games in the classroom

Using games at the beginning of class seems to be having some unforseen rewards. People, even cynical college students, seem to have fun with them. It serves as a war up for the day’s lesson, and a review of features, mostly vocabulary, of other classes.

I have found most of the games I use by searching for ideas on the Internet. For example, today I input ESL, games, clothes in Google. The resulting games weren’t exactly what I wanted, most of them being web-based kinds of vocabulary games, so I modified one that looked useful.

The game I modified was a rhythm game, where a group makes a rhythm by slapping their thighs once, clapping once, and snapping their fingers twice. The students sit in a circle, and while keeping the rhythm going, they say the name of an item of clothing that they already knew or learned in our class. My job was to count how many people could say an item of clothing, and each group got that total as a score. There were three groups, and they could compete.

Even though the scores were quite different the first time around, they became more uniform as groups got more practice.

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