How To Answer Questions With Short Answers

A2 Flyers Speaking Part 2

Game Time: The Lord Of The Answers

Giving full answers is polite. Giving full and grammatically well-built answers is a sign that our young learners of English are ready to embark on an exciting new English journey towards the B1 Preliminary island, is it?

Our young high-flyers must show how well they can build questions and respond to these by giving a full answer in the Speaking paper of the A2 Flyers exam, mainly in part 2. As a sequel to How To Build Questions, today’s activity will help young high-flyers to get better at responding to the three different types of questions:

  1. Wh-questions,
  2. Yes/No questions, and
  3. Questions with two options (or)

In this fun and fully communicative activity, our young learners play the SNAP game by trying to match questions and clues together. Once there is a match, they are invited to build the full answer.

Material and preparation

There are two eight-colour sets:

  1. A set of five question cards, and
  2. A set of five answer-clue cards

Before the class, make one copy of both sets. Laminate them, if possible, for future use. Cut the cards and classify them by colour. You will have two piles of cards of each colour set:

  1. A question pile with five cards, and
  2. A clue pile with its five cards.
Download the two PDFs below.

Procedure

Divide the class into groups of three. Each player will have a part to play:

  • the interviewer,
  • the referee and
  • the interviewee.

Give each group a set of one-colour cards.

The pile of questions should be placed face down on the table in front of the player on the left, who is the interviewer. The pile of clues is placed face down, as well, in front of the player on the right, the interviewee.

The player in the middle, the referee, has got the corresponding colour card with the possible answers. Download the answer cards below.

Demonstration

Show how to play the SNAP game. Invite a student to play with you. 

He/She sits on your left and has got in front of him/her the five question cards face down. You, instead, have got the five clue cards in front of you. Ask a third student to be the referee.

You, later the referee, should say, “ONE, TWO, THREE, SHOW IT TO ME!” or “READY, STEADY, GO!” Both of us turn one of the cards over, face upwards. 

As soon as either of us sees that the question and the clue match, we should shout “SNAP”.

The first one to notice the match and shout SNAP gets the right to build the answer.

If the answer is complete and grammatically correct, he/she gets both cards. If the answer is incorrect, the other player has got the possibility to answer better and, as a result, get the two cards.

The referee, since he/she has got the answer card, will tell us whether the question and the clue match together and if the answer is well-built. Besides, the referee will watch over both players, like the big brother ;), and make sure there are no disputes between them.

Aim

The winner is the player who has got more cards than the opponent by being the first to see the match and the best at building a grammatically correct response.

Start the game

Invite the groups to start the game. Once all the five question cards have been matched, the interviewer and the interviewee count their trophy cards to see who has won. Then, the referee has a chance to play as the interviewee with a different colour set, and the other two players take the role of the interviewer and the referee.

Encourage the referee to use the following interaction language:

“Could you repeat that?”

“That’s right!”

“Sorry, the cards don’t match.”

“Try again!”

” You totally nailed it!”

Awesome!” 

Original version

When I first came up with this game, the procedures were different. They have been changed so that there is more student talk and, as a result, this brings dynamics into the classroom, let alone faster progress with regard to giving well-built answers.

Just in case, find below how we first played it.

Divide the group into two teams: INTERVIEWERS and QUESTIONS – on the left side, vs INTERVIEWEES and CLUES – on the right side. 

Share all the cards out so that each pupil gets the same number of cards. 

The youngest interviewer starts by reading out a question. The interviewees must carefully  look at the cards they have and in case the clue matches the question, he/she answers using the information on the clue card. 

The answer must be fully well-built: right tense, word order, subject-predicate, etc. The players were then rewarded with stars.

  • If the clue matches the question and the answer is built correctly (full answer), the player gets 2 stars. 
  • If the clue is right, but the answer is built incorrectly, the player gets 1 star.
  • If the clue doesn’t match the question (it isn’t logical), the player gets no stars.

The stars can be awarded individually or for the entire team. 

Then, the teams swap roles.

The winner is the interviewee or the team who got the highest score.

Dear fellow teachers, I hope you try out this game and your young learners have fun and improve their speaking skills. Later on, I’ll publish another activity, the QUASM game. Do you know what it stands for?

At the end of the day, it’s not only about being ready for the Cambridge exam, or any other examination, it’s about life communicative skills, isn’t it?

Stay tuned for more words of advice and handy material!

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