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a shopping game 
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
Post a shopping game
Give them things to sell. But tell them they can't show each other what they have for sale. Items can be anything, fruit, vegetables, transportation ... actual items won't work well for this activity. You need flashcards. Students must collect two pairs to finish. I generally have 2-3 losing cards (they have no match.)

Students go around buying cards and selling the cards they don't need.

You need:
- some play money.
- 2 pairs of cards (4cards) for each student + 2-3 losing cards

Students should have some basic language knowledge around shopping, but at the minimum "How much is this?"

The activity:
- give each student 4 cards and $15
- explain that they must get two pairs to finish the game.
- they can sell items for $1-$10
- they can have at most 5 cards at any one time
- they must offer to sell any requested item.
- They can't show the buyer the item (you buy blind.)

That's it! Simple but challenging.

Let the students go around and shop.

A: Could I see you cards?
B: Sure. (B lays his cards on the table face down.)
A: How much is this one?
B: Oh. it's $5.
A: Great! I'll take it./No, thank you.

If B doesn't want the requested card, he'll put a low price on the item. If he doesn't want to lose the card, he might put a high price on the item. Normally, you wouldn't think others would buy a $10 item, but they love to try and break up a friend's pair.

For larger classes you can have students work in pairs - 4 cards for one team of two people. I don't recommend any more than two people together.

I generally have them play rock-paper-scissors. The winner is the buyer. So if they win at rock-paper-scissors and they already have 5 cards, they can't buy anything, BUT they still have to do the dialogue till the end. So, people with 5 cards actually have to try to lose at rock-paper-scissors and if they do lose, they really need to sell something. If you have more advanced classes you can start teaching them to bargain with a person with 5 cards.

With large classes, the activity might run really long if you try to play to the end. You might want to stop the game after a certain number of people get two pair.

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Mon May 28, 2007 10:11 pm
Profile WWW

Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:01 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Kurobe-shi, Toyama-ken
I will definitely try this game once classes start up again.

For now I have to be content with the sound of drums and cheers as the students prepare for sports day... :?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:10 pm

Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:10 am
Posts: 25
Location: France
That's a very nice and interesting game, Mark, well done !

I'm looking for an activity of that kind, as I need to mark my pupils on an oral activity. I was thinking about making a sort of shopping mall, where there would be sale assistants and buyers - but I don't really know how to prepare all of this...
If anyone has an idea, please let me know !

French Teacher of English, in a small Collège in France (Ardennes).

Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:49 am

Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:14 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Miyazaki, Japan
I played this shopping game with my adult students and it was a lot of fun. The students ended up barganing towards the end.
Thanks a lot for the great game, Mark!!

Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:20 pm
Profile YIM

Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:10 am
Posts: 25
Location: France
do you easily find play money?
do you know a website where you can order some?

French Teacher of English, in a small Collège in France (Ardennes).

Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:34 am

Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:33 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Ibaraki, Japan

This is the site I use. Of course, it's all American money. I don't know where to find other currencies. I photocopy it onto green paper, and I use it all the time- everything is more fun with money, it seems.

Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:02 am

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:27 pm
Posts: 191
Location: South Korea
If you have a color printer. Mark has money with the Englisholopolly game on this site. I use it for all sorts of activites. It's great.

Dare to dream. Dance through life!

Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:31 pm
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