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the Obstacle Maze: Do you know how to...? what to do? 
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
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Location: Nagano, Japan
Post the Obstacle Maze: Do you know how to...? what to do?
If you can get a hold of some images or can roughly draw some, you can create a maze/path for students to travel through. You will need pictures of animals (usually ferocious) or obstacle. Place the animals/obstacels on your path, the more problems, the more practice. You don't need pictures, I guess you could just write the words on the path.

Next step is to make different cards/slips of paper that have information on how to get by one of these obstacles. Then handout one slip to each student. The students then have to ask other students how to get by/go around/ distract/ chase away/stop/go over/pass by...... the obstacle

Example:
On the path: There is a bear. (You must distract him.)
On the slip for students: The bear likes honey. Bring the bear a lot of honey to distract him.

Ss go around and ask: Do you know how to distract the bear? (or Do you know how to get past the bear? - simple and can be used for most obstacles)
No, I don't Sorry.
Yes, I do. (The bear likes honey, so) bring the bear a lot of honey to distract him.

Students gather information and confirm/progress by informing the teacher of the technique to get past the obstacles.

T: Do you know how to distract the bear?
S: Bring the bear a lot of honey to distract him.

Then the student can pass the bear and work on the next obstacle.

Ideally you practice/drill the questions with the students before the exercise, they use the questions and answer during the activity, then finally they come to you, the teacher, and you ask them the question and they give the answer. So they should have over and over again practiced both the question and answer by the end of the exercise.

I did this with some JHS students and it went over well. Unfortunately I haven't had time to do it up computer style yet, but just drew it out by hand. I had a ferocious bear (honey), a broken bridge (call the friendly turtle), an angry man (wants a birthday present), your English teacher (hand in your unfinished homework), a rapid river (use the rope in the tree), a ghost (doesn't like fire)and a high treacherous mountain (which was a mirage.)

I just drew a map start to finish and each of the obstacles roughly along the path. Under the picture I wrote accordingly:

a ferocious bear
get past the bear

I know _________________________ (write in how to get past the bear)
I have to _______________________________

and made out cards for each obstacle enough that every obstacle had a couple of people with the information.

After getting the information and writing it in, the students brought them to me to check their answers. They would then work on the next obstacle. I made it into a race to see who could get to the goal first.

Happy teaching,
Mark

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Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:42 am
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Post 
Could also be used with adults for practising modals, especially if you can give several possibilities as to how to deal with the situations - or just leave it open to their own imaginations.


Sat May 27, 2006 11:19 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:16 am
Posts: 181
Location: Brazil
Post 
Mark, have you used this again since you posted the idea?

Rather than being a game it looks kind of like a roleplay/sequential repetition.

I've got an idea about this, but I was hoping you could clarify this activity a little more and talk about your repeated experiences, if you used it again.

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Steve
Mister Young's English Class
Minas Gerais, Brasil


Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:23 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
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Location: Nagano, Japan
Post 
Sorry, I forgot all about this.

I've done this activity year after year in the junior high I work at. In Japanese schools there's little review and everything is one shot, so that means I've done it 4 times.

It has worked well. One thing I do that I didn't write is tell the students they only have to give out the information that's on their slips of paper. Even if they have information on how to pass another obstacle, they don't have to tell the other person. Since they are racing to finish, they really like to reject their friend.

S1: Do you know how to get past the angry bear?
S2: Yes... but go ask someone else. I'm busy. :smt004

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Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:31 am
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