Mystery Interview
Ed Edgar

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
Senior High School 1st Year pair-work follow-up must 35 mins. Pair-work interview worksheets, Pre-prepared funny possible answers to the questions on the worksheet (just in your head is OK), Big cards with "A", "B" or "C" written on (optional).

This isn't really very mysterious, but it can be a useful fun follow-up to pair-work interview-type activities. It's more fun than it sounds. Trust me.

Prepare a worksheet with a bunch of interview questions for whatever it is you're studying.


    Q. What must you do every morning?
    A. Every morning he/she must _________________.

Collect the completed pair-work interview worksheets, and have the kids make teams and choose names for them. While they're busy doing this, quickly scan through the completed worksheets and pick out some interesting/ funny answers. Pick out a student who gave a good answer. Give his team a point automatically, and tell him and the person who interviewed him to keep a poker-face throughout. Read the question. The other teams must guess his/her answer from three possible options, two of which you've made up.


We asked Ueno-kun: "What must you do every morning?". He said:

    a) He must brush his teeth [made-up answer].
    b) He must kiss his mother [real answer].
    c) He must milk his cow [made-up answer].

Teams give their answers by waving the "A", "B" or "C" cards in the air. Correct teams get a point.

Pick another question and another student and repeat until the bell rings.

Tip: Every class has a few kids who are allergic to original thinking and won't answer the questions during the pair-work interview unless they have ready-made answers written on the page in front of them. So that they don't stay completely silent, I like to put some possible answers ("brush my teeth" or whatever) around the edges of the worksheet, in small, faint type. Nobody ever reads small print in a foreign language, with the possible exception of the driving clause in the JET contract. In any case, everyone assumes it's just there for decoration. But then when you walk around the class and see that a particular kid isn't doing the activity, you can just point to the small print, and he or she can use the ready-made, spoon-fed answers.

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