DIY Board Game

An old idea, but one that’s always worth revisiting in my opinion. It’s really student-centred, very communicative, and is a great way for students to see how much they’ve learnt.

It’s also zero prep for the teacher!

Elicit some of the language points you’ve studied over the year and have students write them on the board. They might need to have a look in their coursebooks to remind themselves.

Let’s say that one of the points covered is the second conditional. Elicit a question using this grammar point (e.g. If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?) It’s important that the questions are fairly open (avoid simple yes/no questions) so that students are encouraged to speak more. Rather than looking at language points, I went for questions that might come up in part 4 of the PET exam, as this class need fluency practice for the long turn in speaking. DSC_0523 - Copy

I showed the game board to the students and explained that they needed 15 questions using a variety or forms. It’s important here that they realise they are writing questions for a different group.

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The game board – a simple 20-step snake

I put them into three teams and got them to write the questions in their notebooks. I monitored and helped with question forms. Only when they had written all 15 questions could they then transfer them to the game board. While they were doing this, they also had to think of 5 dares which they should write on the five remaining spaces, bringing the total to 20.

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Now it’s time to play the game! Teams swap boards and play just as a normal board game. We didn’t have any dice, so we just used a coin – heads you go forward one space, tails you go forward two.

This is a great opportunity to feed in language for playing the game.

 

 

 

As I mentioned, we were focusing more on speaking for longer periods of time, so the students had to try and speak for 30 seconds and field any follow-up questions from the other players in their group. The dares raised a few laughs, and it certainly had the feel of a fun class rather than ‘real work’.

I did quite a lot of on-the-spot correction and then some delayed at the end.

If you haven’t tried this before it’s super simple to set up and very versatile. Give it a go!

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