Numbers Biography

Numbers Biography

This is a useful activity to get the students practising asking questions.

The teacher writes five numbers on the board and explains that each number is related in some way to something significant in his / her life. The students have to find out what each number relates to by asking yes/ no questions to the teacher. If the question is correctly formed, the teacher answers, if not, the student is encouraged to try to correct the question with the help of the rest of the class.

Once the students have guessed the teacher’s numbers, each student takes a turn with a number related to their own life, which the other students try to guess.

To give an idea of the type of numbers you can use, here are the ones I usually give to my students:

1 – The number of sisters I have

2 – The date of my birthday (2nd December)

23 – The number of years I have been living in Madrid

33 – The number of my house

1989 – The year I graduated

(I include the year so that the students practise reading years)

A variation of this activity is the ‘Padlock combination’. In this game, you give the students three numbers, explaining that these form the combination of a padlock which protects a secret message for them (or some other form of prize). One of the numbers is an important number, as above, one is the number of times you do something in a week and the final one is the number of a certain thing you have. In this way the students not only practise yes / no questions, but also questions with ‘How often …’ and ‘How many…’

My thanks to Nina Lauder for these suggestions

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