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Hot potato

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Hot potato


By the end of the activity pupils will be able to:

·         answer questions.

Target Language:

Any – depends on chosen questions

Time needed for preparation:

15 minutes

Time needed in class:

25 minutes


Year 1
Year 2
Year 3

Language Focus:


Activity Use:


Pupil Task:

Group Work

Which learning institute:



Something to pass around for example pencil case, water bottle, paper ball.

Procedure before class:

1.       Prepare a list of questions covering previously learnt question forms and vocabulary e.g. ‘How old are you?’, ‘What’s your name?’

Procedure in class:

1.       Pupils sit in a circle.
2.       Pupils chant “hot potato, pass it on, hot potato, pass it on ….” until you tell them to stop.
3.       The pupil(s) left holding a potato stand up.
4.       The teacher asks a question e.g. ‘How old are you?’
5.       The pupil(s) holding the potato answer the question e.g. ‘I am eight years old.’
6.       Continue steps 1 – 4 until all of the questions have been asked.

Follow Up:

Pupils can work with a partner to ask and answer the questions reviewed during the game.


For Year 3 the game is played as a quiz, dividing the class into two groups.


You can award points:  2 points if the student answers correctly, 1 point if the team helps the student, 1 point if the other team answers the question because the original team answered incorrectly or did not know the answer.


Design questions that allow for differentiation – easy, average and challenging questions.

Use more than one ‘hot potato’ at a time increase the amount of participation.