Making Curriculum Pop

Lists of things as a 'personality' game: 10 XYZs that Sum Me Up

Not exactly a mathematical activity, unless you want to go into ranking and voting systems!, but creating Top-10 lists seems to be a popular activity to do for most people. I decided to do a 'twist' on this idea as part of my English as a Foreign Language teaching in Japan, and asked students to come up with a list of ten things which they thought represented their personality. They had a list of categories: books, films, pieces of music, recordings of music, buildings, cocktails (for adults), recipes, cakes/cookies/candies, paintings or works of art. They choose one category, then list ten examples from that category which they feel represent their personality - not necessarily their favourites!!! No names on the worksheets, just the title "10 ____s that Sum Me Up". Collect the finished worksheets then redistribute - you have to identify who you think the person is from the things they chose!

If you want to see how this might work, I have published my own examples about me:

If it's too challenging, another variation on this is to have a list of ten:

If I was a bird I would be a peacock
If I was a building I would be the Sydney Opera House
If I was a newspaper I would be The Onion
If I was a TV show I would be....
If I was a .... I would be ....

No prizes for guessing that I used this to practise making conditional statements! It's a good idea to have some fixed topics to get the students started, but once they get the idea there's all sorts of fun they have, coming up with outrageous things to be and then trying to guess who's who!

Enjoy, enjoy!

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Comment by Stephanie Young on July 26, 2010 at 7:24pm
I will definitely use this. I was thinking about what to use as an icebreaker for an undergrad class that I will be teaching this fall.
Comment by Anne Gaspers on July 26, 2010 at 3:50pm
This is a great great idea and am already thinking of ideas of how to use it in a beginning level Spanish class. I think it could be turned into a great assessment or also review activity for upper level language students at the beginning of the school year.

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