The Envelope Game – Topic – Jobs

Preparation: for this task you need an envelope for each student and small pieces of paper


Brainstorm jobs that the students know or have heard of.  Try to get as many as possible written up on the board.  Encourage the students to come up with unusual examples.

Distribute the envelopes and the pieces of paper and ask the students to write their name on the envelope.  They then pass the envelope to the person on their right.

Each learner thinks about the ideal job for the person named on the envelope they have received, based on what they know about the person or what they feel they would be good at doing.  They write it on a piece of paper, put it into the envelope and pass it on to the next person.

The next person also decides which job would be good for the person whose envelope they have received – without looking inside – and writes the job on a piece of paper, adding it to the first one.

Continue in this way till the envelopes return to their original owners. (If the class is large you can divide students into two groups).

The owners of the envelopes then open them and look at the suggested jobs.  They categorise them into groups: jobs they would like to have, jobs they might like to try and jobs they wouldn’t want to do.

The students all tell the class which jobs were suggested for them, and which ones they would like or wouldn’t like to do.  They can also be encouraged to give reasons and also ask other students to offer reasons for their suggestions.

Finally, you can ask the students to write about their ideal job: why would they like that job? Why do they think they would be good at it? 

Taken from: ELT Professional (May 2013) original idea created by Majorie Rosenberg