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Partner crossword puzzles

24 Feb

This activity gives students practice reading and speaking.  Be sure to tell students to give reading the clues in the TL a fair try, not to resort to English too easily (or at all preferably).

Prepare two different crossword puzzles.  The clues to each puzzle are switched on the puzzle pages.  Label one Crossword A and one Crossword B so you know the difference.
In pairs, students take turns reading the clues on their puzzle page to their partner.

Variations:
1.  Prepare one puzzle but give one student the horizontal and one the vertical clues.
2.  Have students create puzzles.  They put the puzzle on one page and the clues on the other.  Students read the clues they made for their partner to complete the puzzle.  

99: The number card game

22 Feb

My students love this card game.  It gets them to produce numbers to 99 randomly.  It does take about 15 minutes to play.  I have seen many versions on the Internet.  Here is how we play:

This game is played with a standard deck of cards.  Students play in groups of four or five. Each group gets a deck of cards. Each player gets five euros/chips/markers, or score can be kept on paper. The goal is to have the most markers/points at the end.

Students take turns dealing. Each player is dealt four cards, and the remaining cards are placed face down in the middle.  The student to the left of the dealer begins, and play begins in a clockwise direction.  The player lays his/her card and announces the total sum in the stack. So the first player simply announces the number on his/her card. The second player adds the value of the card he/she lays and announces the total (in the TL of course). And so on. However, there are some twists:

  • Cards are valued as follows: Ace (1), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 are face value
  • If an eight is laid, the play reverses direction, and the total doesn’t change (don’t add 8)
  • If a nine is laid, the next player is skipped.
  • If a ten is laid, the ten are SUBTRACTED from the total
  • The Jack and Queen are ten points.
  • A King automatically brings the total to 99.

It is helpful to print, project or write these values on the board.

After laying a card and announcing the total, the player picks up a card from the draw pile. Students should always have four cards in their hand.

THE MARKERS: The object in each round is to reach 100 without going over. The player who makes the pile go over 100 has to give the player who previously played a marker. If a player says a number in English, a marker is taken away from that student and is in the “pot” for the winner.

Once 100 is reached, the losing players each give the winner a marker and play pile begins again. Students do not reshuffle and deal.  Begin at zero.

The game is over when the draw pile is empty and all cards have been played out of the students’ hands or at the end of a time limit.  The player with the most markers at that point wins.

My students loved this card game.  If you have other card games that work well, please share them.

Thanks, Penny

Listen and draw

22 Feb

Have students fold paper in fourths then number the squares 1-4 (or 1-8 if you use the back too).  Say (in the TL) “Number One. I like apples. “ or something like that using a vocabulary word in a simple context.  The students draw a representation of the word you used.  Repeat until all squares are filled, then check the answers by having the students tell you what the word for each number was (in the TL, of course).

This can also be used as a pop quiz….

More or Less

18 Feb

This game practices numbers.  It works well because students can narrow down the number quickly and get lots of speaking and number recognition practice.
Make a T-chart on the whiteboard.  Write Más (more) on the left side and Menos (less) on the right side.
I usually start and choose a number for the class to guess.  I put a range on the board (0-100, etc).  I write the number secretly on a piece of paper.  Students raise their hands to guess my number.  I write the number guessed in the appropriate column in the T-chart so the students know if my number is higher or lower than the one they guessed.
The student who guesses correctly chooses the next number.  They must stand at the board and select guessers and write their numbers int eh chart.  
I have the student write it on a piece of paper so I can help and make sure they do not change their number.
After playing as a class a few times, students can play in small groups so that more students are actively playing.

Jeopardylabs.com

8 Feb

The best place to make Jeopardy games online is jeopardylabs.com.

It is fast & simple to create and the game is saved on the site for later use.  It also keeps score for you.

The only trick is to remember where to put the question and where to put the answer.  Test it after making a few squares to make sure that you have not done it backwards.

Students have to learn quickly how to say “What is….” if you make them answer in the form of a question.

There are also several Jeopardy templates online if you would like to save games to your computer.  There are templates for 10 different games at this site: http://bestteacherblog.com/powerpoint-game-templates/

Reverse charades

7 Feb

This is a good review game for any unit of vocabulary that can be acted out.  The premise is that the roles are reversed.  The guesser is one person and the teammates are the actors.  It keeps everyone active in the game.

