Friday, May 9, 2014

Active Reading Review - Marker Partner Game

My Spanish 4 class is currently reading the latest book by Carrie Toth called La Calaca Alegre.  We needed to take a break from reading the book to prepare lessons and then visit the elementary schools, so it had been several days since our last chapter.  I used the following activity which proved successful as a review AND as a way to keep everyone actively engaged in the review.

First, we arranged the desks in a circle in groups of two with a marker placed in the middle of the top of the desks.  (The sketch to the right shows seating for 16 students but I had 13 sets of desks to accommodate 26 students. The activity works with large or small numbers.)

Then I used used the activity El Tenedor (The Fork Game) found on Bryan Kandel's website, but made some small changes to the rules and added some (extra) movement by having the students rotate to other seats because I knew that would work well in my class. 

There were two teams: students on the inside were one team, and students on the outside of the circle were another team.

I had prepared 20+ true/false statements in the TL about facts from chapters 1-5.  Then I read a statement to the students.

·      Rules:
1.    True statement: students race to grab the marker and hold it up. The team with the most members holding the marker receives 1 point.
2.    False statement: students do NOT touch/pick up marker. If nobody on the team touches/picks up marker, the team earns 1 point.  (Both teams have the possibility of earning a point.)
3.    If it is a false statement and students on both teams hold up the markers, the team with the most number of students holding the marker loses 1 point.
4.    If it is a false statement and a student touches the marker and then throws it back, the person sitting opposite of them should stand up (without talking). The team with the student that threw the marker on the desk loses 2 points!
5.    After 3 statements, the students on the outside circle rotated clockwise one seat so students had a new person with whom to compete.
They loved this review game!  It was engaging, lively, and admittedly a little noisy at times, but sometimes learning is loud.  :-)


  1. Sounds like fun. I think I remember seeing that other fork game. His link is on my other computer! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. It was fun! I'll definitely do this again.
      I searched for the game and found it on Bryan Kandel's website so I added a link to his website earlier in the post.

  2. I absolutely love this!! I will use it on Monday, because we also have not read for a few days. Two more chapters to finish Felipe Alou! Gracias!!

  3. I will have to do this! We played el tenedor in some of my classes yesterday, and two students hurt themselves on the plastic forks. They were a little too competitive.

  4. This is probably a silly question with an obvious answer, but it's been a long day: What is the "TL" to which you refer?

    1. Not a silly question at all.
      TL = Target Language (for me, it's Spanish, the language I teach)

  5. This is probably a silly question with an obvious answer, but it's been a long day: What is the "TL" to which you refer when you talk about the questions you prepared?

  6. I love a new review game idea! Would this work if the students were to wear a blind fold? So, they may know the answer to be true or false but have to work a little bit to reach out and find the marker?

  7. I love finding a new review game! This sounds like a winner. I am wondering if having the players wear a blindfold would make this even more interesting? The student may know the answer to the true false question but will have to work at trying to find the marker first. Hmmmm.... thoughts?