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Polite Hot Potato Race

author: Mike G
level: Elementary
target_English: (excuse me), here you are, thank you , you're welcome
big_small: Big groups

This is a very simple activity for practicing "Here you are", "Thank you" and "You're welcome." / "That's alright". Make each line of desks a team and tell the person at the front they are the captain. You have to have even numbers in each team so if the number of students in line of desks doesn't tally you can either move people around or get them to push their desks to the back and sit in lines on the floor. The captains come to the board in turns and choose a character / vehicle etc. for their team (Spiderman, jet, helicopter, eagle for example). Use some kind of scoring system like the Genki English Ski Game or Grand Prix or you could draw a ladder and use the rungs as points. Captains place their piece on the start line/bottom rung.

Once the captain's have sat down, give them each something they can pass down their line. I use colour magnets. Get a couple of teams to demonstrate the activity first. They must pass their object down the line using the target phrases "Here you are", "Thank you" and "You're welcome." / "Thatfs alright". For the older years get them to include "Excuse me" and "yes?" too. In this case the lines must turn to face the back of the class; student taps ("excuse me") the shoulder of person (replies "yes?") he's passing it to.

Once the object has been passed down the line and back to the front again, the captain rushes to the board to move his or her marker one space / rung. The game stops once someone's reached the top rung / finishing line.

Of course the students get very competitive and it pays to check lines are actually passing the "hot potato" politely and saying the target phrases.

Mike G


Readers' Comments

I've had trouble finding games to practice polite phrases, so I was glad when I found this one.  I haven't tried it yet, but it seems like a fun way to practice polite phrases.

Scott





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