Here are three of my favourite classroom games at the moment.
Super Challenge Pictionary (aka Cecilia’s game).
You need: 1 mini-board or a piece of paper and a board pen for each pair.
Each pair chooses a team name. The teacher writes the team names on the board.
Partner A from each team comes to the front while Partner B remains seated.
The teacher writes the target word on a piece of paper and shows partner A
Partner A returns to Partner B, Partner A draws the picture with his/her eyes closed. The first Partner B to shout out the correct answer gets the point.
I call this Cecilia’s game because she requested to play it in class and explained how the game is played. I’ve learnt a lot of new games asking the students to tell me about their favourite games.
This is useful to practise grammar structures.
Divide students into teams A and B (with a maximum of 6 students in each team).
The two teams stand in a line in front of the board. In each team, the student at the end of the line, nearest the board needs to have a board marker.
The teacher writes a sentence on a paper, for example ‘We were playing football in the park when it started to rain’.
If you have an odd number, one student can be the sentence master and read the sentence to the first person in each line. Alternatively, the teacher can join a line to even out the numbers.
The idea is that you can only whisper the sentence to the person next to you in the line and you need to be strict on that. The students communicate the sentence down the line by whispering (similar to Chinese Whispers). They can ask for repetition, clarification and/or suggest corrections but only by speaking to the person next to them.
The first team to write the sentence correctly wins the point. The writer moves from the board to the back of the line and then you are ready to go again with a new sentence.
Guess the sentence
I know about this game from a conference feedback session. My colleague picked it up from a talk at the ACEIA conference in Seville.
Imagine you have been working on the passive in class. You then write a sentence in the target grammar on a piece of paper and keep it where none of the students can see.
So for example (Ochios are made in Ubeda)
On the board, I draw lines which represent the missing words
The students then take it in turns to guess the missing words.
I have managed to do it without giving any clues but you can always give them something to get them started. Here I might give them Ubeda or Ochios, a local spiced bread roll if you were wondering.
This is great for adding fun to a grammar point and it draws the students attention to agreements and the mechanics of a sentence.
I often use games as an energiser or a reward at the end of the lesson. I recently wrote a blog on the Teaching English website on how to end the class with reflection. You can see that post here. For a look at how I like to start classes with micro-writing click here.