Why are games so important anyway, you may ask. The answer is that games mean fun, and if you are having fun while surrounded by English, you trick your brain into thinking that it is in fact English that makes you so happy. Hence – good correlations, inner motivation, rapid language development. Do remember about the fun part. People are different, and a game that works with one group may well bore another. Don’t push – if it’s obviously not working, change. It’s not failure, it’s adaptability. Don’t be afraid to test and try! We would like to introduce you to three games which you can easily include in your lesson plan. You may treat them as an emergency activity for whenever you run out of ideas, or include them in your regular lesson plan. Why don’t you use these games to revise the material in a funny way or warm your students up?
1. Call me
If you take away from your students the ability to see their partners’ gestures and facial expressions, then a seemingly simple task starts to become more difficult.You can practise each dialogue, a simple reading or describing a picture in this way and add some useful phrases: Your turn! My turn! Can you repeat that, please? etc.During an offline lesson you can ask your students to sit back to back on the floor or on chairs, and during online teaching ask your students to switch off their cameras in breakout rooms.
2. The Pizza game
I truly love this game, as it helps me to practise almost everything with my students. What is more, it should be done in pairs. You choose the content to practise: prepositions, opposites, describing pictures, the present continuous tense, etc. – whatever you need to revise. The idea is simple: One person moves his/her finger around the page and the other one needs to say STOP. As simple as that.
3. What’s missing?
Have you ever tried playing WHAT’S MISSING? Not with Flash Cards, but with Story Cards?You simply put Story Cards on the floor, your students close their eyes, you hide one card and they have to guess which card is missing. Using Story Cards instead of Flash Cards gives your students an opportunity to retell a part of the story. We can choose a student to be the teacher and run the game. They can use simple words to describe the picture or make a conversation based on the picture. How do you adapt this game to online conditions? You can just present the Story Cards to your students using a simple programme such as Paint.
Are you still looking for more ideas?
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All the above teaching ideas are taken from Teddy Eddie – a method of teaching English to children aged 2-7.
Learn more about the Teddy Eddie method HERE