Fun & Games in MFL


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A presentation to MFL PGCE students on using games in the MFL classroom

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  • TIC TAC TOE – 1) images 2) sentences, A need to decide if correct or not, and correct it if not – if get it, get chance to place X/O DOMINOES - Simply cut up the sheets roughly round the frames and then get the pupils to turn them face down and shuffle them a little. If you can brave it, invest in 30 pairs of cheap blunt-nosed sissors as they love to do the cutting up. BUT – and a bit BUT – insist that they cut them up roughly to reduce the time wasted and leave the dominoes as big, therefore as heavy, as possible : this helps prevent the cards from blowing about in the ensuing merriment. I suggest they now write one number on the back of each domino in case one is found on the floor during the activities and you don’t know which set it comes from. So pair 1 write “1” on the back of each domino, pair 2 write “2” on their set, etc. Also makes it easier to save for another lesson knowing that a set is complete. Then the fun starts as they rearrange them. Unlike real dominoes you can’t go round corners unless you are very adept at reading upside down, so simply start from the left of the desk again when you run out of space. It can all go in the bin at the end which saves a lot of time! Resist the temptation to laminate them: it’s far cheaper just to print a new set of 16 ( for a class of 32 ) each time, although the weight of the plastic does stop them blowing around a bit better. I often start by getting pupils to fill in the missing information I've deliberately "blanked out"  to complete the dominoe set.   Then I get them to cut them out, mix them up & try to put them back together again in the order they were originally in (or if not, to just match them up).   If it's a group I trust not to mess around, they can play "proper" dominoes with them - have half each & see if they can lay down the correct matching dominoe or miss a go, if not.   TL supplied for miss a go, your turn etc.     Then I get them to cut the dominoes up into single squares because they can then turn them over, mix them up & find the matching pairs.  Or one person can have the English and the other the TL & they have to "guess" which one the other person is holding by going through the cards they have until they get to the right one - TL holder has to do the guessing, so they are saying the words to practise pronunciation.  They can also play "snap" to find matching pairs.  I sometimes call out the TL & they have to waive the correct cards at me from the pile.   If they are low ability, I will get them to draw a matching picture & then they have to set out the dominoes in English/TL & picture before eventually glueing the whole thing into their books.   I use the dominoes as a starter, purely orally. Each pupil has one or two "cards". I keep the starting one - they hear the French, person with the English says it (or vice versa, depends on how you write your cards!), then they say the French on the side. This way we go around the class + it develops their aural skills. Miming games Using mime is clearly a necessary strategy in language teaching.  Pupils like doing it too.  You can get pupils in pairs and give each partner a list of items to mime to their partner. E.g. jobs, sports, hobbies, verbs.  Simple, but an effective way of getting pupils to use the second person when they spend most of their class time using the first and third person. You can use this at all levels.  Why not get a pupil to mime their daily routine?  Or why not describe actions to pupils while they mime them?  Battleships Many children know the rules of Battleships, as it’s known in the UK.  Each child has a grid (there are examples in the Y7 and Y8 sections of this site).  Pupils work in pairs and each partner writes in a number of items on their grid.  Partners take turns to guess (by giving grid references) where the other person has placed the items (e.g. verb forms, vocab items).   In other words, each partner tries to sink the other person’s ships.
  • I did this exercise: all kids around one long line of tables, half facing the whiteboard, the other half with their back to the whiteboard. TALKERS & LISTENERS The ones facing the whiteboard are the talkers, the others the listeners (AfL). A question appears on the powerpoint and the talkers have to talk about it until it disappears. The listeners can either take notes on what they liked or tick of the tenses used or similar. When the question has disappeared, everybody moves one chair along to one side. Then the next question comes. At the end all the talkers are the listeners.
