Technologically and linguistically adventurous EFL teacher, trainer, writer and manager

Hobby circles

I came up with this activity for our getting to know you session during induction week at IH Bydgoszcz this year, so I’ve only used it with teachers, not students. I’d be interested to know how it works with real classes! I was inspired to create it by seeing the list of hobbies on our new teachers’ CVs, and I realised that it can take a while to discover which free time activities we have in common. I hope this can prove something of a shortcut. Thanks to Lizzie Pinard for helping me to figure out how to run the activity.

  1. Students draw three circles on a piece of paper.
    Three circles
  2. In each circle, they write one of their hobbies.
    Three hobbies in circles
  3. The teacher introduces and drills functional language appropriate to the level.
    For example, at lower levels you might introduce:
    “I love _____. Do you?”
    “Me too.” / “Not really. I prefer ______”
    Or at higher levels:
    “Would you be interested in _________?”
    “I’d love to.” / “I’m not really into that. I’d rather _______”
  4. Demonstrate the activity with teacher-student, then student-student in open class.
    The teacher says “I love hiking. Do you?”
    If the student says, “Me too”, the teacher writes their name in the circle and asks another question to find out more, noting that information too. For example “Where do you go hiking?”
    Student name in circle if me too
    If the student says, “Not really. I prefer going to the cinema.”, the teacher writes their name and the hobby outside the circles, and again asks one more question to find out more.
    Student name outside if not really
  5. Students mingle and speak to as many people as possible to find out about their hobbies.
  6. Students sit with a partner and share what they learnt. They could also say if there are any hobbies they’d like to try or find out more about. Again, functional language could be introduced here to help students discuss their answers more easily, especially at lower levels: “I love hiking, and so do Maria and Ahmed.” “Stefan likes reading science fiction and he said Terry Pratchett is really good, so maybe I’ll read one of his books.”
  7. Possible open class feedback options would be: “Put your hand up if you found somebody with the same hobby as you.” and/or “Who has the most interesting hobby?”

Update

Tekhnologic took this idea and ran with it, creating video diagrams showing how to set it up and introducing a Venn version which I think is an improvement on the original!

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Comments on: "Hobby circles" (7)

  1. Lovely idea, makes a change from “find someone who…”I’ll definitely pinch this one!

    Like

  2. Amazing! Thanks, Sandy!

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  3. Great activity,I’ll roll this out in the near future! Thanks! 🙂

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  4. It’s a very interesting activity and should work well with teens and adults. Thank you.

    Like

  5. […] Sandy Millin wrote a post about an activity called Hobby Circles. I really liked the idea of the activity, so I tried it out in a few […]

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  6. […] 2: I read this post about Hobby Circles written by Sandy Millin and I loved the idea of the activity that I created some video diagrams […]

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