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flashcards and board games: practice several sencences/turn 
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Post flashcards and board games: practice several sencences/turn
Here's a new idea for how to use board games in language classes, using dice, flashcards, and board games:

Using the board game templates, print out your favorite design. Or print them all out and let the students decide which one they'd like to use today.

Then you need a set of flashcards. Let's say we're using adjectives.

Steps:
1. One student takes a card and names the vocabulary word
2. The student rolls a die.
3. The student makes X# of sentences with the word.
4. The student moves across the game board.

So, if the student drew the card for "big", and the student rolled a "3", the student would make 3 sentences using the word "big":
- Trains are big.
- Elephants are big.
- Mountains are big.

You can change this to have them make questions:
- Are trains big?
- Are elephants big?
- Are mountains big?

Or negatives:
- Mice are not big.
- My bag is not big.
- This pen is not big.

This game also works well with the Big Town, High Town and Little Town game cards. I have students tell me about a character or ask questions for other students to answer using the card information.

This is a fun way to get students to use the new vocabulary and make 30-35 sentences each. Also, they'll be listening to 30-35 sentences from each member of their group.

This is a utilization activity or can be used as a review activity. It's a little long for a warm up activity. It takes about 20 minutes depending on the length of the board.

You can do it with small groups, large groups or one-on-one. For large groups, you'll need to make sure you have enough board game copies, dice and flashcards for each group. I would recommend groups of 3-5 students. Too many in one group and it takes too long.

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Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:02 pm
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I like it. It sounds like a great way to get the students actually creating sentences instead of just repeating. It would also be great as a reading game (which I always find much harder to make) using written words instead of picture flashcards.

Thanks. I am off to add this idea to my next lesson.


Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:55 pm
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Excellent idea. You can do anything with this - potentially. I like the idea of tasks based on the number rolled. That way students that wouldn't be so happy about making 6 sentences will be when they get to move 6 spaces.

If I were to do phonics/reading, I would make slips of paper with 6-8 words on each sheet. That means a lot of words, but you can have multiples of the same sheet. Repetition never hurt anyone in language learning ;) Photo copy for a few copies and cut them up.

Students draw a sheet and read the number of words corresponding to what they rolled. I think it'd be good to have sheets with 6-8 words because some students will roll a low number, but may want to try reading more words. If you have a lot of sheets, they may try to read other words as well in the dead time while they wait for their turn. Having more than 6 words means they can choose which words they'd like to try. So if there are a couple difficult ones on there, they can still complete the task and feel good about their accomplishments.

You could also have them read sentences out of their textbook as well.

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Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:44 pm
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So I tried this game yesterday and it worked pretty well. I did a reading version.

Our current textbook expression is "My (family member) likes to (verb). In the book their reading words are mostly verbs so I wrote a bunch of verbs on small flashcards (swim, dance, play baseball etc.). Then during their turn they had to take a card and make x number of sentences by substituting different family members. It makes the sentences a bit repetitive but by the end of the game they were much better at saying the key sentence - at the start many of them were struggling with the sentence format. So I think it worked pretty well.

Thanks so much for the idea.


Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:15 am
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I'm glad to hear it worked out. It is repetitious, but that's a lot of what I need to get my students to do. :D

Hopefully it's fun enough that the repetition doesn't seem too boring, but not too much fun that they aren't paying attention to the language task.

One thing I do is make them complete the task before moving their game piece. Essentially, they have to earn the number of moves. So, if they roll a 6, they can potentially move 6 spaces when they complete six language tasks.

So far, I haven't had a problem of students not wanting to do it, but you could tell them that when they roll a 6, they can earn up to 6 moves by making all six sentences. That might spark their internal motivation to do the task, understanding that each task is a step toward the goal.

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Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:32 pm
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Oh yes, as far as I am concerned repetition is great. And because it is a game the students don't mind it as much as just regular repeating.

I also tell the students that they can only move their piece after they have said the sentences and if they don't speak they don't get to move. Generally with this rule in place the groups police themselves.

I shall be trying this again with different age groups too. I might even be able to get it to work with kindergarten.


Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:56 pm
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