We follow the series about games that we start with other posts like this, this and this. Today I want to show you a very simple game I like to use sometimes in my class to practice or revise vocabulary, and my students like it a lot. This morning I have used it to join two units: we have just finished a unit about food and now we are going to start a unit about animals. Both topics are favourite of children, so this is motivational enough to do the game.
Maybe you could know a board game named “Scatergories”. I get this one many years ago when I was a child as a Christmas present, and till today I like it very much, and I have used it a lot in my classes through the years, and always functions. Maybe you know it by other names.
Let me explain how I adapt this game to my class. Normally I draw in my blackboard six columns with titles similar to these: Animals, Colours, Clothes, Food, etc. All of them are topics we learn about in the English class. I give you an example here:
Then, one person chooses one letter, and they have one minute (or the time you consider) to complete the chart with words in each category beginning with that letter. The first times I used to choose the letter myself. But now I prefer to get the students more involved and I use some toy letters (from another board game similar to “Scrabble”) to take one from a bag without looking. So, they can participate in another way.
The main goal in the game is to complete as many columns as you can. You get points 10 points if nobody repeats your word, and you get 5 points if your word is repeated or you spell it wrong.
Other times I played with the whole class at the same time, so everybody has to tell their words. But today I decided to play in groups, and we organized in a different way. When the time was finished, they have another ten seconds to fill some words in their L1 (mainly this adaptation is for the students with special needs that need more time or don’t control many vocabulary in English).
After that, they have to compare their words with their group, and give points. Later, we say aloud some examples of each category. And start again choosing another letter.
They liked it very much, and wanted to do it more times, so I promise to repeat again on Monday.
You have to try because it is very fun and it is a way to practice vocabulary without getting bored.