Hot Potato

Target levelES
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  1. Bring a CD full of fun music.
  2. Bring a soft ball.
  3. Make cards with questions on them (these are only used by the ALT, so normal paper is fine; the grubby hands of elementary school students will never touch the cards).


  1. Put students into a circle.
  2. Play music.
  3. While the music is playing, the students pass the ball from person to person.
  4. When the music stops, the person holding the ball has to answer the ALT's question, randomly chosen from the deck of cards.


Junior high school variation

  • Make cards with the question words (who, what, when, where, why, how), and give each student five cards. The objective is to get rid of one's cards.
  • Students make pairs, and in each round they rotate to form a new pair.
  • When the round starts, students janken. The winner asks a question using the question word and gives the card to the loser.
  • The loser answers the question, then asks his or her own question, and hands the card back to the winner.
  • Repeat until time is up. The student holding the card when time is up has to keep it.
  • Consider making round 1 short (10 seconds), round 2 a little longer (20 seconds) and subsequent rounds progressively longer.

Numbers and dice variation

For 4th-6th graders, make a circle and start with a pair of dice. While the music is playing, each student rolls the dice, multiplies the numbers, says the answer out loud, and passes the dice to the next person. For 2nd-3rd graders, add numbers instead of multiplying them.


  • Teach students filler words before you start playing the game.
  • Explain this game using a demonstration.
  • Blindfolding the homeroom teacher who chooses when to stop the music will make your kids happy.
  • To cut down on prep time, just make up questions instead of using question cards.

See also