Wednesday, 1 December 2010

not a game - lots of great creative ideas to get your class using the target language.

Good morning! I've been following the fantastic Shelly Terrell on Twitter (@ShellTerrell) pretty much since I signed up. She teaches English as a Foreign Language (mostly to littlies) and has lots of great ideas. Her blog (Teacher Boot Camp) has lots of great ideas - here are some of Shelly's ideas for using Drama games in the classroom. Some do require a fair bit of target language, but most can be adapted, or might get you thinking about other ways to use games or drama in your class.

While you're at it - please check out the games and ideas on the other sites listed to the right of screen.

have a wonderful day!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Pass the parcel

Just like the kids' party game, but under each layer of newspaper you have a question in the target language - when the music stops, the student with the parcel unwraps a layer then reads out the question & answers it.

* the student who has the parcel when the music stops reads out the question, but picks someone else to answer it.
* include instructions in the target language as well as (or instead of) questions. simple things based on what they have learned: eg "draw a cat" "stand on the red chair and dance" ... use your imagination to challenge them!
* have a topic instead of a question. Students talk to the topic.
* specify the length of the answer required - single words, phrases, full sentences, or to really challenge: keep talking till the music starts up again!

What other ideas do you have?
How else can pass the parcel be adapted for the classroom?
What other kids' party games could be used?

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

An oldie but a goodie

Don't forget about hangman! Great for practicing the alphabet in language classes, as well as reviewing vocabulary.

Thanks to Joyce Arnold for her instructions / idea below for Indonesian!

I ask 'huruf apa?' and the kids have to use the Indonesian sound.
I don`t allow them to call out the word if they know it, they have to complete it completely first.
I use 'ada' and 'tidak ada' after they tell me the letter.
If 'tidak ada', I then draw the body of the mouse, saying 'badan tikus' adding body parts and using Indo as I go. Sometimes I change the animal.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Another quick number game...

This is another one I learned through the Peer Support Program, and have adapted it. Would only use it with real beginners with numbers, as you hear the same numbers a lot!

You need to explain the rules very clearly and carefully.

1) The aim is to see how high the class can count.
2) Only one person can call out each number.
3) There can NOT be any arranging of who calls out each number. Similarly, no prompting anyone else.
4) If 2 or more people say the same number, we start again.

There will be a few times when the class doesn't make it past 2! But a fun, engaging activity - perhaps have a couple of goes at the start (or end) of a couple of lessons to see how high your class can count.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Ada berapa? (How many? Number off!!)

As students enter the room, assign each a number (use consecutive numbers rather than random numbers, but they can be given out in random order rather than in numerical order around the room)

Have a run through - students count as a class by calling out their number at the appropriate moment. See how fast the class can get through it (with correct pronunciation of course!). Explain that some time during the lesson you will call out a key word (like "number off!" or "Ada berapa?") without giving any other prompting. At that time they will need to count again - good to see who is listening and paying attention to what is happening in the class! You might like to assign yourself the number 1, or choose to give the number 1 to someone reliable and / or near the front so that it won't totally fall flat.

Good for drilling numbers when first learning them.

a comment...

I am teaching Year 7s for the first time this year, and am discovering just how much younger they are than Year 8s. So the next few games may be more primary oriented. If you have any games for primary students (or any other games not mentioned here yet!), please get in touch!

Sunday, 31 January 2010

stepping stones

Another version of a Q&A activity - can be vocab or longer answers...

Place stepping stones across the room (these can be pieces of paper, or the students love it if you use chairs or desks for them to walk across). As a student answers a question correctly, they take a step forward. This can be done as a team game, with the first team to get all members across winning. In this case, you may like to make rules which allow for students who have already made it across to go back across the stepping stones to help out a weaker student.

Another variation - "human checkers". Students can deliberately block others through their choice of where to step. (Or you can use real checkers rules to allow students to get other students out by "jumping over" them.

my word!

In some ways this is a variation of banned words or key words. Each student is given a secret word. They need to use this word as often as they can without anyone else guessing what word they have been given.

It can also be reversed - each student has a secret "banned" word, which they can't use for the lesson. The challenge can either be for them to simply get through the lesson, or they need to get other students to guess what the word is (kind of like charades, but talking is permitted)

I have also used this as a short, small group, card based game. I make up cards which have at the top a word which the student needs to get the others in the group to guess. To make it challenging, I add some other words which the student also may not use to the card. Example cards could be:
TEA (drink, hot, coffee)
UNIVERSITY (study/learn, student, school)

In Indonesian, I will often use a base-word (eg "ajar") which the students can not use. It means that they can use a different word that means the same thing if they can think of it, but also increases the range of banned words as they can not use any words that use that base.

At the end of the game, you can ask students to make their own suggestions for cards to use in the future. I have been using the same set of cards for a few years now, just adding to it from time to time. Once you've made up the cards, it's easy!

Banned words

Easily adapted to a variety of levels by the word you choose to "ban" for the set time period (this could be 10 minutes, a full lesson, a week or longer!)
With Upper school students this can be a great way to get them to practice circumlocution or finding synonyms.
With younger students or those with less knowledge, it can be for just practicing creativity & problem solving.

Reverse quiz

Very quick instructions for this: you supply the answers, students need to give the questions. (I really think students don't get enough opportunity to practice asking questions) Many of the other games can be adapted to this, or you can throw in a couple of "reverse questions" into a regular quiz or Q&A activity.