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Teacher Speculation
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Purpose: To learn more about the teacher.

Info: This activity works very well in the first or second lesson, when the students don't yet know the teacher. The activity also works in a class with some free time, perhaps a day with nothing scheduled on the syllabus. Students speculate about the teacher's age, interests, hobbies, etc.

Step One: The teacher arranges the class into groups. The groups should contain no more than five students in order to maximize talk time for everyone.

Step Two: The teacher assigns the students to speculate about him and his life. Students should strive for accurate answers, as each correct guess will receive one point. Groups work for five minutes, making notes about their ideas together.

Step Three: The teacher divides the board into columns, with one column for each group. Students then come to the board and write the information in their column.

If the board is too small to allow columns, then the teacher can simply call for guesses from the class.

Step Four: The teacher corrects the answers on the board. For each correct answer, a point is awarded. The teacher goes through all the answers, providing additional information when appropriate or desired. The team with the most points wins.

Variation One: This adds more focus on correct answers. For each correct answer, the group receives two points. However, for each incorrect answer, the team loses one point. If the guesses are often incorrect, then negative scores can and do quickly add up. At the end of the activity, any points may be used to buy additional information. One point allows the group to ask one direct question to the teacher, preferably in relation to information on the board.

Variation Two: Although the above activity focuses on the teacher's real life, he can also encourage students to create the wackiest speculations possible. If this variation is chosen, then score shouldn't be kept. The purpose is simply to have fun. Lower-level students may struggle with this activity, as they often do best with concrete ideas. However, higher-level students will find this variation challenging and interesting.