"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from a serious learning. But for children play is a serious learning. Play is the work of childhood."-Fred Rogers
On our last Friday meeting our DOS Hyatt, Ana and Beatriz have reunited teachers from different centres who participated in a very active workshop on the use of games in class.
We have explored games as a means of enriching and developing communication. They create a need to ask, examine and assimilate certain skills and content areas. In English acquisition through games, learning becomes effective.
1. Team work grammar correction
The first activity to start our workshop was delivered by Hyatt who emphasized the importance of self-correction. Two teams were created and the activity implied finding grammar, spelling or vocabulary errors, correcting them and receiving teacher's feedback, all in a very dynamic way.
2. Collaborative conditionals
Bea's activity on teaching 0 conditionals engages students in different stages:
- first they receive just one part of the conditional such as:
- "Butter melts if....."
- "If we switch off the light..."
- "I can't go shopping if...."
- "If I don't clean up my bedroom..."
- secondly, students finish the corresponding conditionals
- then, they remember the sentences the others have created and write it on a mini whiteboard
- finally, they pass the whiteboard among themselves and on the last step they have to draw the conditional on board, conceptualise it and rewrite it.
3. Flash cards games
Flash cards are a simple, versatile and handy resource which aims to appeal to visual learners, and many of our learners have this type of intelligence. They make a real impact and also appeal to kinaesthetic learners.
Nesli has shown us a variety of flash cards games including:
- likes/ dislikes (organise flashcards upwards for likes and downwards for dislikes)
- flashcards on your head ( using different structures like: "Am I a....?", "Have I got a....?", "Is it a ....?", students answer in a true / false way depending on the structure: "No, you aren't" / "Yes you are", etc)
- passing on a flash card super fast ( similar to "hot potato game")
- storytime flash cards (remembering and ordering a story)
4. Adjective matching
For this activity Ana has prepared little pieces of paper with adjectives describing feelings.
In the first part, the activity of miming adjectives was done individually and in the second part, it became a pair-work. Everyone had to find the person miming the same feeling as they had on their own paper: happy, sad, nervous, excited etc.
5. London Bridge
This is an old-time favourite game in which children sing while joining hands in pairs to form an arch. Players take turns to march under the bridge while singing:
"London Bridge is falling down,
Falling dowm, falling down,
London Bridge is falling down,
My fair lady."
At the last word, the arms of the bridge are lowered to capture the last player through. A question can be asked and if answered correctly, the player could continue playing.
Use music and dance, make two face to face circles (one inner and the other outer) and stop the music to have a face to face conversation, then move to another person.
Connie has presented several activities of brain breakers using movement and also this team spelling game. Each person had to spell a correct letter sequence and move at the back of the line. A time limit can be used to make it more dynamic.
This cards game was introduced by Clare. It is an interactive way of using short questions such as : "Have you got...?" and giving short answers. It also implies concentration, memory and organisation. Players need to create pairs by asking the others for specific cards. It can be extended to other types of vocabulary that are being taught in class.
9. Othello game
Marian has explained this classical Othello game which has as an objective the practice of vocabulary through a mix of pronunciation, spelling and reading practice. It is played in two teams and the winner is the one with the majority of their own colour cards on the board at the end of the game. A move consists of "outflanking" the opponent's card, then flipping the card to your own colour, but only after giving a correct answer. It is very useful with irregular verbs and opposites.
Many other ideas have been shared and variants of similar games put into practice. Overall it was a very productive workshop with lots of fresh ideas and good laughs.
Have a lovely week!