In Common is a quick game which can be used as an ice breaker or warmer or perhaps at the end of a lesson to fill 5 minutes. It’s easy to set up, requires little or no preparation and is suitable for all ages and levels of class.
The activity helps TEFL students practice questions and answers. You can leave it wide open or restrict the kind of questions and information that can be used.
Running the Game
Simply divide the class into groups of 4 or 5. Then ask each group to find 3 things which all the members of the group have in common.
This will involve each member of the group asking and answering questions about themselves and the others. Perhaps they all have a younger brother or they have all been on holiday to Malaga – who knows but it’s all about finding out about each other.
After a few minutes get each group to tell the rest of the class what they all have in common. The most interesting and inventive group wins. (This stops them from coming up with simplistic and obvious things like all having two legs or learning English, etc…).
Now rearrange the students into new groups and ask them to find another thing they all have in common!
Further work with Venn Diagrams
The example here shows three students: Karla, Kyriaki, and Klaus and the subject was restricted to activities they enjoy. They have worked together to find one activity they all have in common (playing the bagpipes); activities only two of them have in common (e.g. Kyriaki and Karla enjoy playing football but Klaus doesn’t) and then activities only one person likes (e.g. Karla likes rock climbing but the others don’t).
It’s easy to prepare a blank version of this Venn diagram (or describe it to your class so they have to draw it) and have them complete it like this.