Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Still More EFL Games

Clapping game:
Have all the children sit in a row or in a circle. Show the children a rhythm of clapping, (e.g. clap, knee slap, clap, and clap) and start the round by saying a word (it is best if you use themes: animals, foods etc…). The student next to you then has to, while keeping in the rhythm say a new word (within the same theme). If a child uses a word that as already been said, he/she is out for that round.

Color Circles:
This is a great game for really young children. Get some pieces of paper and draw a large circle on the inside of each one. Pin the circles on different walls of the classroom. Model the activity by saying “Blue!” and take a blue crayon and walk over to one of the circles and color a small part of the circle. Do this for each color you plan to teach. Each child should have their own circle and their own crayons. When a color is called out each child should color that circle a bit.

Color Bin:
For this game you need to have 7 or 8 little bins, paper cups, whatever you like that will fit the objects you decide to use. Each bin should represent a different color, and should have that color on the front of it. Have many different objects or pompom balls, several for each color. Place all the objects on a table in front of the bins and ask the children in which bin each object belongs. I let the children put the objects in the bin themselves and loudly we all say what color that is. I also like to say, “What color is it?” and say the wrong color, and try to place it in the wrong bin, this really gets a rise out of the children and keeps their attention.

Cross the River:
Place flashcards on the floor in a winding manner. Each card represents a stepping-stone in a river. As the students go across the river, they must say the name of the picture they are stepping on. You can play this game where you have two students racing across at the same time, each from opposite ends, or one at a time in teams. This is a great game for reviewing.

Copycat:
Stand in front of the class and demonstrate different movements, have the students copy you. After you have acted out a few different actions such as shaking your hands around or flapping your arms… invite a child to be the leader. One by one have the children come up, each moving in different ways and getting the children to copy them.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

EFL Games Never End

Body Parts Touching Game:
Have two decks of cards. Each card should have a part of the body on it; the more parts there are the better. Separate the class into two or more teams. One child comes up to the front at a time and picks a card from each pile. The child then must try and touch the body part shown on one card with the one shown on the other. Obviously some of these will be near or completely impossible, but they will also be very amusing. Every success, or near success, wins a point for his/her team. Another simpler way of playing this is to have two children come up and each picks a card. One child then has to touch the part shown on their card with the other child’s part (e.g. nose to knee, mouth to elbow.) Even though this game is very simple, my younger children love it.

Body Ball:
This game is not a favorite with my co/workers, but it is definitely a favorite with my students. Have a deck of cards ready with pictures of various parts of the body on them. Have a child come up and chose a card. Have the class tell you what it is a picture of and repeat it several times. Then have the child stand behind the line and throw a very soft toy or ball at that part of your body. I give my students three tries and rarely do they even come close to hitting the right spot. (You can play this game in teams.)

Body Letters:
You will need quite a bit of space for this game. Have the children lie on the floor and have them make letters of the alphabet with their bodies.

Bugs Go Marching:
Make some laminated bugs and have them so that you can Velcro or pin them to the children. When I made my bugs, I made them really colorful and silly looking, with stripes and polka dots… the sillier the better. Have the children pick out their bugs one by one and return to their seats. Have the homeroom teacher play the song “The Ants go marching” (or find a recording of it if you can). I always start the marching while singing “The bugs go marching one by one hoorah, hoorah…” While singing I march around the row of students seated in the middle of the room. When the next verse comes, grab a student and link them behind your back while singing the next verse “The bugs go marching two by two….” Every time you begin the next verse, have another student ink on. Encourage the children to yell the “hoorahs” and the numbers, the louder the better. (Another suggestion, I don’t even know the words to the song, and the students don’t care. I fill the words with “bum-pa-da-da-da-da-da-da-da…”) It is the counting and the “hoorahs” that are important.)

