Thursday, 24 March 2011

Bingo ice-breaker

This is great if you have students with some language knowledge but who don't really know each other - or it can be used for students to get to know each other better.

Before the class, you'll need to prepare a bingo grid (size to suit how long you want the game to take - 5 squares by 5 is a good size.) In each square put a piece of information in the target language - some examples are below:

* has two younger siblings
* lives close to school
* likes playing basketball
* doesn't like watching football
* is wearing red shoes

Students need to ask each other in the target language to find someone who matches the description and ask them to sign the relevant square. The aim is to get a full straight line of signatures (horizontal, vertical or diagonal) - then call out "Bingo" (or an appropriate TL word).

Turn Around

I have been told of another name for this, but I can't remember! If you do know it, please let me know.

Students work in pairs to spell words on the whiteboard as fast as they can in competition with other pairs of students. However, there is a twist...

Both students in each pair need a whiteboard marker. The two students link left arms (so one student will be facing the whiteboard and one student will be facing the class). The teacher calls out a word to be spelled (or translated) and the student facing the board writes the first letter of the word on the board then the pair must spin so that the second student can write. Each student can only write one letter, and must write one letter. If a student wishes to correct the letter that their partner has written they can erase it and replace it, but then must spin. So, they take turns writing a letter then spinning so that the other student can write. Students can not talk to each other or tell their partner what to write.

It's best if you match up left handed students with left handed students and RH students with RH students as much as possible - Left handed students will need to link right arms if working together.

You can make it harder by saying that if a mistake is made and recognised the student who recognises the error can erase the incorrect letter but can't add another letter, and by saying that both students *must* take their turn to write.

If you have a large whiteboard, you can have 3 or 4 pairs of students at the board at once. If you're restricted to a smallish whiteboard though you may only be able to have two pairs at the board. With a tiny whiteboard, one pair at a time but time how long it takes - possibly by having the rest of the class counting out loud in the target language.

It must be legible - feel free to be mean if letters or accents are not clear!

I think this could be adapted for scripted languages by having students take turns at drawing the strokes that make up the characters?