- Keywords: Listening, fluency, arguing, predicting, authentic material
- Learner English level: Intermediate to advanced
- Learner maturity: Post-secondary
- Preparation time: 10–20 minutes
- Activity time: 60–90 minutes
- Materials: PC with Internet access, large screen with speakers, YouTube, voting record, picture prompt document
Choose Your Fate is an easy-to-prepare, choose your own adventure (CYOA) video activity. The objective is to challenge learners to make predictions, express their opinions, and give reasons to support those opinions. Students will be able to hone their communication skills by practicing the same task repeatedly. They will also develop their listening skills with the use of engaging and authentic materials. This activity can easily be adapted for online use by utilizing the Zoom breakout room function.
Step 1: Find a CYOA video on YouTube. This plan uses “A Heist with Markiplier” (Markiplier, 2019). This series is suitable for mature audiences due to some mild language and adult situations.
Step 2: Make a picture prompt document with photo clues about the video (see Appendix 1).
Step 3: Make a voting record (see Appendix 2).
Step 1: Show students the picture prompt document. Ask them to tell you what is happening in the pictures, then teach them the word heist.
Step 2: Explain the activity procedure as follows: They will watch a CYOA narrative made up of multiple short videos. The story progresses depending on the viewer’s choices. The first video is about a heist. At the end of the video, two new video options will appear, and their group must discuss which one to watch next. Each group will share the reason for their selection with the whole class. The class then watches the most popular video choice, and the procedure will be repeated until an ending is reached. The purpose is to be able to argue their point in English.
Step 3: Model some of the language that students might use by writing some examples on the board.
Step 4: Watch the video as a class.
Step 5: Divide students into groups of three or four.
Step 6: Write the titles of the next video choices in the voting record while students are discussing which video to choose next.
Step 7: Monitor the groups. End the discussion time once each group has decided.
Step 8: Have one member of each group share the reason for their vote with the whole class. Keep track of the votes and record which video was chosen on the voting record.
Step 9: Repeat steps 4–8 until you reach one of the endings.
Step 10: If time remains, start the video again and let students try making different choices. Alternatively, if time runs out, the voting record indicates which route was taken so it can be resumed in the next class.
Step 11: To conclude the activity, ask students a discussion question or two. For example, do you think you made the right choices? What surprised you? If there is time, give feedback on any common mistakes they made or expressions that might be useful for them in the future.
To save time, you could ask only one group to share the reason for their vote in each round.
Choose Your Fate is an engaging, low-prep classroom activity. It allows students to refine their argumentative and predictive skills through repetitive communicative practice and the use of authentic listening materials.
Markiplier. (2019, October 31). A heist with Markiplier [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/9TjfkXmwbTs
The original appendices are available below: