Five Ways to Use Would You Rather?

5 Ways to use

You may be familiar with Would You Rather? as a silly party game, but it doubles as a super-fun class discussion starter. You can buy ready-made decks, but they aren’t ESL specific. I make my own cards, but you can just make a list of questions or wing it without materials if you can think of choices on the spot.

You can play in class in a few different ways.

Would You Rather...?
Would You Rather…?
  1. Give the class a single prompt and have them discuss their choice with a partner or small group. Then, bring all of the groups together and poll to see the most popular response.
  2. Give each student a different prompt and have students mingle, taking turns discussing their prompt with several different partners. Give each pair 1-2 minutes to discuss before having them find new partners. Since you can easily vary the length of the activity, this is a good activity if you unexpectedly have time. For example, if students get back early from a field trip, or finish testing early.
  3. Have students create their own prompts to discuss.
  4. Have students work in pairs or teams and alternate defending their opposing choices, debate-style. They should respond to their counterpart’s arguments as well as provide additional reasons for their choice.
  5. Combine Would You Rather? with a lesson on conditionals. Have students imagine their choice were real: “If I had horns, I would. . .” Have them discuss with a partner or small group or write a  paragraph about it.

Would You Rather? always goes down well, and the grosser the prompt, the more likely my too-cool-for-school boys are to get involved in the conversation. (Think: Would you rather drink your own urine or a stranger’s vomit?)

If you play Would You Rather?, what are some prompts you use?

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