Activity: My name is Spider-Man

spider-man-1749191_1920This is the best activity to start the first lesson of the year for a group of true (or false) beginners. It works great with Primary school students, but I also had great success with a Grade 6 class (Middle School). It’s a really simple activity that could lead to cultural inquiry afterwards. Here’s how it’s done.

Material

  • Six cards (A4 size) with the pictures of well known characters/celebrities. For example :
    • Spider-Man
    • Barbie
    • Barack Obama
    • Zaz
    • Emmanuel Macron
    • Serena Williams
  • One chair

Rules

  1. Introduce the activity in the target language.
  2. Show the six cards to the group, telling them the names of the characters/celebrities.
  3. Ask one student to sit on the chair, in front of the rest of the class.
  4. Place one card behind the student, visible only to the class.
  5. Ask the student: “What’s your name?”
    • If he doesn’t understand, show him the card and say: “My name is Spider-Man” (if that’s the Spider-Man card, of course!)
    • Make the student repeat the sentence “My name is…”
    • Try again with a different card
  6. Without seing the card behind him, the student tries to guess which character he is, always saying “My name is…” before his guess.
  7. If the student guesses incorrectly, the group tells him “No”. If he guesses correctly, the group says “Yes” (in the target language, please).
  8. The activity is over when the student guesses correctly the identity of the character placed behind him.
  9. Ask the student to choose somebody else to replace him on the chair, and ask him to take the cards to continue the game.

Example

TEACHER : Nous allons jouer à “Je m’appelle Spider-Man”. Ruben, est-ce que tu peux venir t’asseoir ici

Teacher invites Ruben to sit on the chair, then takes a card and shows it to the class, behind Ruben’s head.

TEACHER: Comment tu t’appelles ?

RUBEN: I don’t understand. What do I have to do?

TEACHER (showing the Spider-Man card to Ruben) : Comment tu t’appelles ? Je m’appelle Spider-Man.

Teacher points at himself and repeats. 

TEACHER : Comment tu t’appelles ? Je m’appelle Spider-Man.

RUBEN: My name is Spider-Man?

TEACHER: C’est ça! Essayons une autre carte.

Teacher takes the Barbie card and shows it to the class behind Ruben’s head. The students giggle.

TEACHER: Comment tu t’appelles ?

RUBEN: Je m’appelle Spider-Man.

Teacher silently invites the rest of the class to say no.

CLASS: Nooo…

TEACHER: Comment tu t’appelles ?

RUBEN: Je m’appelle Barack Obama?

CLASS: Nooo…

TEACHER: Comment tu t’appelles ?

RUBEN: Je m’appelle Barbie ?

CLASS: Oui !

TEACHER: Bravo, Ruben ! Now, choose someone from the class to replace you on the chair. (Teachers hands the cards to Ruben). You now take my role as game leader.

And the game goes on…

Inquiry

After the game, use the two lesser known characters of the games (in this case, Emmanuel Macron – president of France – and Zaz – French singer) and ask the students the following questions:

  1. What do you see?
  2. What do you wonder ?
  3. What do you think ?

You can write on the board (in the target language) the key words of their answers. After the routine is done, you can say a few words to present Emmanuel Macron or to hear a Zaz song. For example, this one:

Have fun !

Jonathan

 

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