Numbers in My Life

Prep time:  5-10 minutes

Materials:  white board and markers (paper and pencil for one to one)

Preparation:  Depending on the level of your students, decide if you will practice present tense questions with “do”, present tense questions with “be”, the past or a perfect tense.  Come up with five or six questions that can be answered using a number or numbers.  See examples below.


I do it:

  1. Start by asking questions of your students that require answering with a number: What bus do you take to school?  How many children do you have? How many days are there in a week?, etc.  On the board, write the numbers.  Now go back, and for each answer, elicit the question from the students.   Repeat as needed for students to feel comfortable with the questions.

We do it:

  1. Now write on the board five or six different numbers that can be answered by using the model you’ve just been practicing.  To make it more personal, you could write numbers that are relevant in your life, for example, your shoe size, your age, your date of birth, your telephone number, your house or apartment number.   For lower level students, use answers that will elicit the same form of question as that practiced in the “I do it” part, e.g. all present tense with “be” or all present tense with “do”.  You can challenge higher level students by making the questions less predictable.
  2. Students ask you questions, trying to elicit what the numbers refer to, for example, “How old are you?”
  3. After students have guessed as many numbers as they can, teach the rest. 

You do it:

  1. Once the students know what your numbers refer to, they form groups of three and write down three of their own “secret numbers.”  They ask questions to guess one another’s numbers.

Variation:   Instead of personal information, use numbers that answer questions from a story or article that students have just read.

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