Important Numbers

This is a new game which I read about on Martina Bex’s site, which she got from FLTeach. It looks like a great activity because we all know how much kids love to talk about themselves and it provides comprehensible input at the same time! Basically you choose one students and they write a number that has some sort of meaning to them on the board. Then you start off by saying something along the lines of “Class, (Bobby) has two special numbers! The number “11″ is special to Bobby. What does the number “11″ represent?” You should circle these phrases to make sure everyone understands them. Then have students guess what the number could represent and ask the original student each time if it is true. Make sure to repeat the student’s answer back to the class to get more repetitions. When the class has guessed what the number represents, choose another student.

Source: Martina Bex, The Data-Driven Language Classroom

All for One

Use this game to review information from a story or reading without making students compete against one another. Instead they get to work together to decide on the correct answer and no one has to be embarrassed. Start by putting students into teams of four. Then give each student a letter from A-D and have the teams come up with a team name. Ask the questions one at a time. Teams huddle together to discuss their team’s answer. Let them have enough time so that you are confident that every student knows the answer, then repeat the question and call out a letter.

The students from each team that were given that letter run to the centre of the class, huddle up with their new group, and tell each other what their original team believes is the correct answer. Everyone gets a chance to weigh in. Eventually they either agree on the answer or figure out a better answer among themselves. When they are ready, choose one student to answer the question. If they answer correctly, their team gets the point and a point also goes towards the class score. If they get it wrong, no points are awarded. If anyone speaks English during the part of the game where the student is answering the question, the teacher gets a point.

Source: Jody Noble, The Noble Word

Flash Translation

For this game, students will need to occasionally write down two structures in the target language on separate flashcards. They should also put the English translation on the opposite side of the flashcard. These can be things that they come across while reading or anything that they would like to know how to say. Once they have accumulated a large stack, they team off into pairs. The goal of the game is for each pair to get points by translating as many of the flashcards as they can in one minute. One partner holds up the card and gives clues as to what the word means (in the target language) while the other says what it means in English. If they are spending too much time on a word, the guessing partner can say “pass” in the target language and the card goes into the -1 point pile. The correctly translated ones go into the +2 pile and when the minute is up, they count up their score. You can do this as a whole-class activity where everyone plays at the same time,or you can have each pair play while the rest of the class listens. Make sure to keep track of their scores on the board to see who the winner is at the end.

Source: Emily La Fave, moreTPRS

Ten Ball

To play this game, you will need a tennis ball, a plastic file crate, a short, study plastic cup big enough for the tennis ball to fit in, and a wad of sticky tack. Set up the game by centering the plastic cup in the bottom of the plastic file crate and stick it down using the sticky tack. Put the crate against the wall at the front of your classroom and mark a free throw line on the floor about 10-15 in front of it. The object of the game is to earn points for the team by answering questions.

Divide the class into four groups and have each group pick a name for their team. Within the teams, the students take turns being the “answerer.” Only the answerer can answer the questions. Have all the answerers stand up and ask a question, calling on the first answerer who raises his hand. Once you call on him, he has five seconds to answer.  You can allow the team members to help the answerer, but only the answerer can respond. Don’t accept answers from anyone else in the group.

What makes the game fun is that the person who gets the question right not only gets a point for the team, but also gets to shoot for extra points with the tennis ball from the free throw line. If the ball goes in the crate, the team gets one extra point. If it goes in the cup, however, they get ten points. Thus the name “Ten Ball”.

Source: Matthew Craig, moreTPRS

Word Bop

Arrange the desks in the room in a circle. Have all the kids except for one sit at a table/desk in this circle. There is a beginning and an an end to the circle. The “moose” (beginning of the circle) is the one who starts. Each student has a vocabulary word written on a sheet of paper that is tri-folded so it stands up on the desk and there is a gesture associated with each word. They have to say the word on their own desk and do the gesture and then call out a different word and do the gesture for that word. The person who has the word that was called out says his word and does his gesture and also calls out someone else’s word and does their gesture. While this is going on, there is a person in the middle of the circle who has a stuffed animal or some other object. They are trying to hit (“bop”) the desk of the person whose word was called before they can call out a new word. If the bopper is successful, everyone one in the circle at that point stands and moves up one spot. The kid who got “bopped” becomes the person in the middle of the circle and the person who was just in the circle becomes the “skunk” (end of the circle).

Source: Carmen Andrews-Sánchez, moreTPRS