Category: Education

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If you´re tired of playing the same games over and over again... these ideas will give you the creativity boost you need. Your students will have a blast... and so will you! Enjoy!


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HUMAN TYPEWRITER MATERIAL: Flashcards of the alphabet / Flashcards with the vocabulary you want students to practice. INSTRUCTIONS: Hand out the big flashcards with the letters of the alphabet among the students. Each student must have at least one letter, but depending on how many students you have, some of them may have more than one. Explain the game to the students: They are the keys of a giant human typewriter, and they have to type the letters to spell the words you show them in the flashcards by standing up. For example: if you show them the flashcard of a SECRETARY, then the student who has letter S has to stand up and say his letter, then the student who has letter E stands up and says his letter, then the student who has letter C does the same… and so on. Warn them that they should stand up one student at a time and not at the same time. Whenever a student makes a mistake spelling a word, he has to say a sentence using the target word. For example: “A secretary can type letters .” After the student has said the sentence say “The typewriter is broken! We need a new typewriter!” When you say that, students have to swap their letters with a partner so that everybody has different letters… this will keep them paying attention . Repeat the same procedure with the rest of the vocabulary.


THE SHORTEST END Write on the board the topics you’d like your students to talk about. For example: Tell us about your: House pet family Friends teacher Neighbors Ask students to form small groups. Give each group a small box with yarn of different lengths. Students take a piece of yarn on the count of three and the one who’s stuck with the shortest one has to talk about one of the topics written on the board. Students continue doing the same for the next rounds until they run out of yarn or time.


THE SYLLABLE GAME Ask students to go over the last units and to choose a new / challenging word they learned. They should write it on a piece of paper using big letters. Students stand in a circle and place the pieces of paper on the floor in front of them. (If you don’t have enough room, they can just stand up next to their own desks.) First person shows his piece of paper to his classmates, says the word making a gesture for every syllable. For example: ‘Perspire ’ has 3 syllables, so the student does something like: 1. " Pers -" (wave right hand) 2. "-pi-" (claps in hands) 3. “-re” (hop). Everyone repeats this – they say the syllables and imitate the gestures. Then he says a sentence using this word. The second person says his word, again with a gesture per syllable . Everyone repeats . Keep going until all students have had a chance to participate. If you have too many students, you can demonstrate how the game is played and once they have an idea you can ask them to make 2 or 3 groups.


THE COPY CAT GAME Ask students to form a circle. Ask one person to close his eyes for a minute. This person will be the guesser for the round. While he has his eyes closed, the group decides who the ‘leader’ should be. The leader will be the one who sets the movements for that round. When this person is chosen, ask the guesser to open his eyes. The guesser stands in the very center of the circle. When the round begins, everyone starts swinging their arms up and down. The leader will eventually begin to do other movements, and everyone else mimics the leader’s actions, without being too obvious to reveal who the leader is. The leader can do just about anything he or she wants, such as: clapping making a kicking motion with his or her leg jumping up and down patting his or her own head a dance move


THE COPYCAT GAME ( Continued ) Everyone in the circle should be careful to avoid prolonged eye contact with the leader, so the leader’s identity is not given away. The guesser must keep turning his head to try to figure out which person is the leader (the person who is starting of all the group’s movements). The guesser is allowed to make up to three guesses. If he’s not able to guess correctly, he is given a penalty like: say a sentence using the target vocabulary or structure, answer a question asked by the teacher, ask a question to another classmate, describe a picture, etc. And then he closes his eyes again and continues being the guesser for the next round. Set a time limit… “You have 30 seconds to make your three guesses!” Otherwise they might take too long. If he’s able to guess, the leader becomes the new guesser for the next round. But before he closes his eyes, he’s the one who is given the penalty. If you have a big group, you can play two rounds with the whole class and then divide them into two or three groups so they can play by themselves.


HOT BALLOONS MATERIAL: Balloons. Place inside each balloon a slip of paper with a target word written on it. Ask students to form small groups. Give each group a set of balloons and ask them to blow them up and make a knot. Make sure they’re not too big. As you play music students hit a balloon to keep it in the air. When the music stops, the last student who touched the balloon has to sit on it and burst it without using his hands. They look for the slip of paper and write a sentence using the word written on it . The sentence has to have at least 10 words. The first group to finish gets a point for his team. Continue like that until you run out of balloons .


MUSICAL STORY Students make a circle. Give each student a blank sheet of paper and some crayons. Ask them to write their names on top of the sheet of paper. Students are going to create illustrations of a story titled: “Scary Night” (Or choose whatever title works best for the topic you’re teaching.) Tell students that you’re going to play some music and that they should draw pictures related to the title of the story... but they have to draw as fast as they can! After a few minutes, stop the music. Tell students to stop drawing and pass their sheets of paper to the student sitting to their right. Play music again, and tell them to continue with the new picture they just got. Keep rotating pictures for several rounds until the papers are almost full. Ask students to look for their original sheets of paper... that’s why they wrote their names at the beginning of the activity. Now ask students to work in groups. Tell them that they’re going to use those pictures to create the story titled... of course... ‘Scary Night’ Encourage students to use their imaginations and to come up with original and funny stories! When groups are ready, they present their stories to the whole class. Tell them to refer to the pictures as they present. Every group member should participate during the presentation. After each group finishes, ask the ‘audience’ questions about the story to make sure they were paying attention.


FORBIDDEN VOWEL You are going to tell students a key word and a ‘forbidden vowel’. They have to come up with 5 words related to the key word BUT those words may not have the forbidden vowel. For example: Teacher: “Key word = Traffic / Forbidden letter = a” Students may write = drive / stop / motorcycle / police officer / signs The first group to finish gets a point. If it isn’t clear why a word was used, students have to explain the association in order to get the point. For example: We used ‘stop’ because when there’s a lot of traffic, cars have to stop. Change key word and the forbidden vowel after each round . If your students are beginners, just ask them to write 5 random words that don’t have the forbidden vowel.


ROCK, PAPER , SCISSORS Write on the board a ‘penalty’, for example: “Talk about what you did last summer.” Pass a container full of lego ( or colorful wooden tongue depressors or paper clips). Ask students to take 10 each . Students stand up and find a partner. Each student has to decide how many lego pieces he’s going to bet. He can bet up to 3 pieces ... not more. They play “Rock, Paper, Scissors” The student who didn’t win has give the winner the amount of lego pieces he bet and then do the penalty written on the board. Students find a new partner and keep repeating the same procedure until they run out of time. At the end, the students who have more lego pieces are the winners. If a student runs out of lego pieces before the game is over, he is eliminated and has to sit down.

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