I know some of you are probably much better at this teaching ordeal than I am, though I can safely say that I enjoy my job a hell of a lot and would just like to take the time to share a few fun teaching games that I love to use in my classes. They’re more focused on young learners, and lean towards TPR (total physical response), so they’re probably not too suitable for adults or teenagers. Anyway, here goes!
1) The “Have You Ever” game
I’m not sure where I found this game but it’s great fun, especially if you’re teaching the present perfect. Basically, you have two piles of paper containing words. Pile one is for verbs, and pile two if for nouns. Have the kids write down four or five random nouns and verbs each, and assemble the piles accordingly. Then, the students have to line up, with the first student taking a word from pile one first (verbs) and then pile two (nouns). The student must then ask the student behind them a “have you ever” question based on the words they have. For example, if they have “play” and “computer”, they have to ask “have you ever played a computer?” Which the next student must ask before they have a go. Encourage silly words, and the children love the randomness of it. I’ve had “Have you ever cooked a CD?” and “Have you ever hit a newspaper?” before.
2) Round the World
I learnt this when I was at a tennis club during my youth. It’s not really a learning game as such but more of a warmer or a filler that practices old vocabulary. First, a category is chosen (food and animals are good ones). Then, the chairs are arranged in the middle of the class forming a “net”. The children line up on the left hand side of the net, and then one by one, go to the middle of the class behind the chairs and catch a ball that is thrown by the teacher. Upon catching, the students must say a word belonging to the category before they through it back to the teacher. Then they run “around the world” and join the back of the queue while the next kid takes his or her turn. If the ball is dropped or the students can’t think of a word, then they’re out (you can give them two or three lives if you want though). Once more kids are out; the action gets really frantic as the kids have to run faster and faster around the net to catch the ball.
3) Blind Pictionary
Pictionary, but with a twist! Great game for drilling vocab this one. Once the target language is practiced, the children then come up to the board one by one to draw a picture of a certain word but with their eyes closed. You can tell the students which word to draw or have them think of one by themselves. Hilarity then ensues as the kids attempt to draw on the board with their eyes closed, with all the other normal Pictionary rules applying.
4) Snowball Fight
Good fun for sentence structure drilling of questions. After teaching the target language, have the children write a question on a piece of paper (anything from do you like…to do you have…). Then, the student must roll their pieces of paper into a “snowball”, and when the teacher says “go!” they have to throw their respective pieces of paper at each other. When the teacher says “stop!” students holding a piece of paper must unravel the paper, and ask the question to a student of their or the teacher’s choice. Bonus points are added if they can guess who wrote the question.
5) Run and Get It
Flashcards are lined up in the center of the room, and the class is split into two teams, with both teams standing on either side of the room. A teacher then says the name of one flashcard and two nominated kids from either must rush to grab the flashcard on the floor and call out the target language at the same time. Great fun – though take care they don’t
Tags:Expat Rants & Advice Teaching & Learning
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