On Friday I created a new revision game for my students. I hope you like it too!
Collect a series of mistakes your students make throughout the week/course, for example with tenses or collocations. Or choose a set of lexis you’ve recently taught. You need about 15 things.
Write a key word prompt at the side of the board for each of the mistakes. For example, if your students always say ‘I want to make a Masters’, your prompt could be ‘do a Masters’.
Turn it into a table, like so:
Divide your class into teams of 4-5 students. I had two teams, so there were two empty columns, but if you have more, add more columns! You need one column for each team.
Each team needs a mini whiteboard, a pen and a board rubber. If you don’t have mini whiteboards, you could put a piece of paper in a plastic wallet and give the students tissues to rub out the sentences after they have scored for them.
Now that you are all set up, this is how the game goes:
- Each team chooses a prompt from the table (they can use the prompts in any order).
- They write a sentence using the prompt correctly. I was very strict and told my students that all punctuation had to be correct too.
- They show the teacher the sentence. If they are the first team to use that prompt and the sentence is perfect, they get 2 points. If they are the second team to use it, they get 1 point. If there is a mistake, they don’t get any points. Instead, put a little cross in the corner of the box. They have to rub out that sentence, work on a different one, and then they can come back and try that prompt again later. (With 4 teams, give 4 points for the first team, 3 for the second and so on)
- When one team has used all of the prompts, the game stops and the points are added up. The team with the most points wins.
They can use more than one prompt in the same sentence if they want to. Remind the students that it’s a race, and that they have to be quick to make sure that the other team(s) doesn’t beat them to all the high point scores!
This was my board at the end of a pre-intermediate class.
Examples of sentences I accepted were:
- When were you born?
- I have lived in Newcastle for a year.
- I like playing noughts and crosses.
Sentences I didn’t accept include:
- Can I go home (no question mark)
- He is a student. (not the same as on the board – I wanted to make sure they remember you can use ‘he’s')
- My career is teaching. (no ‘in’)
The next teacher saw the game, and asked me to explain it to her, so we played it with her upper intermediate class too.
It took about half an hour to play. By making the students write a completely new sentence each time they make a mistake, instead of editing what they just wrote, they have to really focus on accuracy. The students were engaged, and really wanted to be accurate, because they knew they wouldn’t get any points if they weren’t!
I hope that all makes sense. Let me know if you have any adaptations.