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Games for large (50-65 students) classes 
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Post Games for large (50-65 students) classes
Please tell me if you know some games that work well for large classes. Most of the games on the internet are designed for smaller class sizes
Thank you in advance


Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:12 am
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Post Re: Games for large (50-65 students) classes
A short game that I like to play is the hint game. I give the class a couple hints to guess who/what i'm talking about. I usually put them off in groups and on the board each group has their castle, which consists of 5 parts. Each group's castle starts complete, but every time a group guesses correctly they can take a piece from anyone's castle. It's fun when several groups work together to destroy one group, and then turn on each other. I also use the castles to review any new target or vocabulary.


Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:53 am
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Post Re: Games for large (50-65 students) classes
Gankoba - The castles game sounds fun.

Ivana - I play a lot of the same games with large groups, but I put the students in groups of 4-6 depending on the game. Instead of playing a game all together as a group, like I do with my private classes, each group of 4-6 students plays on their own. So, you'll have 10-15 smaller groups working on the activity.

One problem with that is organization and making sure each group knows how to play. I usually explain on the board and start most activities off very simple. As they are playing I add more rules. You can also let the groups that understand start playing and then go around to the other groups individually to help them.

The other problem is materials. You'll need cards and game boards for as many groups as you have. One way to do this quickly is just take the handout from MES. Print it out and cut it up to make some quick and easy cards. You could also paste it to colored construction paper. Then I just throw each set into envelopes. When it's time for the activity, I pass out the envelopes to each group.

You can play Go Fish, Board Games, Reversi (divide the group into two teams of 2-3 students,) baseball (or any of the sports games,) or any game that's not too complicated.

I think you could also play any of the pair games like Bombs Away, Bounce Around, Treasure Island, or Get Four. Again, you'll need to explain on the board how to play, but once you get going pairs that need help may ask others around them how to play and of course you can go around and help.

Anyway, the main point is that most games can be adapted for larger classes. It just takes a little bit longer to explain and it's harder to monitor their English use.

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Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:57 pm
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Post Re: Games for large (50-65 students) classes
Mark, thanks a lot. Do you find it difficult to explain games in English only? Or do you resort to little of their mother tongue for these explanations?

And thanks a lot for your response on Living in China too


Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:42 am
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Post Re: Games for large (50-65 students) classes
gankoba, thanks. the game sounds really good and engaging. but I have the same question to you. Do you find it difficult to explain the rules to students, especially if you have only a 40-minute class?


Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:03 pm
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Post Re: Games for large (50-65 students) classes
Generally, I use diagrams on the board. I draw a picture of how I want the students to form groups. So, if I want then to put their desks together, I will draw 4 desks pushed together and 4 circles (with eyes) to show them how I want them to sit.

I will then label the circles (persons) with A, B, C, D.

Then, I write out what each person is supposed to say and do.

Let's say it's simple group bingo. I would draw a diagram as above and also draw little squares in front of each circle to represent their bingo card. In the center of the desk diagram, I would draw a simple circle to represent the cards in the draw pile.

I write on the board
A: (take a card from the draw pile - don't show the card to anyone)
What's this?
B: (guess what's on the card)
Is that a bear?
A: No./Yes.

if "no"

C: (guess what's on the card)
Is that a bear?
A: No./Yes.

This next part isn't really necessary. I think it might cause more confusion, but for clarity for the teachers reading this ...

if "yes"

all players place a marker on their cards if they have the item.

C: (take a card from the draw pile - don't show the card to anyone)
What's this?
D: (guess what's on the card)
Is that a bear?
C: No./Yes.


I use this to play baseball with a group of 50 nursing college students. We also do Big Town activities, yes/no games, and a Bombs Away type game that's not on any MES site.

I will use some Japanese if the situation calls for it. I do it sometimes now because it just solves to problem of time, not because it's necessary. I want more time for practicing and I just have 15 lessons with my big groups. That means we generally only do a specific activity once, so learning how to play eats up a lot of valuable time. At junior high school (30-35 students) I'll explain all in English to get them used to guessing meaning, listening to an explanation, and acting on what they've heard. Spending time on the explanation is justified in this situation, because over 1-3 years we'll play these games multiple times.

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Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:14 pm
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Post Re: Games for large (50-65 students) classes
Ivana - Here is a podcast that I did with Matt about explaining activities without using L1.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2852

I can't remember what I said :D but I'm guessing the information hasn't really changed. There may be something in there that's useful.

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Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:47 am
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Post Re: Games for large (50-65 students) classes
some good ideas

here is another one;

Just put up A4 size flash cards of whatever theme you are going and get the boys (to walk around meeting other students) to use the target structure using each card at a time from left to right and get the girls to go the opposite direction

but breaking up into small groups is good


Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:38 pm
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Post Re: Games for large (50-65 students) classes
thanks guys. it's really good to have someone this helpful.


Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:22 pm
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Post Re: Games for large (50-65 students) classes
:shock: I am teaching large classes 50+ with very little english and no room for circle games or walking games. I am also having trouble since one of the books I am working from has no vocab and most games are vocab related. Like teaching was/were... I tried a mingling games "Find some who was..." ect and it was an epic fail. They didn't understand the simple sentences and it became to loud and noisy no one was listening anymore. Please Help! How do I play games with such a large low lever group? Thanks in advance.


Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:56 am
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Post Re: Games for large (50-65 students) classes
I great way to have everyone participate is the "inside-outside" circle. The passports from this site are great in this situation. Seperate the group in two equal circles, students facing eachother. They take turns asking and answering questions. Have a timer to have one of the circle to change partener clockwise.


Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:23 am
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