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?
This game I got from a dear colleague of mine. It’s a Colombian game – similar to hot potato. Have the students form a circle. You then have them pass an object around – ball, microphone, stuffed animal- whatever you have is good. I usually use a ball or microphone. As the students pass the object, cover your eyes and say tingo repeatedly until you feel like stopping. When you stop yell TANGO! Whoever has the object should then answer a question/prompt depending on what you’re working on. I’m not sure why but the kids LOVE this game. Probably because of the suspense and trying to avoid being the one holding the object when I yell TANGO! You can also just use music and not say tingo, tango- the kids like that too because they get to listen to Spanish music.
Do you play a similar game? What games do you play?
My students LOVE this game and request it almost daily. One thing I strive to do is to make learning fun so I’m always on the search for great learning games- not games that will just kill time but games that will really help my students with their language learning. I came across the vocabulary review game ALTO a few years ago on the http://www.bablingua.com blog, tried it and I absolutely love it and thought it would be worth sharing. It’s basically like the game scategories where you are given several categories and have a certain amount of time to complete them. This is the same idea.
To play, first create a table with several columns- one for each topic you’d like to review/practice. Then to play you just give your class a letter and their task is to complete each category with a word that begins with the letter you gave them. I don’t usually time them and the group who calls out ALTO first gets a point. Below is an example of what we did today in class. I do mine on the board and the students just use scrap paper but you could always make up a board in word. Another important thing to remember is to prepare the letters ahead of time, especially at the novice level where they don’t have too much vocabulary.
What games do you play in class?
There’s really something to be said about getting kids moving around and playing in the classroom. It really makes a difference in their learning! And… they LOVE it. So why not? My goal this year has been to incorporate more games and cooperative activities in my curriculum. In the next few posts I’ll share some of the games I play and hopefully get some ideas from you!
One game my students love is Alrededor del mundo or Around the world. I have a PPT I use and adapt for different topics. I then have the students create a circle around the room. To play I have the first two students compete to answer a questions, the winner then moves on and competes with the next person and so on until a person makes it around the world and back to their spot. They love it because they get to move around and middle schoolers love to compete. I usually give the winner a sticker or bookmark!
What games do you play with your students?
Here is an around the world ppt I have for verbs on TPT!