It really gets students focused and working on task as a team and can be a saviour to fill the last ten minutes on a class when you have run out of ideas!
You need an envelope full of small bits of paper. Chop up a few pages of scrap paper for this. Students compete against one another in pairs. Give each pair a bunch of small bits of paper to keep on their table. Explain that they are going to compete against their partner to win as many bits of paper as possible. Each one is worth one point. You are going to read some sentences with gaps in. When there’s a gap you’ll say ‘beep’. They must write the beeped out word on a bit of paper without their partner seeing. Set a 5 second time limit and then say, “Okay, turn over”.
- Put students into 2 teams. Ask the teams to write five questions they’d like to ask you.
- Then ask for a volunteer from each team to sit at the front of the class. They are going to imagine they are you, and spend a few minutes ‘in the teacher’s shoes’!
- The teams ask their questions and the students at the front who are in your shoes must try to answer the questions as they think you would answer them.
- You decide whose response is closest to your own answer to the question and award points accordingly.
Pass the parcel (Whole class/mixed ability groups)
Prepare 5-6 boxes or envelopes decorated or wrapped with Christmas paper. In each parcel put a group activity with a Xmas theme for students to try e.g. a word search, a dialogue to practice, a questionnaire to ask each other, a poem to read aloud. Spread the boxes around the class and students can work through each parcel, passing them around. Good for two lessons or a double period as well.
Santa’s sack (whole class)
Think of a word (start with a four letter word until you get the hang of it, then you can do it with longer words) and mark four lines, like you would in a game of hang-man.
___ ___ ___ ___
For example, student 1: “I went to the shops and I bought an apple”. Student 2: “I went to the shops and I bought an apple and a bike”. Student 3: “I went to the shops and I bought an apple, a bike and a coat”. This game can be adapted to different levels and lexical sets. I recently revised sports and the use of do/ play/ go by playing “I went to the sports centre……” It’s the same game, but using different vocabulary.
You will need a sticky label for each student or a pack of Post-It notes.
Draw the two axis of a graph on the board with 7 spaces along the bottom and three along the vertical side with three circles. Ask students what they think the spaces are for and elicit the days of the week for the horizontal axis (with today being the final one and working backwards for a week) and put three faces in the circles, the top one very happy, the middle one looking unimpressed and the bottom one looking sad. Tell students this is a Happy Graph and then plot your own moods on the graph for the last week.