  • FASTEST FINGER FIRST – MINI FCS PHRASE DANCING – Each group is given a set of FCs e.g. JE, SUIS, ALLÉ, ALLER, VAIS, etc. The teacher reads out a sentence, and the group needs to form the sentence. Fastest win the point
  • BOARD FOOTBALL - A very easy plenary game to set up is football. All you need is a 'ball' (I just printed out a picture of a football, laminated it and stuck a blob of blutak on the back) and a whiteboard. Draw the 'goalposts' and three dots, evenly spaced between them. Divide the class into two teams (I use French teams and have the appropriate posters on each side next to the board).Then place the ball on the centre dot and ask the 'kickoff' question. When you get a correct answer, move the ball to the next dot towards the opposing team’s goal. The person who answered then has to choose who to 'pass' to. This person then has to answer a more difficult question, as it is the 'goal shot'. If a pupil can't answer, the other side can jump in for 'defense' and move it in the opposite direction. I also use a yellow and red card system for any 'foul play' (telling answers to those in play, talking, verbal abuse etc.) to keep things calm, and insist on team play so that it isn't always the same people answering. VICTORIA’S GAME – prepare strips of paper with a verb in the infinitive and the part you want in brackets. Divide the class into groups – they need to appoint a runner who will grab one strip at a time, return to the group to write out the answer and run back up. I stamp the strip if correct, throw over shoulder if wrong and grab another. Winning team simply team with most end. 2 BOARD RELAY – IWB and board. Use one board if not an option. Two teams on seats facing each other, numbered. I read sentence, then say number in Spanish. Person from each team jumps up and writes sentence on board – teammates can help. Run back, pen on page and sit. I say how many mistakes, keep going til correct. RUNNING DICTATION. Pairs, one runner, one scribe. Up to board, memorise line from text, back to scribe to write. Continue til complete and correct MAP FROM MEMORY Groups of 4-5, number selves off, number 1s run up to front, 30 secs /1 min to memorise as much as possible, back to team, same amount to transfer, then number 2 etc. pause at end of round, strategies as team, then continue. THINKING SKILLS – stick all up at end, discuss HOW approached it OGNIB - The kids write down six words from memory and stand up. Then you read out a list of terms and the kids cross their words off. Whoever crosses all of their words off is out and has to sit down. Last one standing is the winner. Mine love and keep begging me to play it. Students stand up and take turns to call out numbers in sequence i.e. un, deux, trois,quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix, onze. Students may choose to call out one number, two numbers or three numbers. Whoever calls out Onze has to sit down.  It can get very tactical with the boys trying to get rid of all the girls and vice versa.  When it gets down to the last two then the one going first should win if they think, but mine often don't ! Whoever says sept will lose. The winner gets a chocolate from the tin or a merit. My students , some who are somewhat challenging to teach, always play this game in a good spirit  and never moan if they are out. They play it very quickly now so we often manage two or three games . CROSS THE RIVER - A very efficient way to make children learn some specific vocabulary is to use "le passage à gué". Either on board or put flashcards (with drawings of objects on) on the ground and the children have to get to the other side of the room as if there was a river to cross, naming in TL what the drawings are. PASS THE PARCEL - Sometimes I give out flashcards which they pass round to music, when the music stops, they stand and call out their item, or I say a sentence and the correct student(s) has(have) to stand up and repeat. Alternatively I pass round a hat (which I liberated from my son's magic set) and when the music stops students select a slip of paper and have to make a sentence with the word or verb in it
  • USE A BALL - A great way to eliminate self-consciousness while learning a foreign language is to make the children concentrate on something else. For instance, revising vocabulary is made so much easier if you throw a ball to the children while you ask a question. Simple but very efficient...
