Pencil Grab

Students play this game in pairs and compete against each other for the most points. Start by having each pair of students put a pencil on the desk in between them so that is it equally distant from each student. Then say a true or false statement about the story. If the statement is true, the first person to grab the pencil gets a point. If the statement is false though, they cannot touch the pencil. If they grab it by mistake, they lose two points. This is a great game that students love and it is a fun way to end a class or review a story.

Source: Carmen Andrews-Sánchez, moreTPRS


Students work in pairs and one student draws a grid. One student is “X” and the other is “O”. Start the game by asking player “X” a question about the story in the target language (ie. What is the boy’s name?) Player “X” has 5 seconds to quickly jot down the answer. Count to five out loud in the target language, then say the correct answer out loud. If player “X” wrote down the correct answer, they can mark an “X” anywhere on the grid. If they got it wrong then they do not get to mark anything. Player “O” answers the next questions and play continues in that way until you get through the story or someone wins.

Source: Kristi Krupa Griffith, moreTPRS


BINGO is a game that is very well-known and frequently used in language classes, but what follows is a way to use it in a more TPRS-friendly way. Create a blank BINGO chart with space for a short free-write at the bottom of the page (or use this one). Then write all of the structures that you have focused on throughout the year on the board. Students can choose one structure to write in each box, in any order they choose. Rather than just calling out the words, try giving them the word in English to translate, reading a sentence with the structure in it, leaving a blank in the sentence for students to choose an appropriate structure, or asking them a question that has the structure as the answer. There are several different ways to play so that students need different patterns to win: one row, two rows, four corners, top and bottom rows, or blackout. After the game, students must choose one of their BINGO rows and write a story that includes those five words, underlining the five words as they write.

Source: Martina Bex, Lesson Plans for CI/TPRS Classrooms


Split the class up into two teams. One person from each team stands in front of the teacher. You say a word or phrase that you have been working on in class and the first one to translate it into English gets a point for their team and the chance to shoot a wad of paper into the trash can. The questions should vary in difficulty, as should the distance from the trashcan and the number of points awarded (5, 10, 20 or 50). You can write the all-time high scores on the board as a motivator for other classes.

Source: Bryce Hedstrom, Bryce’s Blog

The Ladder Game

To begin this game, divide your class into equal groups. The maximum number of groups depends on how many ladders you can fit on your board. Draw one ladder on the board for each team with a total of seven spaces between the rungs. Have the students sit in rows in front of their ladder. The first student in each row goes to the board and the teacher calls out something in the target language for students to translate (you can use a noun, verb conjugation or a structure). Students write the answer in the bottom space on their ladder. The first person to write it down correctly leaves their answer and the other students have to erase theirs. The next set of students comes to the board and the process is repeated. The first team to get all 7 spaces of their ladder filled on the board is the winner.

Source: Jody Ford, moreTPRS