With many of us doing review, games really come in handy. This year, we really don’t want to do a review unit but instead we are creating a unit that teaches new material but at the same time recycles the main concepts of last year. Games are so great for this.
One of our department goals this year is to create an environment for more cooperative learning. We have a new RTI initiative and one of our beliefs is that through more group work we will have the opportunity to have more one on one time with the students. We’ve spent a lot of department time discussing this and sharing ideas for cooperative learning games and activities.
One activity that came up is one I now call “relámpago” or lightning. For this game I create a set of cards with questions, prompts or scenarios. On the card I have the question/prompt/scenario as well as the possible answer(s). I give each group (usually 4-5 students) the set of cards and pick a leader. In the first round, the leader is charged with the task of picking a card from the deck and asking the question to one student. If the student gets the answer correct, they keep the card, if not, the card goes into the lightning round pile. The leader does this with the rest of the students in the group until they have gone through all the cards. In the relámpago, or lightning round, the leader then takes the cards that were left from the previous round and one at a time asks each question. The students in the group have to try to answer the question quickly – if they get it right they keep the card. The student with the most cards at the end wins! You can then choose another leader and play again or not. I also use these cards for ask, ask, switch speaking activity.
I’ve made a few sets of relámpago for different topics and recently uploaded a restaurant themed one to TPT. Check it out 🙂
This particular unit is vocab heavy – what strategies do you use with your students to help them learn key words and phrases? What cooperative games do you play?