Friday, January 26, 2018

Alea iacta est - a vocab review game

This is an extremely simple, pretty low-prep vocab review game that happens in pairs or groups. It can take five minutes or an hour, and it keeps pretty well. You'll need:

vocab cards (either TL or L1)

You should have several sets of vocab cards here, and there should be some but not total overlap. I like to put 12-16 cards in a set. Basically: your sets should be different enough that they can use more than one set, but there should be some repetition. They should see words more than once, but not over and over. Cut them out (or have someone cut them out), paperclip them, and you're good to go.

Give each pair or group a set of vocab cards - you can put these in your target language, you can put them in English, you can do pictures, or a mix thereof. Each pair or group should also get one die.

Player A rolls. The number they roll is the number of potential points. If pairs: the other player draws a card. If groups: the player to the left draws a card. They read this card aloud (or, if the cards are pictures, display the card). 

You can give player A several choices now depending on how you prepared the cards and what your goal is:
-identify the picture
-give the word in the target language
-give the word in English
-use the word in a sentence
-find the word in a story
-draw the word
-give a target language explanation of the word

If player A is correct, they get the number of points they rolled. If they are incorrect, they lose that number of points.

A: roll
B: draw a card and read/demonstrate card
A: define word/draw word/otherwise indicate understanding of word. earn points.

Now player B gets to roll.

Players should keep track of their points. After a few minutes (keep an eye on your students, see how they're doing; if a group has finished a deck, it's time to switch), make a 'switch' noise (I ding a bell).

Students should leave the cards and dice where they are, and go find a new partner and a new pile of cards (this is why your piles are different. Their points, however, follow them and are cumulative through the whole activity. If Daniel had -5 points in the first round, those -5 will follow him into the second round. 

After the game, I like to gather the students back into a large group, run through some of the vocab words, and ask them each how many points they got.

1. student A rolls
2. student B draws a card and indicates it
3. student A indicates meaning of word/word in TL. 
4. student A writes down how many points they've earned/lost
5. student B rolls.
6. this proceeds until you indicate a switch
7. cards and dice stay where they are. all students find a new partner and new cards.
8. points are cumulative across the rounds.

You'll find my materials for this here. It's a simple form with the box size set. They are not cute - I am sorry. :( 
You can't edit it in the form - please copy and paste or download to edit. For a class of 24 kids, I made 4 different sets. They encountered identical piles a couple times, but not often. You could make more if you wished. For a class of 36, I would probably make at least six.

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