Sometimes you forget that the activities you use all the time might not be known to other teachers at all. To that end, I would like to share some of my favourite classroom games in a series of posts, and I invite you to do the same.
On to the first entry:
Giant noughts and crosses
I learnt this game (like many I will share) during an observation at IH Brno. Unfortunately I can’t remember who I was observing, so if it was you, please make yourself known!
Start by dividing the board in squares. Aim for more than 25 to give the students plenty of options later in the game.
In each square write an item of vocabulary which your class has recently studied. You could also ask the students to write these up. Your board should now look something like this:
Divide your class into two or three groups. Each group needs a pen and paper or a mini whiteboard if you have them. For two groups, one is noughts and one is crosses. For three, add triangles (or whatever other shape you like!)
Ask the class to choose a number between six and twelve. For example, nine. This is the minimum number of words in the sentences they must produce.
Choose one group to start (A). That group selects any word from the board. Every group (A, B and C; not just A) has two minutes to write a sentence including that vocabulary item. In this example all sentences they produce should have nine or more words.
When every group has a sentence, the group which chose the word (A) reads their sentence out. If the rest of the class think they have used the vocabulary item correctly, they can mark their nought/cross on the word. If not, the other team can try by reading out their sentence. If neither team has a correct sentence, the square is available for another turn, but they must write new sentences.
The aim of the game is to win lines of three squares, horizontally, vertically or diagonally. For every line of three, the team gets one point. At the end of the game, the winning team is the one with the highest number of points.
If you want to add an extra challenge, groups are only allowed to include each square in a maximum of two lines. In the photo above, that means triangles cannot use ‘rise’ in another line, circles can’t use ‘realize’ and crosses can’t reuse ‘actually’.
It is great revision, and can easily fill a two-hour lesson.
What are your favourite games? If you would like to share one as a guest post here, let me know and we can arrange it.