Chair Switch:
For this game you will need to make a series of necklaces, each with an image as a pendant. Only 3,4or 5 images are needed, since there should be many children wearing the same image. Whatever images you choose, you need to have a flashcard of them, along with one depicting all the images you use on one card. On chairs, seat the children in a circle. Play some music and encourage the children to sing along. When the music stops, show one of the flashcards. All the children wearing that image must change seats, if someone ends up in the same seat they are out (for the younger kids, I have them write their names with their bum in the air, they think this is hilarious!) You can show two cards at a time, and all those children have to switch seats, but the funniest is when you show the flashcard with all the images on it, because then they all have to scatter around switching seats, laughing, frantically.

Charades:
There are so many different versions of charades I play with my kids. It’s a great way to review 9 I like playing charades because it lets my shier kids get a chance at more out going.) I play it with topics such as: employment, emotions, vehicle, animal, insect, sport… the list goes on forever… all you need are some flashcards.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Couple More EFL Games

Various Noun Ball Pass:
This game is played the same way as “Ball Pass”, but instead of letters, use the words; it is a great way to review. You can use the days of the week, the months of the year etc…

Ball Passing (Buzz):
This is a counting game. Have the students sit in a circle. The students pass around a ball while counting (1, 2, 3, etc…). When the number reaches 7 (or any random number) the student must say, “buzz.” You can play this game in which any number with the number (let’s say 7) must be replaced with “buzz” (7, 17, 27, 37, etc…) the other way to play is that with any multiple of the number (let’s say 7) must be replaced with “buzz” (like 14, 21, 28, etc…).

Balloon Pass II:
Have the children stand in a circle. Without using their hands, have the children pass around the balloon. If a child happens to use their hands or is unable to keep the balloon afloat, the child must then say an English word. This game is great for reviewing words, themes and so on.

Basketball:
This game works best when played in teams and lets the students take a shot (with a soft toy or ball) at the trashcan or box. This game works best in teams. Ask a student from the first team a question, if he/she answers correctly; he/she gets a shot at the basket. If the student gets the ball in the basket he/she gets 2 points, if not they just get the 1 point from answering the question correctly. The team with the most points wins.

Behind Your back:
Before the game starts, show the class the series of flashcards you intend to use. Give a series of descriptions for each one. (This game can be played in teams or as a whole class depending on the age and so on.) Have one child at a time come up to the front. Using tape, stick the picture on the child’s back. I have the children yell, “Turn around!” and then the child turns around so as the class can see the picture on his/her back. Have the children give descriptions as to what is on their back. The child then has to guess what the picture is. (When playing in teams, you can give extra points if it is guessed in less than three guesses. You can also play that if the other team happens to say anything, they lose a point.)

Blindfold Bell:
I played this game with the children at Christmas time and called it “Blind Santa.” Have the children sit in a circle with one child in the middle. The child in the middle needs to be blindfolded and as a bell gets passed from student to student the blindfolded child in the middle needs to catch the bell. Depending on the age group, spinning the child around a bit first to disorient them is fun.

Blindfold Course:
Make an obstacle course in your classroom (use desks, chairs, pillows etc…) put a blindfold on a student and have the rest of the class guide him/her by using simple instructions (e.g. walk two steps, turn right etc…)

Blindfold Guessing:
Blindfold a student and have them guess what they are touching. This works great with little plastic animals and toy fruits. This is a great way to review, stationary, classroom objects etc…

Blindfold Guess Who:
Have the children sit in a circle. Have one child sit in the center, blindfolded. The children then one by one say “Who am I?” and the child in the middle guesses who is talking. I usually have each child guess from about three different voices.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

More EFL Games

Airplane Competition:
First, have your students make paper airplanes. Stand the students in a line, side by side and let them test fly their planes. For the competition assign different classroom objects for the children to hit with their planes. I use this game also when learning the body parts and various other themes. Have the students try and hit the specific part you tell them to. You can also ask a question first and only if they answer correctly are they given the chance to fly their plane. All these work well in teams, and my kids love it.

All Aboard The Color Train:
This game is best for the really young kids. Make different colored train tickets and laminate them. Hand out the colors to the children and loudly say “All aboard the color train!” Randomly pick a color. The children must give you that colored ticket to board the train. Have the children join face to back each with their hands on the shoulders of the children ahead of them. Move around the room making train noises, to music is best.

