Inspiration can strike you anywhere you are!
Look around, there are lots of things that you may find interesting or worth trying to use in your classroom. Some things can be use right away, but others may need changing and personalising.
Such a situation happened to me about three years ago. I attended a course in young learners’ phonetics with a great lecturer Beata Ganczar.
Game as a tool to remember
She wanted to remember participants’ names, so she asked us to stand in a big circle. Each of us said the name when she was in the middle of the circle. Then she called herself ‘zombie’ and walked towards one of the people standing around her. She felt like catching/eating/infecting (I don’t remember clearly now) a person and the only rescue from being chosen was to say the name of another participant opposite you. Zombie heard different name and changed the target.
I was truly amazed! I felt like playing it again and again. This game had such a potential. Beata showed us another version focused on phonetics.
After the lecture, I came to her and I asked if it is possible that I can slightly change this idea and use it with my classes. She nodded happily and I noticed that she was content that her lecture made an impact on me.
And that’s how the hungry monster game was brought to life!
Originally Zombie game has been brought to life as a monster, got it right? 😉
As most of the young learners need visual support while learning a foreign language, I decided to incorporate flashcards to the game.
I try to use the game with my kids while covering materials from every chapter of their books. New vocabulary items were practiced or revised. The game undoubtedly helped them acknowledge the expressions better. By playing children have a change to say aloud new words in a natural way and they are able to hear themselves using English. The game is really dynamic and exciting for pupils. They cannot stand still, they jump, wiggle and frisk.
Let your children be as fresh as a daisy!
Usually, I am the monster when the game is at the beginning of the new chapter. Weaker students do not feel under the pressure, when they are not familiar enough with the vocab. They may listen to the others saying names of the pictures and remember them. When I see that class is well-acquainted with the words, I give them an opportunity to become the monster. I still play with them as a participant, and I really need to focus on the game only, because I can be eaten as well! It happened once or twice… 😊
Step-by-step in my own way!
Summing up, I will present the sequence I use in the big-size classes. Let’s say 24 students.
- Count to two
- Ones stand up and make a big circle
Twos do exercise on page __ in your workbooks
(obviously after this round is finished twos will play and ones will do the workbook’s exercises)
- Ones take one card and keep it in front of you
- <stands in a circle> Let’s revise <points to each card and say the name while SS repeat>
- <stands in a circle> I’m a very hungry monster <walks towards first victim>
Not much preparation is needed because you are usually equipped with flashcards on daily bases.
Keep Calm and Follow the Rules
Rules need to be set and said before the game. Of course, before each single game you need to revise all the rules again just to avoid any triggers for quarrelsome kids.
These are mine:
- Monster doesn’t like to be fooled!
No such card = eaten
- Monster doesn’t like waiting!
If I touch you = eaten
- Monster doesn’t like noise!
If I can’t hear the words = it’s the end of the game
Advantages of using my hungry monster game with big classes are numerous!
It involves the whole class. If possible, I leave the classroom and have the game on school corridor.
It activates receptive and productive skills without focusing on them.
It helps revising any words, phrases or expressions quickly and effortlessly.
It is an engaging and fun activity for all age groups!
I hope you are hungry now… Hungry for the game and new ideas!