Fortune Teller

Required materials: None

Number of players: 3 at a time

Have three students stand side-by-side in front of the class. The three students are fortune tellers. The rest of the class can ask the fortune-tellers questions about the future. Have the students in the audience raise their hand if they think of a question and call upon them one at a time.

Now here’s the trick: in answering the question, the fortune tellers can only speak one word at a time. So fortune teller number one begins the response by offering one word, fortune teller number two adds a word to the response, fortune teller number three adds another word, and then back to number one again and so on.

The key to this game is that the fortune tellers must work together to answer the question. Their answers must be spontaneous, so they can not prepare a response in advance. The fortune tellers must strive to answer the question and not simply string a bunch of words together. Encourage them to keep it simple.

As the instructor, you may need to cut them off once they have answered the audience member’s question so that you will have time to take other questions. It’s true that the answer may not make sense, but the game is not about accuracy. The students will be most successful when they listen to one another, act on their impulses and avoid over thinking their response.

Be prepared that there will be students who are intimidated at having to come up with even one word on the spot. Perhaps sounding a bell or a whistle when too much “thinking time” has lapsed will help urge these students to just say whatever word is at the tip of his tongue.

Encourage the audience to be creative and to think of good questions, not just questions that have a yes or no answer. Switch the players after they have answered a few questions.

Sample fortune

Audience question: Who will be the next president of the United States?

  • Fortune Teller 1: I
  • Fortune Teller 2: think
  • Fortune Teller 3: that
  • Fortune Teller 1: you
  • Fortune Teller 2: will
  • Fortune Teller 3: know
  • Fortune Teller 1: in
  • Fortune Teller 2: November.

Extra challenge

Add a fourth fortune teller. This can be lots of fun once you see that the students are comfortable with the one-word responses. You will know when this has happened because the fortune teller responses will come a lot quicker.

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