Tried and tested (and approved!) games and activities to help English learning.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

I'm hosting a party and I'm bringing...

Level: Intermediate and Advanced.

Skills: speaking.

Topic: vocabulary.

Materials: none.

Time: 10 to 15 minutes.

For this game, you will need the collaboration of a student. This is because you will have to tip him on how to play it, in order to make the game more fun. It works best with students who are not the 'teacher's pet' or even the brightest ones in class; an 'average joe' will do fine. Call this student aside, before class, and tell him/her the 'trick' of the game: you are going to start the game by saying "I'm hosting a party and I'm bringing [an object/a person]", with this object or person starting with the first letter of your name. So, as an example, my name is Fabrício so I will say: "I'm hosting a party and I'm bringing some figs". (Check if the student got it, because I had some funny, but not so productive, experiences with absent-minded students). 

When in class, get the game going by stating your sentence (perhaps you should write the first stem of the sentence on board to ease the memorization process of visual-based students): "I'm hosting a party and I'm bringing [something]." Point to the first student, not necessarily the one who you talked to previously, and ask him/her to repeat the sentence up to the part where he/she has to select what he/she wants to bring, adding his/her own idea. If the object/person selected starts with the same letter of their names, students can come to your party, then you say: "Yes, you can come to my party! Welcome!". Otherwise, simply say: "No, you can't come to my party, I'm sorry!". Do not explain the rules yet and continue the game, pointing to another student. 

When all students have spoken, go back to the first one, repeating the procedure, ensuring that students understood the rules. It may happen that, by sheer luck, a student says the right word but still does not have the grasp of the rule. Play continues until all students but one (or two, if you think it is taking too long) gets the rule figured out. Then, ask a student (but the one you talked to first) to explain the rule to the class.

Variation: this game can be played with a different rule each time (only the final letters of your chosen words, words with double letters, snippets of songs, etc.).

Special thanks to fellow teacher Arthur Parente, who kindly taught me this game. 

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