Saturday, June 30, 2018

Brain Break - Photo Roulette

Photo Roulette - photo from Library of Congress
 It's June 30 today and I doubt there are many teachers looking for ideas for Brain Breaks but, when the school year starts again in August, this may come in handy. Also, I saw this today and I'm likely to forget about it, so this blog post serves as a reminder to me. 😃

For the brain break you will need to go to the website Photo Roulette, which has photos from the Library of Congress. The website will show you a photo from the Library of Congress and then you guess in what year the photo was taken. You have 10 guesses and after each guess it will tell you whether you should guess an early year or one that is more recent. 

You can play Photo Roulette as a whole class effort, let students work in groups of 4, or whatever works best that doesn't take time to arrange groups. If using it with the whole class, especially a beginning class, the teacher could have a student write a year on the board, and the teacher would then turn to the class and say in the target language, "Class, do you think it is before (year written on board) or after?"; maybe have the students that think it is before stand up and those that think it is a later date remain seated.  The teacher, or her helper, will type in the suggested date, and if the website says it was before, any of the students standing can write a number on the board for the next suggestion. For more repetition the teacher can say, in the TL, "It wasn't before 1955, it was after 1955." The teacher looks at those students that are seated and says, "Who wants to guess a date, an write it on the board, after 1955?" Doing the brain break in this manner allows the students to hear the year, repeated several times as the teacher asks about it, and not have to produce it.

A suggestion for doing the brain break with several groups: Divide the class in 4 groups and let the first group guess a year. Type the answer in and check if the group is correct. The next group reads the hint provided by the Photo Roulette website and guesses accordingly. The group that guesses correctly is awarded the number of points of the remaining guesses. After 3 or 4 photos, the group with the highest number of points is the winner.

If your school is 1:1, students can play Photo Roulette with a partner, which translates into ALL students being actively engaged!

Whether you use this website as a brain break or for a fun Friday activity, I think the students will enjoy it and not realize they're getting a little "practice" on how to say years in the TL. If the teacher wants to really dig in, she can compare the photo to today and point out things that are different, or simply talk about the photo after the year was guessed. 

If you have fun way to use this with your language class, please share in the comments below. HAVE FUN!!!!