Starting A Business

Purpose:  To help intermediate level students practice wh-question formation in the context of a meaningful activity

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Materials: paper and pencils

Prep: Think about what types of businesses are located in the area of the school and make a list of some of them.  You might want to do a sample set of questions yourself (see below), to help students understand what you want them to do.


  1. Discuss with the class what types of businesses they’ve noticed in the area of the school.  Ask them what kind of business they’d like to set up in the neighborhood.
  2. With a large group, divide into smaller groups of 3-4 students.  Tell each group they are going to research a new business for the neighborhood and they need to design a simple survey (5-10 questions) that will give them needed information about the likely success of the business.
  3. Help the students come up with the Wh-questions for their survey.  The following questions could be used for a restaurant:

How often to you eat in a restaurant?

What kind of food do you like to eat?

            Where is your favorite restaurant now?

            How much do you want to spend?

            How many people are there in your family?

            What is your favorite restaurant now?  Why?

  1. Students write out simple surveys and interview at least 5 other people.  They then decide if their business will succeed or fail and share their conclusions with the larger group.
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