Save the Patient

A short repetition activity to practice "Do I have to ~" and "Have to~." This activity might not work with classes larger than 25 students.

Submitted by ThatOneALT

September 7, 2020

Estimated time: 20 - 25 minutes


  • Handout - each group will get one copy of the body rectangle without circles and two copies of any body rectangle you use with circles.
  • Powerpoint or some other way of teaching the body parts

How to Play

  1. First, teach the students the different body parts. I used a powerpoint and taught them some organs to make it a little different from the standard body parts. I also think it's a little fun for them to say the weird ones like trachea or small/large intestine.
  2. Once they've learned the body parts. have them practice saying "Do I have to ~" and "Yes, you have to~" or "No, you don't have to ~."
  3. After they can say everything, split the class into groups of 2 or 3. For this activity, 4 is too many, so if you have to use a couple groups of 2, that's fine.
  4. In each group, one person is the Doctor, one person is the Nurse, and one person is the Patient. For groups of 2, one person is the doctor and one person is the patient. The roles will rotate after each round, so who starts as the doctors doesn't matter.
  5. Give each of the doctors one of the body worksheets without circles on it.
  6. Give each nurse and patient of a group a copy of one of the bodies with circles on it. The circles represent what body parts the doctor has to check. The doctor, however, doesn't know which body parts are circled, so make sure they don't show the doctor.
  7. The doctor must ask the nurse and the patient "Do I have to check the ~?" The nurse and patient have to find what body part was said, then respond with "Yes you have to/No you don't have to."
  8. Give the doctors 1 minute to save the patient. If they can't find all the circled body parts in a minute, the patient dies!
  9. After the minute, ask which groups saved their patient. Congratulate them, then rotate the roles. Have them pass the blank body worksheet to the new doctor while you distribute new worksheets with circles to all the nurses and patients. Have the JTE help by collecting the previous rounds circle worksheets.
  10. Repeat however many times you want to play the game.

Other Recommendations

  • I recommend playing the game 4 or 5 times. After the 3rd round, anyone can be the doctor. Until the 4th round though, have them rotate roles.
  • Since this game is designed for groups of 2 or 3, I would not recommend playing it with really large classes. I mean, you can, but it would mean a lot of printing and cutting.
  • This game is pure repetition, and they only practice the verb "check," so I don't recommend playing this game for too long. It works best if paired with another activity to practice using the "have to" grammar with multiple verbs.
  • UonumaRobert September 9, 2020

    Do the students really ham it up and act like they're dying when the time runs out?

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