Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"Word Sneak" in MFL Classroom

"Word Sneak" is a language game that Jimmy Fallon plays with guests on his talk show.  Jimmy and his guest each receive 5 index cards with random words written on them.  The object of the game is to work, or sneak, the words into a conversation as casually and seamlessly as possible, in the order as given to you.  Watch this fun example of Jimmy Fallon and Bryan Cranston playing "Word Sneak".

Words for "Word Sneak" game
I made a few changes to the game to make it work with my Spanish 4+ class. 

1.  I showed a few minutes of "Word Sneak" on YouTube so students fully understood the game.

2.  For a practice run, I wrote 10 random words in Spanish on index cards and two students volunteered to play the game.  (Some of the random words were:  me dolía, las estrellas, vaca, sangre, etc.).  One of the students started the conversation, used the first word in telling about what happened with her pet, to which the second student responded, "sneaking" her first word into the conversation.

For something extra, after they finished I asked the other students if they could guess what words were on the cards.

3. Then I gave each student TWO index cards. The 16 words I had written on the cards were words that I pulled from the first chapter of La Calaca Alegre, a novel written by Carrie Toth. Since I have a small group of Spanish 4+ students this semester, 8 people played the game, instead of 2. It was FUN! If I hadn't know beforehand what was written on the card, I would have had a hard time figuring out which words were intentionally "sneaked" into the conversation.

After playing the game, we read Chapter 1 of La Calaca Alegre. The students already knew most of the words, but the game served as a refresher/review of the words in which students could hear and use the words in context.

For bigger classes, you could have several groups playing at the same time. If you have enough words, after the groups are finished they could pass their index cards to the next group and play with the new set of cards.

I recommend this for a level 3 or higher class.  It doesn't take long and it's a fun way to involve the students in peer conversation.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this! I tried "word sneak" with my SP IV HRS as well, and it didn't go as well as I would have liked. You've inspired me to try it again. :)