My favourite mistakes card game

Introduction:

This is a fun, competitive card game for small groups of 3 or more players to review the most common mistakes made typically by Spanish speakers of English, whilst encouraging teamwork and peer correction.

Objetive:

  1. The objective of the game is to collect the most cards by correcting the sentences written on the cards.

Materials:

32 printable cards

How to play:

  1. Print and cut out the cards, one set per group of 3 or 4.
  2. Place all cards face down on the table.
  3. The first player draws the top card of the pile and reads the incorrect sentence out loud. The remaining players listen to the sentence and try to identify the mistake. The first player to raise their hand and read the sentence correctly keeps the card. If they are wrong, the opportunity to win the card goes to the second player who put their hand up, and then the third. If none of the players identify the mistake, the card is placed at the bottom of the pile.
  4. Play continues in a circle going left.
  5. The winner is the player with the most cards at the end of the game.

 

my-favourite-mistakes-card-game-cards

Random words

Introduction: 

This is a creative speaking activity inspired by a great book by Edward de Bono called “Creativity Workout”. I bought it a couple of years ago and couldn’t help thinking how useful some of the techniques he mentions could be in the classroom.

Objective:

  1. To recycle vocabulary in a new and memorable context.

Materials:  

One die per pair or group

Procedure:

  1. Draw a 6 x6 grid on the board.
  2. Ask the students to review recently studied vocabulary (words from a specific unit, words belonging to a specific category, etc.) and provide a word for each square – make sure each student suggests at least one word to personalise and give ownership. Make sure the students know the meaning of all the words.
  3. When the grid is complete, put students in pairs. To obtain words for the speaking activity students throw the dice twice: the first throw indicates which column they are going to use and the second indicates which row they are going to use. Depending on the task, they must roll for the number of words and use them repetitively to complete the activity.
  4. The following are just examples of activities that can be done with random words. They could be done in one session or you could choose a few to do as a warmer or plenary :
  • Obtain four random words. Combine the words to create a new business, explain how the business would work and how it would make profit.
  • Obtain four random words. Create a pilot episode of a television series using the random words in any order you wish.
  • Obtain four random words. Use the words to design a new sport and explain the benefits of the new sport to your partner.
  • Obtain five random words. Define a problem your hometown faces and show how the ideas expressed by those words could help solve the problem.
  • Obtain four random words. Create new school subjects using the random words and explain how they would benefit the students.
  • Obtain five random words. You are the president of the country. Create five new rules the citizens must follow using the random words.
  • Obtain three random words. Design a futuristic piece of technology that will revolutionize our world using the random words. Explain how the new piece would work.
  • Obtain five random words.  Using the random words explain to your teacher / boss why you were late for class / school.
  • Obtain three random words. For each of the words produce 5 more words which are somehow related to that word. The tighter the relationship between the two words the better.
  • Obtain five random words. Using the words create an alibi for a relative who has been accused of a crime.

What ya doin’ warmer

Introduction:

This is a great warmer I’ve actually taken part in in an acting class. It allows elementary students to practise the present continuous in a really entertaining way.

Objective:

  1. To practise the present continuous tense.

Procedure:

  1. Ask students to stand in a circle.
  2. One student stands in the middle of the circle and mimes an action e.g. cooking.
  3. A student who stands in the circle walks up to the student in the middle and asks “What are you doing?”
  4. The miming student in the middle doesn’t say what they are actually doing but says what the student who asked will have to mime next e.g. I am skiing.
  5. The first student leaves the circle and the second student continues miming until someone enters the circle and asks what they are doing.
  6. The game continues until all the students have mimed an action at least twice.

Summary of past or recent events

Introduction:

This is a speaking activity which allows students to describe the most important things that happened to them in 2016, over the holidays, the last school year etc.

Objectives:

  1. To describe past events using past tenses or recent events using present perfect tenses.
  2. To practise asking wh-questions in authentic communication.

