Odd One Out

Students practice explaining reasons by quizzing each other with lists of four items - which one of them is the odd one out?

Submitted by Jake W

July 16, 2018

Inspired: Why's the Odd One Out?

Estimated time: 30-40 minutes

I start by writing four words on the board:

  • Basketball / Kendo / Baseball / Soccer

And then ask the students the key phrase "Which is different?"

Eventually a student will say "Kendo." and I'll circle it and then ask "Why?" Often the student will explain in Japanese, so I'll write next to the circled word "Because kendo doesn't use a ball."

Usually students find this to be a fun exercise, so I give them about 6 examples in steadily increasing difficulty.

  • Doraemon / Water / Cherries / The sky (Cherries, because cherries are red)
  • Koopa / Peach / Luigi / Luffy (Luffy, because he's a One Piece character)
  • January / April / August / October (April, because it has 30 days - this one's pretty tough!)
  • A list of other teachers at the school, three who wear glasses and one who doesn't

Once they've done enough examples, I break them into groups and have them come up with their own. In a higher-level or smaller class you could have them do it in pairs or individually. Once they've had enough time to think of several examples, they could either pose a question to the entire class and have them answer for team points, or go around the class and quiz the classmates who weren't in their group.

I find that the "because" sentence is something that seems simple to a teacher but is surprisingly difficult for students to produce, at least at the junior high school level. Try and get them to explain their reasons in English as best they can!

Small files
  • Odd One Out.docx (59.5 KB)
  • 8
    1. moonA May 30, 2023

      I used this quiz last school year and I'll use it again this time. I think doing this in groups is more effective as the students can help one another to come up with the best answer and a reason for it. This is engaging and fun! Thanks a lot!

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