This is a game to practise the vowel and diphthong sounds of the English sound system and the various ways in which these sounds are spelt.

Author: 
Paul Kaye

This is done through asking learners to identify words that rhyme, a challenging exercise for low levels, especially if the words are homophones (same sounds but different spelling). There is also a blank grid so you can adapt the game to your own learning aims.

The activity is based on the 'Blockbusters' game, where learners compete in teams to win squares in a grid. Download the grid below.

Before the class, prepare enough photocopies of worksheet A for each learner to have a copy and if you have an overhead projector, copy the grid onto a transparency. If not, you will need to copy it onto the board.

Procedure

  • Write the word 'right' up on the board and elicit as many words that rhyme with this as possible. Highlight words that are homophones of 'right'.
  • Put the learners into two groups. Hand out the grids and display on your board if possible.
  • Tell the learners that they need to find words that rhyme with the words on the grid. Give them 5 minutes to prepare this. They will not be able to prepare a word for each on the grid in this time - this is intentional. This will encourage them to 'think on their feet' as the game progresses.
  • Explain the rules:

    Rules:
    • Learner groups take turns to choose a word on the grid - in any position - and tell the class a word that rhymes with this. You decide if their word is acceptable as a rhyme. If they are successful they win the square. Shade it in on the board if you have one.
    • If they are wrong the square remains available.
    • One group must get from one side of the grid to the other, the other group from the top to the bottom, by winning squares and so making lines.
    • Groups can block each other by winning squares also.The middle square (the) is more difficult and introduces the schwa sound. Groups must suggest a word that has the sound, but it can be more than one syllable, e.g. table.
  • It might be useful to write up the words that rhyme with those of the grid to review after the game, especially if there are interesting spellings.
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Comments

I liked this activity. It was a challenging yet fun way to do pronunciation practice. I think I'll use a simple bingo grid next time, however, because we all got a little confused about how to win the game!

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