them on how well they know each other!

In preparation for this activity, the two preceding lessons review the grammar patterns for “My name is ~” and “I like ~” and follow those up with “How about you?”. But, it can just as easily be done with the more direct “What’s your name?” and “What ~ do you like?” Once you’re sure they’re comfortable with the grammar, this activity is golden.

This activity takes an entire lesson and is divided into three parts: Filling out the Personal Data Sheet slip of paper, interviewing friends, and playing the quiz game in groups.

Ahead of time, make a copy of the Interview Page and one slip of paper from the Personal Data Sheet for each kid. I pass out both slips at the start of the lesson so as not to waste a precious second. I review the grammar with kids as a method of prompting them to write their own names and likes on the slip of paper. It helps to have a giant copy of the Personal Data Sheet up on the chalkboard to demo with.

My name is Katherine. How about you? Names, please. Write your name in English.

I like cheese pizza. How about you? Food, please. What food do you like?

I like cats. How about you? Animals, please. What animal do you like?

I like swimming. How about you? Sports, please. What sports do you like?

Let them hang onto the slips of paper with their own answers on them if they’re younger and more unsure, collect them if they’re prone to cheating during games. Some of my groups of 4th graders are not so trustworthy and they’re prone to just let their friends copy their answers off their partner’s papers rather than ask any questions at all. Which brings us to… the interview!

After kids have written their own answers, it’s time to interview their friends and fill out their Interview Sheets. I usually demo this with at least one kid before the interview melee gets going. I make a show of asking one kid their names and likes loudly and conspicuously, writing their answers on my oversized paper. After the demo, tell them to stand up and let them loose to interview whomever they like. A good ten minutes in, most kids will be finishing up their papers.

Onto the quiz game!

This is where things really get good. In the last 15 minutes of class, collect the paper slips, have kids return to their seats and tell them to form their lunch groups. Each lunch group is a team. The name of the game is “Three Hint Quiz”. Shuffle through the slips of paper and pick one. Give the three likes on the paper as “hints” and ask for the person’s name.

I like mangos. I like dogs. I like soccer. What’s my name?

The kids must search their lists of names and likes to find a person who matches. If they get the name right, their team gets a point. The group with the most points when time runs out on the lesson is the champion group.

The great thing about this activity is that it’s all about them. The kids are socializing with their friends, gathering data about people they like, and gaining points in a game based on their familiarity with their buddies. They get increasingly excited as this lesson goes on. It’s always a hit.

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