(Originally published in my book Brainstorming. Moscow: Manager, 2001. This is an updated version.)
Language Focus: Activating the simple future tense and used to + (base verb).
Format: Whole class.
Objective: To guess one’s identity in past and future lives.
STEP 1: Define “reincarnation”. (Tip: Present this concept as a personal belief some hold, not necessarily as an aspect of any particular religion. Avoid digressing into a discussion of different faiths.)
STEP 2: Select one student to be in the “hot seat”. This student should sit with his/her back to the board, facing the class. The teacher writes a past and future identity on the board. Example: DUCK (past) – ASTRONAUT (future).
STEP 3: The class will call out clues to help the student guess first what or who s/he was in the past and then what or who s/he will be in the future.
S1 – “You used to live in water.”
S2 – “You used to fly south for the winter.”
S3 – “You used to say quack a lot.”
S in hot seat: “I used to be a duck. Right?”
S4 – “You’ll fly to the moon.”
S5 – “You’ll live in a space ship.”
S in hot seat: “Will I be an astronaut?”
- If done in pairs, hand out lists A and B (2-3 sets of identities per list). Student A and Student B take turns providing clues for the other to guess about past and future lives.
- If done in small teams with the same number of members, each team member can have a turn in the hot seat. If done in large teams, select three members from each team to take a turn in the hot seat. Time how long it takes for each team to guess all the identities. The team that completes the task the fastest wins.
- If done with lower level students, you may restrict the game to only past lives or only future lives.
- If done with more advanced students, you may increase the difficulty by including practice of the simple past tense or “going to + BASE VERB”.