Lesson Strategies

Critical & Creative Thinking Skills – Activity: Just a Minute

Just a Minute

 

 

Introduction

This activity is used as a revision activity for the whole class on a particular topic or for English classes to promote the ability to carry out impromptu speeches or both.

Look at the following video to give you an idea of the game

https://youtu.be/VrwUAFV706k [14mins]

 

Rules

Simple but skilful panel game where students have to talk on a given topic without hesitation, repetition or deviation.

Breaking any one of these rules allows one of your three opponents to challenge and, if a correct challenge is made, you get the topic for the remainder of the minute. You pick up one point for each correct challenge, and a bonus point if you're the person still speaking when the whistle blows at the end of the minute.

The "repetition" rule regarded repeating ones ideas and thoughts, rather than individual words.

Also "penalty rounds" [a tied situation in points ] where a common word such as "I" or "they" were banned were in force.

Start

The panellists are invited, in rotation, to speak for one minute on a given subject (which they are normally not informed of in advance), without "hesitation, repetition or deviation".


These three basic rules have always applied.

"Hesitation" is watched very strictly: a momentary pause in speaking can give rise to a successful challenge, as can tripping over one's words. Even pausing during audience laughter or applause (known as "riding a laugh") can be challenged.

"Repetition" means the repetition of any word or phrase again and again, although challenges based upon very common words such as "and" are generally rejected except in extreme cases. Words contained in the given subject are now exempt unless repeated many times in quick succession, although this was a later addition to the rules. Skillful players use synonyms to avoid repeating themselves. Even letters may not be repeated; for example, the term "BBC" must be avoided, as it can be successfully challenged for repetition of "B".

"Deviation" originally meant deviating from the given subject, but gradually evolved to also include "deviating from the English language as we know it", "deviation from grammar as we understand it", deviating from the truth, and deviating from logic. Nevertheless, leaps into the surreal are usually allowed.

 

Just a Minute

To give you another idea of the game, look at Paul Merton's Just a Minute on "Sudoku" (this is a recording with animation!)
https://youtu.be/UrVlKKTTOiM

 

 

Scores

A panellist scores one point for making a correct challenge against whoever is speaking, or the speaker gets a point if the challenge is deemed incorrect. If a witty interjection amuses the audience, but is not a correct challenge, at the chairman's [teacher's] discretion the challenger can nevertheless be awarded an extra point (the "bonus point" rule).

A player who makes a correct challenge takes over the subject for the remainder of the minute, or until he or she is successfully challenged. The person speaking when the whistle blows after 60 seconds also scores a point. An extra point is awarded if a panellist speaks for the entire minute without being challenged.

It is rare for a panellist to speak within the three cardinal rules for any substantial length of time, whilst both remaining coherent and being amusing. Therefore, to speak for the full minute without being challenged is a special achievement. However, if a panellist is speaking fluently on a subject, staying reasonably within the three rules, and seems likely to speak for the whole minute, the other panellists often refrain from challenging.

On rare occasions, panellists will challenge themselves, usually by mistake or for laughs. If successful, last-second challenges can be especially rewarding, as they allow one to speak for a short time but earn two points—one for the challenge and one for being the last speaker.

The game is then scored and a winner declared, but the attraction of the revision [show] lies less in the contest than in the humour and banter among participants and the chairman.

Most of the fun comes from the clever challenges made by the students.

Resources

The introductory music is The Minute Waltz by Chopin.

YouTube: Chopin - Minute Waltz (Op. 64 No. 1)
https://youtu.be/3H0SRv8QNwk

 

 

Just a Minute - website

Website

 

 

Examples within On the Job website:

Amusement, Fitness & Sports Centre Manager: Your Favourite Ride

Sports Centre Manager

Mechanic

 

Building Inspector

Building Inspector

 

 

 

Materials sourced from
UK Game Shows
Wikipedia

 

SubmitSubmitSubmit

 

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