I’ll start off by admitting I expected this to work well, taking into account its game form, but it wasn’t just good, it was WONDERFUL to see one group after another wanting to start playing and wanting to communicate in English !!!
At the moment, I am working with very young learners, but I believe it could be used up until 12 years old easily. Using it with teenagers or adults would probably work as well, although I’d imagine it would be more of a warm up or end of lesson review activity. I am a firm believer that adults and teenagers like these kind of simple children’s games as long as they are not treated like children and proves useful for their learning process. Like I said, the amount of time designated to the activity is a decisive variable.
I have used this activity with the 5 year old students on the topic of food in order to review the vocabulary and do some controlled practice for : Do you like….? / Yes I do / No I don’t
Each student was given a template to make a fortune teller. It had the numbers 1-8, 4 colours and the food items they had learnt during the unit. I downloaded a blank template and drew in the specific vocabulary I wanted them to use.
So, we did various things with it:
1. Playing in closed pairs, taking turns while sitting down at their usual spot in the classroom.
2. Lining up in two rows, facing each other, playing on and off as the teacher says Ready…Steady…Go! or STOP!
They really enjoyed it and tried to ask as many times as possible in one go, competing with other pairs and showing off how many turns they had taken within the same time limit.
3. A kind of “musical statues”: The music starts to play and they are meant to move around the room randomly. When the music stops, they have to use their fortune teller to ask whoever is the nearest to them and try to keep the rest of their body as still as possible. We had a good laugh here too.
OTHER POSSIBILITIES :
Such an effective outcome made me think of other topics or functional language to use it with
- Feelings : Are you ….? (happy, sad, angry, tired, bored, etc.)
- Ability : Can you …..? (swim, ride a bike, play the piano, etc.)
- Telling the time and routines : What time do you ….? (wake up, have breakfast, go to school, etc.)
- Possessions: Have you got …? (any pets, a bike, a computer, etc.)
- Favourites: What is your favourite ….? (sport, food, book, day of the week, etc.)
- Occupations: What does a/an ______ do? (dentist, tailor, zoo keeper, etc.)
You can probably come up with many more of these.
FOR ADULTS AND TEENAGERS:
A slight variation on the form might make this a classroom tool which could be used once in a while to revise vocabulary.
- Instead of using 4 colours use verb, noun, adjective and adverb and on the inside write letters of the alphabet. They must think of a word that suits that part of speech which either starts or contains that letter.
- Another twist to it would be, write phonemic symbols on the inside and keep the parts of speech on the outside. They must come up with vocabulary which includes that phoneme.
You can restrict it to a recent unit you have been doing or give them absolute freedom to dig into their background knowledge.
TRY IT OUT AND LET ME KNOW 🙂