Last year I blogged about what a boring teacher I really am and how I was inspired by some conference workshops to make things more fun in the classroom.
This is the seventh post on the activities that came out of those experiences: a twist on “connect four.”
Students hate vocabulary. And if you’re talking traditional vocabulary stuff, so do I. So for my students’ benefit and my own professional conscience, I had fun tweaking the game “Connect Four” to provide some middle-of-the-class, pick-me-up vocabulary fun.
First, download this Powerpoint game called “Align the stars.” It includes all instructions for how to play.
Divide students into teams and have teams choose a color. In my class, I have the vocabulary list in front of me, and I describe the word or concept in the target language, and the first team to buzz in/raise their hand/call out the answer wins the star. Connect four (or five) stars, and that team wins!
I have to emphasize that I think it’s important to find ways to ask questions without English. Even novices can do this. If you’re doing colors, pick company logos or animals with cognate names, etc. (¿De qué color es la M de McDonald’s?) Clothing? You can point or draw. Animals? Use the animal sound. Or try getting an appropriate answer to a question: How are you? How old are you? When’s your birthday? Do everything you can do to help students connect vocabulary with concepts, not L1 words.
Photo credit: Glennwood-Lynnwood Public Library District