Procedure:

  1. Ask students to write down ten important or memorable things that happened to them in the chosen time period. Make sure they know the events will be discussed in class and are not too personal. You can decrease or increase that number depending on how talkative your class is (I found teenagers usually struggle with ten).
  2. Put students in pairs (student A and student B) or groups of three.
  3. Student A briefly describes the first event on the list. Once student A has finished student B asks additional questions starting with who, whose, what, when, where, why, which, how, how long and how many.
  4. Encourage students to show pictures of the events, if they have any on their phones, to make the activity more relevant.
  5. Students continue until they have each described all the events from their lists.

Alternative ideas:

  1. You could also ask students to come up with a recent summary of events in politics, art, science, etc.
  2. You could use it as a getting- to- know- you activity with students writing a list of “Ten things to know about me “.

 

 

Ask a Q board game

Introduction:

This is a free printable board game to practise adjectives followed by prepositions and improve fluency under time pressure.

Objective:

The objective of the game is to reach the end by moving across the board whilst asking and answering questions.

Materials:

Printable ASK a Q board game, a die, one checker per player and a countdown timer.

How to play:

  1. Ask a Q is played by 2 to 4 players.
  2. Players take it in turns to throw the die and move the number thrown.
  3. When a player lands on a square they ask the student on their right the question from that square. The student has to speak for at least 45 seconds without excessive repetition, and must answer the question using the adjective and the preposition in bold. If the player repeats or pauses for too long, the timer is restarted and they must start their answer again. After completing the task, they then roll the die and ask the question to the student on their right.
  4. The winner is the first player to land on the last square.

 

Note: The adjectives and prepositions are in bold to encourage noticing.

ask-a-q-printable-board-game

 

When & where board game

Introduction:

This is a free printable board game to review prepositions of time and place.

Objective:

The objective of the game is to move across the board and reach the end with the highest number of points; points are given for correct use of the prepositions in, at or on.

Materials:

Printable board game, dice and some checkers.

How to play:

  1. When & where is played by 2 to 4 players.
  2. Players take it in turns to throw the dice and move the number thrown.
  3. When the players land on the squares they must create two sentences with the expressions on the square. The players get one point for each correct sentence e.g. if the player rolls a 3 they move 3 spaces on the blue board and think of sentences with the words given : I would love to travel to India in the future, I was at a boring meeting last night. They score 2 points and the next player rolls the dice.
  4. If the player makes a mistake they don’t receive a point for that sentence.
  5. Other players can receive extra points if they spot and correct the other player’s mistake, which encourages peer correction.
  6. The winner is the player who lands on the last square with the highest number of points for correct sentences.

 

when-where-printable-board-game

P.S. Thank you Alex for your support and constant motivation.

Compare & contrast board game

Introduction: This is a free communicative printable board game (Bubblegum) to review compare and contrast expressions.

Objective: The objective of the game is to be the first player to reach the end by moving across the pink board from square 1 to the final square.

Materials: printable board game, dice and some checkers.

Instructions:

1. Bubblegum is played by 2 to 4 players. You could print one board game per pair or use one board game only.

2. The board consists of 36 squares alternating between 12 outside squares and 24 pink squares.

3. To decide who starts, each player should roll the die once to see who gets the highest number. Whoever rolls the highest number gets to take the first turn. Play continues in a circle going left.

4. First player rolls the die. The number indicates the number of spaces on the pink board. If the player lands on a square with an even number they have to compare two things using one of the expressions from the outside squares. To determine which expression the player has to use, the player rolls the die again. The number corresponds to the number on the outside board. For example, if the player rolls a 4 and then a 4 again, they move to square 4 on the pink board and square 4 on the left and compare two courses they’ve taken using the expressions indicated: The two language courses I’ve taken recently have quite a lot in common, The two language courses I’ve taken recently are very similar. If they land on one of the squares with an odd number they have to contrast two things using one of the expression(s) indicated on the right hand side.

5. If the player makes a mistake they go back one space.

6. Other players can move up one space if they correct the other player’s mistake.

7. You win by rolling the exact number needed to land on the last square.

bubblegame-board-game