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

Monday, September 10, 2012

Quickdraw McGraw

Level: Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced.

Skills: speaking.

Topic: vocabulary, grammar, spelling.

Materials: cards for the words/sentences you're going to use, inflatable hammer.

Time: 10 to 15 minutes.

This is a fun way to practice quick-thinking production for just about any vocabulary or language you're teaching. Set up two desks at the front of the room. Put a soft object (for example, a paper ball) on each desk. Have two students come up to stand at a desk and face each other. Then put a card on each desk.

Give some kind of signal to start the quickdraw. The students then race to flip their card over, produce the language you want them to say, and then throw the ball to try and hit their opponent. The first student to correctly produce the language and hit their opponent wins. Students are allowed to dodge what's thrown at them, but I find that running around the room makes the game not so exciting. So tell them they can dodge as long as their feet don't move (Matrix moves are just fine). Also, be careful of head shots.

To control the sneakier kids, I enforce a "Kabong!" (from the old Hanna Barbara cartoon character Quickdraw McGraw/El Kabong) If they move their feet when dodging, throw too hard, hit their opponent's head, or just mumble gibberish to quickly get their chance to throw, then I "Kabong!" them on the head with an inflatable hammer.

My students just loved this game!

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