Divide the students into two teams.
Arrange them in the room so the teams are sitting facing each other.
One person from each team stands between the teams.
The two contestants must stand back to back while each is facing the opposite team.
The teach writes a vocabulary word on a small whiteboard (or scrap paper, or use flashcards) and shows it to everyone except the contestants.  The reason the contestants are facing the opposite team is so the teammates cannot try to give hints or begin acting early.
When everyone has seen the word, the teacher counts to three.
The contestants turn and face their own team.  Their team is acting out the word. They must do it silently.
The first contestant to say the word correctly in the TL gets a point for their team.
Contestants square off three times before being replaced with someone new from their team.

 

Stinky Feet Game

3 Feb

My students love this game.  I am sure that I learned about it from an elementary teacher’s blog.

Set up:  Draw a picture of a big foot on the board.  Put point values on the back of several sticky notes (75% positive, 25% negative) and put them on and around the foot.

Students get into groups of four.
Each group member gets a number (1-4), they can decide on their own who is what number.
The teacher asks a question.
Groups confer on answer and make sure each member knows the answer (or a possible answer).
After 30 seconds or so the teacher says what student number must come up to answer.
They write the answer on a small white board or whisper to teacher.
All students must know the answer because they do not know who will be called.  If correct, they pull a sticky note to receive their group’s points.

I did make the mistake of making the points half positive and half negative but it is much better if only 25% of the points are negative.

For a variation you can give a subject and an infinitive that they have to conjugate.

Snowball review

2 Feb

I saw someone on another blog post this not long ago as Papeles Locos.  I am not sure which blog it was, I see so many of them.  I played it in class last week.  It went really well.  I wrote a sentence starter on the top of each paper and had them complete the sentence (but while rewriting the sentence starter.  I left the verb un-conjugated, another task they had to complete.
Write a different vocabulary word on the top of several pieces of paper, and each team (of two to three students) receives a different color marker.
Write about ten vocabulary words for four groups.  You could really go crazy, and write a lot for an exam review.
Then, crumple all of the papers up and put them in the middle of the room.
Each team picks a paper and has to write a sentence using that verb or noun and include their team number.  They crumple up that piece of paper and pick a new one.
Give extra points to teams who correct another team’s sentence and to the team that writes the longest sentence on each piece of paper.
They cannot write similar sentences, or they will not receive any points.
They can also write an additional sentence if they pick up the same piece of paper.  It is a quick review that is very effective.

I made a time limit of 10 minutes to increase the urgency and teamwork.

Penny

Pop up Game

29 Jan

 

Students are divided into two even teams, and each student gets a number.  There will be two students with each number (one on each team).
Call out a question, and then state a number.
The student with that number to stand up first and call out the answer correctly gets a point for their team.
If there is a tie, they play rock, paper, scissors to see who wins.
Hand out numbered index cards to make sure they remember their number.  Have them switch numbers a couple of times during game play to  square off against someone else.

If you like, here is a Random Number Generator.  Just type in the number of students per team.

Apples to Apples for beginning students:

28 Jan

As always I am not sure where I go this idea.  I wish I could give credit…

Apples to apples is a great game but can be difficult for students who do not know as many words in the target language.  Plus, it can be time-consuming to write all of the nouns that you want to use.  This makes it less time-consuming to prep.  Make a list of adjectives that the students know.  You can also use cognates such as fabuloso or excelente.
Divide the students in groups of four or five.  At the beginning of the game, the first leader picks an adjective.  Then each student writes down a proper noun that they think the adjective describes.  Proper nouns such as names and places are good because they would not change in the target language.  They pass their nouns to the leader for that round.  The leader chooses the word that they think best fits the description of the adjective, and that student is the winner for that round.  Each round there is a different leader (go clockwise with each student taking a turn being the leader).  The winner is the student whose noun was picked seven times by the leaders.
This game would also be good for “best of” places.  Students could name the best restaurant, shopping mall, place to get coffee etc.  In a more advanced class, students could state why their noun should be considered the best.  It is also great for descriptive adjectives.

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