Animal Noises:
(This game is great if you have the book ‘Inside the Barn in the Country’ Cut out farm animals and laminate them. Make some headbands and put Velcro on the backs of the cut out animals as well as on the fronts of the headbands. Take the same animal images used for the headbands and make large versions of them, laminate them and put them on the board. Give each student a headband and an animal. (If you have a copy of the book “Inside the Barn in the Country,’ read it to them, but any animal story will work, whether it be ‘Old MacDonald’ or ‘Goodnight Gorilla’) Have the children sit in a row facing the front of the class. Go through the animals on the board, reminding the children what noise each animal makes. Now start the game. Each time you point to an animal, have the child with that animal on their headband stand up and make that noise. The first time it is best to go slowly, but the fun of the game is to go faster and faster. As you go through the list the children get better and better, so then you can ix up the order of the animals so they don’t know which to expect. The faster you go and the more you mix it up, the more mixed up the children become, and the funnier it is for both you and the children.

Animal Race:
You will need a bigger space for this game. Have your children sit in a row facing the front of the room. At the front of the class, place two chairs side by side about a meter apart. These chairs should be on one side of the front and have the same on the left side so that there is lots of room between them. Pick two children and have them sit on the chairs. The goal of this game is not about who the fastest animal is, but who the best animal imitator is. Tell them to “slither like a snake, hop like a rabbit, swim like a shark etc…” Be sure to yell “One, Two Threeeeeeee…. Go!” The children will leap from their chairs and race across to the chairs on the other side. Have the rest of the class judge who the best animal was and write their name on the board. At the end of the round have the best animals race each other. This game also is also great when learning about transportation e.g. “fly liker an airplane, etc…”

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

No Preparation EFL Games

I was going through my computer files and deleting old stuff when I came across this. I was about to delete it, but I thought before I do I ought to blog it. After all, I haven't been blogging much for the last year or so, and the information could be useful to someone.

By the way, I didn't invent these games, so don't sue me if something goes wrong.

Action Race:
This is a game that the children absolutely love. Using actions like run, jump, clap, run etc. the children race from one point to another. Have the children split into two teams and sitting in two rows on the floor with a chair in front of the first person in line. One student from each team stands up beside his/her chair and when you yell out an action, e.g. “jump!” the children must then jump all the way to the other side of the room and back to their chair. When the children come back and sit they must say “I can jump!” First student to get to their chair wins a point for their team. I like to give an extra point if they say the sentence properly, too. That way you can even out the points, so everybody wins. This is especially important to the younger kids.

Alphabet Ball Pass:
Have your children sit in a circle. Pass a balloon or a ball around the circle. Have each child recite the letters of the alphabet one by one. Once the letters have all been said, try and have the children each recite the letters, but not only their letter but all the letters previously said.

Balloon pass:
Have the children sit in a circle. While passing the balloon around have the children each say and English word. At first it is best is the children just say any random English word that they know, but after a round or two, assign themes to the game.

Line Up True or False:
Put a line of tape on the floor and designate one side the “true” side and the other to be the “false.” Have all the children stand on the line. Hold up an object or a flashcard and say something about it. The children then have to jump from one side, or the other. You can play this game in teams, count points or have the mistaken students sit out until the next game.

Musical hugs:
This game is very similar to musical chairs, except everybody wins. Play some music and have the children dance around. When the music stops, the children find one friend to hug (explain the hugs must be gentle, nice hugs). You can make different rules, such as when the music stops the children must find someone new to hug each time. There is no actual English content to this game, but it is really fun for little kids (I wouldn't advise it with high school students).

Pass:
Sit the students in a circle. Hold up a flashcard and loudly say what it is (e.g. “pen”…”). Pass it on to the student beside you, who in turn repeats it and passes it on to the next child. To begin with it is best to keep it slow, but it gets funnier the faster you pass out the cards. To make it even more confusing, try and switch directions you are sending the cards out.