Activity: What Do You Have in Common? (Pre-Intermediate ESL)

ESL Level: Pre-Intermediate

Focus: Getting to know classmates (ice-breaker), asking questions

Activity time: 20 minutes

Number of students: 4+


Activity Description: Students ask each other questions related to six categories to find out what they have in common.

Activity Execution:

  • Tell students that they are going to ask each other questions to learn more about each other. Write "What do you have in common?" on the board. Explain that 'in common' means that you share two things that are the same. Give examples, e.g. two students in the class who are both from the same country.
  • Distribute activity sheets.
  • Explain the categories. Elicit possible questions for each category from students. For example:
    • Favourites: What is your favourite color?
    • Dislikes: Do you like rain?
    • Family: Do you have a brother?
    • Home: Do you live in an apartment?
    • Pets/Animals: Do you have a pet? Do you like cats more than dogs? Have you eaten horse?
    • Travel: Have you been to Kyoto?
    • In the future: Do you want to get married in the future?
    • Other: How old are you?
  • Tell them that if they find that they have something in common with a classmate related to these 6 topics, they should write down their classmate's name ("Who: Takako") and what they have in common ("What: have a brother").
  • Let them begin. I tell my students to only ask one or two questions per person, then switch partners.
  • When finished, have each student share something interesting they learned with the class.


Speaking Activity Preview:

esl activity pre-intermediate

Please note that I do not hold the copyright to the clipart images in the file.

I hope you find this speaking activity fun!

- Matthew Barton / Creator of

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4 comments on “Activity: What Do You Have in Common? (Pre-Intermediate ESL)

  1. Ms. Jones (Posted on 4-17-2018 at 22:49) Reply

    I tried this with my students. They enjoyed it. Thanks!

  2. Portia (Posted on 2-28-2020 at 02:03) Reply

    Thank you, my students really enjoyed this lesson.

  3. Aboubacar soumah (Posted on 1-15-2021 at 11:39) Reply

    I used to teach this kind of lesson to my students but with this it was wundrful

  4. Na zha phiri (Posted on 4-14-2024 at 01:39) Reply

    I and my student friend liked the lesson

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