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Weekly Warmer

Famous People

Level: Pre-Intermediate +

Language aim:
To practise deductive reasoning. To encourage fluency in the use of yes/no questions and answers.

Target Language:
The following are examples of yes/no questions and answers that students can use to guess the identity of a famous person. Encourage students to ask general questions at first and then get more specific as they get more information about the person. You may like to pre-teach these and other questions before starting the activity.
Q. Are you a...(man? woman?)
A. Yes, I am./No, I'm not.
Q. Are you a...(movie star? singer? politician? etc.)
A. Yes, I am./No, I'm not.
Q. Do you live in...(Hong Kong? the USA? France? etc.)
A. Yes, I do./No, I don't.
Q. Are you...(under 20 years old? in your twenties? in your thirties? over forty? etc.)
A. Yes, I am./No, I'm not.
Time: 30 minutes +

On a piece of paper neatly write down the names of five to 10 famous people that you are confident your students have heard of. (The number of names will depend on how long you want to spend on this activity. Five names would take about 30 minutes, ten names would take about an hour.) Don't let anyone see the paper.


1. Divide the students into two teams.
2. Place a chair in the front of the class and select a student from either team to sit in it. Show the student the first famous name on the piece of paper (hiding the other names.) Tell that student, 'You are that person.'
3. Tell the teams that the student sitting in the front of the class is a famous person. They must try to find out who he/she is. They can only ask that student yes/no questions. In turn, that student can only answer in short yes or no answers (e.g. 'Yes, I am.' or 'No, I'm not.').
4. A team gets to continue to ask the 'famous' person questions (in rotation so all students have the opportunity to ask questions) as long as he/she answers yes to the questions. If, however, he/she answers no, then the other team gets to ask questions.
5. Only the person whose turn it is to ask a question may guess who the famous person is by asking a yes/no question (e.g.. 'Are you Madonna? Are you Jackie Chan? ' etc.). If they are correct, their team gets a point and the teacher selects a student from the other group to sit in front of the class to be a new 'famous' person.
6. The team with the most points at the end of the activity is the winner.



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