Heads and Tails


The basic idea of Heads and Tails is super-simple: Students match up the beginnings and endings of sentences.

• Heads and Tails is so easy to prepare! Just divide sentences into two pieces–the heads and the tails–and have students match them up. (Sentences can, of course, also be broken into more than two parts, as in the example below.)
• It is also very easy to find great source material for this kind of activity. Just look on the Internet for proverbs, inspirational messages, famous quotations, one-line jokes, trivia, etc.
You can also use two-line exchanges, such as this:
“Have you ever eaten at that restaurant?” → “Yeah, the service is lousy, but the food is great!”
In that case, the first line would be the head, and the response is the tail.
• The students can read the pieces to each other, or everything can be laid out on the table for all to see.
• Lots of natural language, read and/or spoken and heard over and over. But it never feels repetitious to the students because it’s a kind of puzzle, so it’s fun. Also because the students are negotiating the language at their own pace. They will finish it before it gets boring.

EXAMPLE ACTIVITY: Random Trivia. Each of these sentences is broken into three parts.
You can just print out the PDF, cut it up into single lines. At class time, randomly distribute the pieces to the students, and they’re ready to play!

random trivia PDF
random trivia — answer key PDF

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