New Year’s resolutions family fortunes style.

Here’s a small teaching present for January 6, one you might be able to use in class at the beginning of your new term.  It’s based on a TV game show called Family Fortunes. If you don’t know the show, click here to see an episode, or here to read the Wikipedia entry.

Basic procedure

1 ask students to brainstorm  five typical new year’s resolutions. (You may need to make sure they’re clear on the whole concept of new year’s resolutions, what they are, who makes them and why).

2 Tell them they are going to play a game called Family Fortunes (you may want to show them a short clip to give them an idea of how it works).  The main aim of the game is to guess which resolutions are most popular among teenagers and young adults in the UK. (By the way, my survey results here are totally made up on the spot, you know like 80% of all statistics! ) .

3 Divide the class into teams, each team can propose a resolution. If it appears in the teacher’s list of top ten resolutions they get points – the points are awarded inversely to the position of the resolution in the top ten ie resolution #10 is worth 1 point, #9 is worth 2 points and so on until  #1 which is worth 10 points.  You may not want to play the game until all ten are exposed – you could set another end point such as the first team to reach 5 / 8 / 10 points if they’re finding the guessing hard to do or if the game is dragging.

4 Once you’ve finished the game ask them what resolutions they’d make if they were going to make any and why.


Here are the ten resolutions I used for a class of teenagers in Spain. You might want to change them to suit your context and students.

I’m going to study more.

I’m going to spend less time playing computer games.

I’m going to be nicer to my sister/brother.

I’m going to stop smoking.

I’m going to pass all my exams.

I’m going to do more sport.

I’m going to spend less money on my phone.

I’m going to try not to argue with my parents.

I’m going to go to bed earlier and get up earlier.

I’m going to eat less junk food.


Grammar note: you may want to point out (or elicit) the use of going to for talking about intentions/resolutions.  Maybe draw their attention to it and write a short grammar note on the board.

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Ceri Jones

I’m a teacher, trainer and materials writer. I live in Cádiz in the south west of Spain. I’ve been involved in ELT for over 25 years. I share more lesson plans and experiences on my blog, Close Up

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