Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Try THE MATCH GAME in your MFL class!

The Match Game is a TV panel game that features two contestants that try to match the answers of a 6-member panel.  The game premiered in 1962 on CBS and was updated several times during it's run. The game show host would read a sentence with a blank in it and the contestants wrote an answer to fill in the blank, earning points for each member on the panel that wrote the same answer.

I used the general idea of this game show in class today to reinforce the nosotros (1st person singular) form in the past tense.  It's an easy game that my students enjoyed and which  allowed the students to provide Comprehensible Input to their classmates. It also was a good game to play to add some pizzazz to my 2-hour class today due to state testing.

Teacher prep for The Match Game  
Write a list of situations in the TL on notebook paper or you can write them on a powerpoint slide. These are the sentences I used today:
- Nosotros fuimos a un partido de los Hershey Bears. (a hockey team)
- Encontramos $2.000 en el parque.
- Vimos a Big Foot.
- Fuimos al concierto de Beyoncé.
- Vimos a Zac Efran en Hershey, PA.
- Fuimos a Disney World.
- Compramos un árbol de Navidad.*
- Fuimos a Hawaii.
- Preparamos la cena.
- Visitamos a nuestros abuelos.
- Vimos a una persona que tenía problemas con su coche.
- Fuimos a West Virginia.

(Translations for above: We went to a Hershey Bears hockey game. We found $2,000 in the park. We saw Big Foot. We went to a Beyoncé concert. We saw Zac Efran in Hershey, PA. We went to Disney World. We bought a Christmas tree. We went to Hawaii. We prepared the dinner. We visited our grandparents. We saw a person that had problems with his car. We went to West Virginia.)

Directions to play The Match Game:
Team Shake app
1. Divide the class into two teams. Every student needs a marker, mini-marker board, and an eraser. (I use the app Team Shake to randomly put my students in groups.)
2. Ask for 1 volunteer from each team. The volunteer sits in the front opposite his or her team (or somewhere in the room that the volunteer can NOT see what his team mates have written nor can the team mates see what s/he has written. I constantly needed to remind the students to not lay their boards down on their laps and to write with the board perpendicular to the floor.)

3. Read a sentence. I did a practice round with the sentence: Fuimos a Burger King. (We went to Burger King.) All students write what "we" did next. 
The members on each team were allowed to look at their teammates answers and (quietly) ask them how to spell their answers. But, the two volunteers needed to write their answers without any help. 

4. I asked Team A to show their answers. I read each of them and then the volunteer from Team A showed his answer. His team received a point for each member that matched his answer.

Note: ONLY the answers with the verbs spelled correctly received a point. (I did this because I allowed the students to ask their classmates for help. If the volunteer had his word spelled incorrectly, it did not count against his team since he had no help.) 

Another Note: The students had to write more than the verb. If they said "comimos (we ate)" that did not earn a point if it matched. They had to say "comimos hamburguesas" or "comimos comida". I was lenient on how closely they matched.

5. Then I turned to Team B and checked their answers. I alternated which team started each round.

6. I kept the score for each round on the board. I also wrote the verb that the volunteer had written on the board under the volunteer's name. That team could not use that word again in subsequent rounds, which forced them to use a variety of verbs and to be creative.

This game can easily be alternated to focus on something other than the nosotros form I used with students.

As my principal said earlier this week, the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are when we earn our money, meaning it's a difficult time of the school year to teach.  Do yourself a favor and include a game that keeps the students in the target language and helps you make it to the New Year. 


  1. I love this! Can you please send me a copy of the ppt?

    1. I sent the Navidad match game to you. That is the one you wanted, correct?
      Cynthia Hitz

  2. I used to love watching the TV Match Game! Thanks for the idea of playing it in class. I think for something different after Free Reading Time I'm going to do this as an extension activity (normally they just briefly talk with a partner about what happened in their book). I'll ask for volunteers (or victims!) to tell the class what one of the characters in their book did or where he/she went and then play accordingly. Excited to try this next week!

    1. Ohhhhh - love the idea to use this with novel characters. Thank YOU for sharing, Jane!
      Cynthia H.

  3. Hello! I just happened upon your blog! I need some new things to liven up my classroom! Would you be so kind to send me your PowerPoint? Thank you!

  4. I just happened to come across your blog today! Would you be so kind as to share your Navidad match game with me? Thank you!

  5. I am looking for ideas for our upcoming language fair. I have been watching the Match Game and I think it is a fabulous game to include in the classroom. I am thinking about the possibility of adding a cultural component to it. I searched for ideas and your blog came up. Great suggestions!

  6. Hello!
    I just discovered your blog and I am snooping around wondering where you have been this whole year! Would you mind sending me the PPT for The Match Game and for La Navidad?
    ¡Mil Gracias!

  7. Hi, would it be possible to get your powerpoints for The Match Game and La Navidad? Gracias!