Monday, December 20, 2021

The 'Simple, Almost Zero Prep, Get Me to Christmas Break' Game


Time's a wasting - no time for blah blah blah to introduce the post! 

Here are the directions for a 1% Prep Game for those still working this week before Christmas break!

Teacher Prep:
1. Think of a category - I chose Christmas items.
2. Write a list of 5-10 words related to the list. 

Materials Needed: teacher's list of 5-10 words, mini-white boards, markers, erasers (or whatever you use instead of mini-white boards).

Object of the Game: To earn the most points by writing answers that will match the answers of many other people in the game.

1. Give each student a mini-white board, marker, and eraser.
2. Have students sit in a large circle (reason for this - so they can NOT easily see the answers of those around them).
3. The teacher says the first word on the list (mine was "árbol de Navidad"). 
4. Students write one word (One item/color/adjective, etc. It could be more than one word, i.e. bathing suit in Spanish is traje de baño - 3 words but it is one object).
5. Allow time for students to write an answer IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE. Countdown from 10-1 and everyone holds us their answer.
If seated in a circle, it is easy for all students to see everyone's answers when they reveal their answers.
6. Students earn one point for each time their word is written but only if at least one other person matches their word.

Example A: you write luces and 2 other people write luces, each person that wrote luces earns 3 points, because a total of 3 people wrote the answer.

Example B: you write decoraciones and nobody else writes that; you get ZERO points.


1) Students can only write words IN THE TARGET ANSWERS. If they don't know the word in the TL that they want to write, they have to think of another one. They can't ask the teacher or other students for help!

2) I told students that they could NOT use any of the words I used in each round in subsequent rounds. In my example, they could not use árbol or Navidad in their answers for the first round or any other rounds.

3) No use of proper nouns

4) Keep the game short or they will figure out a way to ruin it - most likely. Example, one student might blurt out, let's only answer in colors, or let's always write "regalos". If that happens, shut it down (meaning tell students the game can't and won't be played that way) and, if needed, end the game!

5) Include a few words in the game that don't have obvious answers.

Words I used: árbol de Navidad, Papá Noel, estrella, nieve, invierno, Rudolph, regalos, rojo, galletas, duende (Christmas tree, Santa Claus, star, snow, winter, Rudolph, gifts, red, cookies, elf).  

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