MES English

I have used this game with classes of 30+, but it is most effective with smaller groups.  I made this to 'fun-up' practice/review.  It will require an entire class period (if not 2 or 3, should you wish to continue.)

What you need: The game board A4 paper size, hand-out A4 paper size, the rest are set to B4 size: property cards, and money.  The cards are designed to be cut folded over sideways and laminated (or glued.)     These are all the pieces you need to get started. This is a color coded game so you will need color print-outs for the game components.  The hand-out for the students doesn't need to be color.  For larger classes, you will need a game board for each group.   You will also need some sort of marker for each player/group and 2 dice.  If you can get your hands on some play money, it's a lot easier than actually printing out and making all the money.  However, the money matches the game and is nice for presentation.  This is one of the more labor intensive games to set up, but you can use it for any target language and is therefore a very useful tool once in the arsenal.  Total set up (printing, cutting, laminating) I'm guessing takes about 2-3 hours.  Suggested numbers: game boards - 6;   $10 bills - 20;   $5 bills - 16;    $1 bills - 32;    the rest 1 copy of the entire document as is.  Here is just the board for download.

The game/The English: It is helpful to first look at the cards sets.  Instructions may be easier to follow/not necessary that way. 

Each colored property set is composed of A, B. and C properties.  Each time a student lands on a property, he must make the appropriate corresponding sentence/question.  I do not punish them for errors, but help them along until they get it correct.  If they forget to make the sentence or don't they are fined $2.  See The Hand-Out/ABC below for more details.

The categories square is designed for fun. When a students lands there, the teacher gives them a category and the player must name 5 items in 15 seconds.  If the player succeeds, he gets $2 from the bank.  category examples - simple: transportation, fruit, animals;  harder: things that are red, things you find at a restaurant, people you have to tip.

Rent and purchases are calculated using the rent chart on the game board.  Rent is based upon how many properties owned.  If you own 2 red properties and a payer lands on one, you look at the red strip under two and that's the amount you collect ($3 in this case.) Purchasing properties is also based on the number of properties owned. Properties should be purchased for double their rental value.

The money is in single digits for simplification.  I never had anyone run out of money.  The system should allow them to buy at will and be fairly affluent.  If you are using play money, you can add a couple zeros to the end of the prices to adjust to the currency.

The rest of the game can be made up/changed by the teacher to suit the needs of the class. There are some general rules written below the game board.

In the end, I have students add up all their money and the richest player wins. Properties are added in at their rental price.

The Hand-Out / A B C target language:

The hand-out can be used as a written confirmation for the students. As can be seen, you can place an example sentence after each letter to help the students along.  There are also some spaces for students to write.  These spaces can be used prior to playing to check understanding or used during play.  After students make their sentence and say them to the group, they can write them down to be checked by the teacher while they wait for their next turn.  I have them do both, first practice and then as we're playing write down what they said, as it solidifies the language and gives them something to do in the dead time between turns.  There is a second page with just practice space that I photocopy to the back of the hand-out for additional practice.  The hand-out needs to be edited to the language you wish to practice.

The A B C target language can be 3 different grammar points for review or, as in the example hand-out, one grammar point and using it in various forms.

Example:

A: (present) I ride my bike to school everyday.

B: (past) I rode my bike to school yesterday.

C: (like to) I like to ride my bike.

A: (past) I went shopping yesterday.

B: (past neg.) I didn't play video games.

C: (past question) Did you read a book yesterday?

A  B  C  For younger students: (those not ready for grammar/writing,)  A   B   C  can be assigned to flash card sets.  A is a verb set for example, and players draw a card and ask another player 'Can you ~?'  B  is an animal set, and players take a card and tell another player 'Frogs can swim.'  and so on according to the language they need to practice.

Beyond that I think you can handle the rest. Parts can be omitted (such as chance, pay a fine, categories, etc.) if you feel they complicate the game.  I usually omit some parts first time around since it's not a common game in Japan.  Then once they get the hang of the game I add a piece here and there.  For large classes place the students in groups and have them work together with a rotating spokes person for the group, but they must write down the A B C statement on the hand-out (to keep all of them involved.)  You will need one game board blown up and placed somewhere visible.  Then flow each groups progress with some sort of marker.  With large groups however this becomes more of a grammar review game than a communication game.

Variations/Fun Ideas:

Bring some music to the class, preferably something funky/up-beat and have a dollar-a-question time.  Play the music and offer one dollar to any student who asks you a question.  Repeated questions should not be accepted.  The music is fun but it also makes the classroom noisy and forces the students to speak up.  It's a great way to get kids going, but warning: it may get a little out of control.  Never relinquish control of the CD player to the students.

a more complicated board (great for English camps and summer programs):

There is a more involved version, with chance squares and treasure chest squares. You can print the game board from here and also some chance cards and treasure chest cards. For details on how to use these cards, see below.

The chance cards are given out whenever a player lands on a chance square. The cards can be used to pay for any transaction (rent/fine/purchase.) However, the player must answer a question of the teacher's choice. If he can answer correctly, the bank will pay for the transaction. If not, the player must pay double.  If this results in players never using the cards, take away the penalty and have them pay the actual price if they can't answer.

The treasure chest cards are set up around a list of 20 questions prepared prior to class by the teacher (this allows for review of previous material.) When a students lands on the treasure chest, they take a card. The teacher asks the students the corresponding question (each card has a number 1-20) and then follow the instructions on the card.

Any other suggestions are welcomed. Post them in the forums or email me via the contact link at the bottom of any page.





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