  • SENTENCE TABLE You write one on your mini-whiteboard in secret taking a bit from each column They guess what your sentence is, boys vs girls in turn Eg When it rains/ I go to the shops/ and it’s fun You draw a dot on the board to show how many parts are guessed right. They keep guessing until they get the sentence They love it, it always works, and they especially like a guess where all three bits are wrong 'cause you can cross out three elements They can then make their own boards in rough books and play in groups Always works well
  • (see handout for instructions)
  • Fun & Games in MFL

    2. 2. OLDIES BUT GOODIES <ul><li>TIC-TAC-TOE (NOUGHTS & CROSSES) </li></ul><ul><li>DOMINOES </li></ul><ul><li>HUNT THE FLASHCARD </li></ul><ul><li>BUBBLES </li></ul><ul><li>SIMON SAYS (PUPPET OPTIONAL) </li></ul><ul><li>MIMING GAMES </li></ul><ul><li>BATTLESHIPS </li></ul><ul><li>TABOO </li></ul>
    3. 3. PAIRWORK <ul><li>TALKERS & LISTENERS </li></ul><ul><li>LINE DANCING </li></ul><ul><li>RACHEL’S GAME </li></ul><ul><li>SPEED DATING </li></ul>
    4. 4. GROUP WORK <ul><li>FASTEST FINGER FIRST </li></ul><ul><li>PHRASE DANCING </li></ul><ul><li>MINI WHITEBOARDS PHRASE DANCING </li></ul>
    5. 5. WHOLE CLASS ACTIVITIES <ul><li>BOARD FOOTBALL </li></ul><ul><li>VICTORIA’S GAME </li></ul><ul><li>2 BOARD RELAY </li></ul><ul><li>RUNNING DICTATION </li></ul><ul><li>MAP FROM MEMORY </li></ul><ul><li>OGNIB </li></ul><ul><li>ONZE! </li></ul><ul><li>CHINESE WHISPERS PICTIONARY </li></ul><ul><li>CROSS THE RIVER </li></ul><ul><li>PASS THE PARCEL </li></ul>
    6. 6. RAIDING THE TOY SHOP <ul><li>PASS THE BOMB </li></ul><ul><li>GO FISH </li></ul><ul><li>HEADBANDZ </li></ul><ul><li>MAGNETIC LETTERS </li></ul><ul><li>SNAKES AND LADDERS </li></ul><ul><li>CATCH A BALL </li></ul><ul><li>RHODA </li></ul>
    7. 7. SENTENCE BUILDERS <ul><li>CLUEDO </li></ul><ul><li>DICE GAME </li></ul>
    8. 8. GENERAL VOCABULARY REVISION <ul><li>SCATTERGORIES / BUS STOP </li></ul><ul><li>20 QUESTIONS </li></ul><ul><li>WHO AM I? </li></ul>
    9. 9. POWERPOINT <ul><li>BOX-16.PPT </li></ul><ul><li>CLASSROOMSQUARES.PPT </li></ul><ul><li>GENERATIONGAME.PPT </li></ul><ul><li>MILLONARIO CONECTATE ICT.PPT </li></ul><ul><li>NOUGHTS AND CROSSES WITH MACRO.PPT </li></ul><ul><li>SPLAT-THE-TEACHER-1.PPT </li></ul><ul><li>BIG WHEELBIGWHEEL.PPT </li></ul><ul><li>RACING GAMECAR_RACE.PPT </li></ul><ul><li>ROBIE KNOWSROBIE_KNOWS_INDIVIDUAL.PPT </li></ul><ul><li>QUIZDOM </li></ul><ul><li>DRAG AND DROP </li></ul>
    10. 10. IWB <ul><li>SPOTLIGHT TOOL </li></ul><ul><li>KIM’S GAME (UPDATED) </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT’S IN THE BOX? </li></ul><ul><li>SLAP IT </li></ul><ul><li>FAMILY FORTUNES </li></ul><ul><li>SPELLMASTER </li></ul><ul><li>LA FAMILIA DE ORO ANSWERS.flp </li></ul><ul><li>http:// /games/ </li></ul>
    11. 11. WEBSITES <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>RANDOM NAME / WORD PICKER </li></ul><ul><li>FRUIT MACHINE </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>SEE http:// </li></ul>