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One's Gotta Go discussion prompt for language classes

January 9, 2023

One's gotta go is a popular discussion prompt that is perfect for communicative language classes. The basic premise is that students are looking at 3-4 images of different things and picking the one that they would eliminate from existence if one had to go away forever.

How to play One's gotta go

This discussion activity is SO easy and can be prepped very quickly. Here's what you do:

FIRST, put 3-4 images of different things on a single slide. Usually the things belong to a single category (ex: fish/bird/dog/cat (pets); coffee/soda/seltzer/lemonade (drinks)), but it's not necessary. Consider labeling the images with words in the target language to support communication.

NEXT, show your students the images and tell them, "One's gotta go! Which would you get rid of/eliminate?".

THEN, call on different students to share which one they would get rid of. If you've labeled the images, they can read aloud the caption or the number/letter of the image. They could also point from their seat or walk up to the board and tap the one that they would eliminate! All of those options count as communication, and all of those options allow the conversation to move forward.

AFTER, restate each student's choice to the class. In this way, it doesn't matter whether or not they knew the word for the thing in the target language... because you do, and you can make that connection.

CONNECT students by asking who else would eliminate the same thing, and later who would eliminate something different?

EXTEND the conversation by asking to explain their choice, but only if you know that students have the language to be able to do so. This part is not necessary. I guess you could say that if "One of these steps has got to go", this would be it ;-)


It is EASY to engage all students in a conversation and support them in understanding AND expressing their opinion because of the visual supports and multiple choice options. Since we know that language is acquired through communicatively embedded input that is understood, One's Gotta Go is a perfect activity to provide food for acquisition.

You can even modify the prompt! In the past, we've shared this activity with prompts such as "Eliminate one". You can also modify the premise, so that students are choosing which one they would save or which one they prefer. For deep conversation, the same images could be turned into an "Odd One Out" prompt!


Our no-prep resource makes it easy to start these conversations with your classes! It is currently available in French (here) and Spanish (here).

On each slide, students will see three items that belong to a single category (three different fruits, three different colors, etc.). We've included 45 different prompts! Students need to ponder the question, "If one of these were to cease to exist, which one would I choose to eliminate?". Allow your class to vote, or ask them to volunteer their choice and defend it with reasons--based on their level of linguistic proficiency.

These slides can be used as a daily warmup for class (one per day) or on a regular basis (such as every Tuesday), or you can spend a whole class period running through a series of prompts. Another option would be to use single slides as brain breaks, designating three areas in your room as the different options to give students a chance to get up and move!

To make this product even more fun and versatile, we have provided dozens of different background images for the slides, allowing you to change the appearance of the slides with just a few clicks!

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