Saturday, March 13, 2010

Playing ESL Clue

With my second grade classes (that's high school juniors) I did a lesson I picked up at the last SMOE foreign teachers' conference, which I blogged here. The lesson is sort of based on Clue, and actually went well. The target is using the future simple tense, as in
Are you planning to go shopping on Thurday?
No, I'm not planning to go shopping on Thursday.

I explained that I know they can say, "You--movie--Friday?" and I wanted them to work on making grammatical sentences, with the sentence template right up there on the board for them to use.

Students first make cards with activities for the different days of the week, keeping them a secret from the others at their table, for example:

When cut apart, these become their cards, like the suspect, weapon, and room cards you would have in Clue. You ask questions of the other players at your table, vis the target language, to try to guess their cards. When you are right, you take their card and keep going.

If you guess wrongly, your turn ends. Whoever has the most cards when time runs out wins. Each student is also given a clue sheet to record hits and misses.

It took about 20 minutes of warm-up, introduction, instruction and preparation, leaving 25 minutes or so to perform the activity, plenty of time. Students were generally good about asking the questions correctly, but often lax in answering with a full sentence.

This is the kind of activity that works well in my classes: practice the language by writing first; specific, limited vocabulary, speaking only a sentence or two at a time; and using English for some ulterior purpose--in this case, stealing their friends' cards to win the game.


Mo said...

Good activity, it looks like some of the students had fun! I'm hoping to teach elementary students when I get to Korea this summer. I suppose this activity would be too advanced for that age-group...

Tuttle said...

Mo: Alas, it would be too complex for younger students; fortunately, you'll find that 90% of the materials on the internet are appropriate for elementary--it's HS that is hard to find.

Mo said...

Yeah, there seems to be a lot of lesson plans and ideas out there! That'll be a godsend to a newbie like me. :)

Amanda Elaine said...

Thanks for the game! My students in rural Chile have been working on the "what are you doing" pattern and I think this will be fun for them. It's a great way for them to practice both questions and answers.