Thursday, 2 May 2013

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Sunday, 7 March 2010

Super Dinosaur

The idea is simple: color two dinosaurs drawn on the Whiteboard every time a question is answered correctly.  However, there is a catch.  Each dinosaur is divided into six parts and given a number.  If a student answers a question correctly, they can throw the dice and color in that number.   Nevertheless, either team can still win as it mostly depends on luck who colors in their dinosaur first.    Dinosaurs or any kind of picture can be used.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Tiger Tiger!!

An easy, simple game that kids always request, though it has limited use.

  1. Place a pile of flashcards on the floor at the front of the classroom and mix in a tiger card (i.e. a flashcard with a picture of a Tiger on it!).
  2. As the come to the front, each one takes turns to draw a flashcard and say the vocabulary or grammar pattern.
  3. When the Tiger card is exposed, I usually shout "TIGER" as loudly as I can and chase the students back to their seat.  Any I catch gets suitably 'mauled.'
Variations:

A more popular version I play is to draw a circle at the head of the class on the floor with the marker pen and fill it with tiger teeth.  Each student then comes and places one foot inside the 'mouth.'  While holding the flashcards, the teacher shows each to the students one at a time until the Tiger card appears whereupon I attempt to grab as many as possible and tickle to death!

Whilst I like this game, kids do get a little too excited by it and may not concentrate well on the vocabulary you are trying to teach. Good for occasional use.

Pass the Chicken - Double Chicken!

A variation on the Pass the Chicken game is called 'Double Chicken.'

  1. Students sit in a circle with their chairs and a volunteer comes out to the front.  They will be our "counter."  Two more volunteer students then raise their hands to be the first to receive a daft rubberised chicken.  Each of the latter two students must be at opposite ends of the circle.
  2. The student at the front then begins counting down from 10, or 20 seconds and the students begin pass the chickens in opposite directions.  The 'counter' should have their back to the class whilst counting down.
  3. When the student at the front reaches he/she shouts "STOP," the two students with the chickens do Paper Scissors Stone and the loser answers a question.  If they get the question right, their team gets one point, if not, the other student gets a go and the chance to earn the point.
  4. If by chance one unfortunate student ends up with both chickens, they must answer a question anyway and hopefully win a point for their team.
It's amazing what one can do with chickens, isn't it, though any toy item could be used just as well.  This game is better suited to large groups of at least 10 children.  Any less and both chickens go around the circle too fast, reducing the fun.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Pass the Chicken! (Variation)

Without doubt, one of the most popular games in my arsenal is Pass the Chicken.  The idea is simple. 

  1. Buy one rubberized chicken that makes a ridiculous noise when squeezed.  Then pass it around a circle while the teacher counts he to 10.
  2. When the teacher reaches 10, he/she says "STOP!" and the kid the chicken lands on needs to say the grammar point. That kid then needs to say the grammar point before the chicken is passed round the circle and reaches him again.  If the student is unable to say a sentence before the chicken reaches them, they must say the grammar point one more time.  
  3. Of course , some kids just love holding the chicken and actually want to say the grammar - which I heartily encourage of course!
  4. If the kid says the grammar point fast enough, they then say STOP! and the person whose desk the chicken is on at that moment, must answer the next grammar question.
I've played this game all class (a good 20 minutes plus) without kids tiring of it.  I try not to play it too often but when I do, the kids always request it class after class - It's the chicken they love the most though!

Grammar Mime

One game I tried yesterday with great success, was a simple vocabulary miming game.  I introduced vocabulary flashcards with actions and then had select students from two teams reenact them to the class to see which team could guess them first.

Most kids love to act at some point so I extended the concept to act out the grammar point which was a simple "I comb my hair every Wednesday".  Kids 'acted' Wednesday by showing the number 3 on their fingers.  The class loved it and it was an effective way for all the kids in the class to concentrate.   This is definitely a great game to add variation to your classes and to keep kids looking forward to your lessons.  For bigger classes I would use more groups.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Beer Pong (Fast Version)

Here's a quick variation on the ESL Beer Pong game I adapted last week.  I found the game was great for small classes but took too much time for big ones, so I've made it faster.


  1. Set up the Beer Pong cups on the floor down the length of the classroom.
  2. Mark a line at the other end from which kids throw and give each kid (team) three ping pong balls.  I only use three as that restricts the number of balls that get thrown around and lost.
  3. The rest of the class should be sitting in a horse-shoe shape around the classroom.  They should should help the team member who's throwing the balls by passing them down the line and back to them.  I give each team a plastic bowl to deposit collected balls at the throwing end of each team.
  4. The first team to get a ball in their cup is the round winner and the next two students replace them.  Each student answers a grammar question before playing but you could just as easily play for fun (or use vocabulary etc...) instead.
  5. Typically a game of fast Beer Pong took 30 mins with each kid answering questions.  You could limit each round time to 60 seconds if you wanted, to keep the game moving quickly. 


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