A Taste of Our Curriculum: Week Two

"Guess Who" character
During week two, the JumpStart curriculum largely focuses on teaching students how to describe themselves and others in terms of both appearance and personality. Several of the activities incorporate homemade versions of materials for the classic game "Guess Who," where players are provided with pictures of different characters, chose one each, and then try to figure out who their opponent has selected by taking turns asking questions like "Does he have curly hair?"and "Is she old?" until they're able to correctly guess the name of the other player's character.

Taylor teaching the word "tongue" to JumpStart students in La Cruz

For beginning English students, playing "Guess Who" in English can be challenging. It requires a relatively broad vocabulary; an understanding of when to use "to be" versus "to have," as well as how to conjugate both verbs in the present tense; plus the ability to form not only statements, but questions, too. An idea for assisting students who don't have much practice with the vocabulary and grammar concepts the game covers is to provide visuals during the activity, such as conjugation charts for the two aforementioned verbs. Making "to have" and "to be" columns on the board and placing pictures of different body parts under the correct verb  for describing them can also be helpful. To simplify the game, one suggestion from Taylor, the Peace Corps Volunteer leading JumpStart World Connect - La Cruz, is to have each student pick a character and write a few sentences describing him or her, such as "He has blue eyes." Then, students share their sentences with a partner until their partner is able to correctly guess the character being described by asking, for instance, "Is it Carol?" or "Is it Bob?" This modification works well for students who aren't yet ready to concentrate on phrasing questions.
Verb charts for "to be," "to do," and "to live"

Check out the links below to download our materials for playing 'Guess Who" in the classroom, as well as the lesson plan and other corresponding materials from week two, day one of JumpStart, when students are introduced to the game.

Lesson Plan - Describing Yourself and Others

Student Workbook - Tasks 14, 15, & 16

Physical Characteristics

Guess Who Characters