We recently looked at an article in English in Mind about a child genius. She was the youngest black female ever to get a place at an American university. I created a few activities based on information in the text which went down ok, but it was the follow-up task that was really successful.
Before class I prepared 16 slips of paper, each with a ‘claim to fame’ written on it. Each started with ‘you were the youngest person ever…’, for example:
- You were the youngest person ever to grow a beard longer than 2 metres, aged 15
- You were the youngest person ever to sing with One Direction, aged 10
- You were the youngest person ever to complete a solo skydive, when you were 5!
My classes are normally organised into four different groups of four students.
I gave each student one slip of paper, and allowed a few minutes for them to make some notes, think of their story and the facts around it, etc. Then students had 10 minutes to mingle and listen to each other tell their crazy stories. They always started off by asking their partner:
‘So what’s your claim to fame?’ / ‘so what’s special about you’?
Students had to remember as much information as possible about each of their classmates’ stories. They returned to their groups and told the people on their table who had the most interesting story. I did a brief class feedback but didn’t want students to share too much information.
Then came the fun part! (more…)