Bounce Around is a conversational board game that can be customized with text, images and text, or all images. It is designed to be played in language classes but using the text version, you can create math board games and board games for English classes, science classes, social studies classes, and other disciplines.
This is a great game for low numbered classes and of course for classes with a large number of students. You just need to put students into smaller groups. It also works great for one on one classes.
Instructions: you need one board game, a die, and a marker for everyone in the group. Each group should have no more than 5 people, ideally three of four, and even best as pair work.
- every student in the group needs a marker and those should be placed in the center square labeled 'start'
- the first player rolls a die.
- they can first move vertically, up or down, in the direction of their choice, the number of squares indicated by the number on the die.
so, a player at start rolls a '4.' That player can move up or down four spaces.
- if the player comes to the edge of the board, they 'bounce' back off the edge in the opposite direction
so, if the player rolls a '6' on the first move, they can go up or down six spaces, but there are only four spaces. If the player chooses to go up, the player would count up four spaces and then 'bounce' off the top and go down two more.
- the rest of the group rolls moving in the same fashion.
- on the second round the players move horizontally, left or right, in the direction of their choice.
- play continues in this fashion until all the content squares have been taken.
The point of the game is collect as many content squares as possible. Content squares are spaces on the board with text, pictures, or stars. Each content square is worth one point, but the stars are worth two points.
A player wins a content square by arriving first to a square via his roll of the die and answering the question correctly or performing the language task correctly. The students would make their mark in the square, any mark will do as long as it's different from others. At the end of the game, students count up their point totals and the person with the most points wins.
The stars: The stars are extra spots for teachers to add in review questions or other activities into the game. You'll need to prepare separate questions or problems and the students will solve them when they arrive at those spaces. I generally have either a list of questions or a different set of flashcards that students can draw from and talk about.
You can have two separate star sections (one gray and one yellow) or you can use the same activity for both the black and yellow stars. You can also change the point values making the gray stars worth more for example. It's up to you.
The game is long so keep them speaking/active. It's difficult to reach those content squares so I generally have some simple speaking task for them to perform if they don't land on a content square. I'll have them ask another student a question, or have them write a vocabulary word five times in their notebooks, so they can practice spelling/writing. If you want to do writing, you can make a writing worksheet that matches the game here.
Don't let the game drag on! if the game isn't moving quickly enough, change the rules and allow students to go in any direction they want, vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. I generally wait until 10 or 15 minutes has passed to do this, but you could do it right from the start.
*** variations ***
Go Again: make the stars a 'go again' square where students can roll again. You can still have a language task and still give them points, but they have a chance to get more points in one roll. Have them make their mark in the star and then make that star inactive (or only active for that player.)
Power Up: when a player lands on a star they can go again. If they land on two stars in a row, they can power up! When they 'power up' they can move up or down at their discretion. Then, if they get two more stars in a row, they power up yet again. Now they can move up, down or diagonally. (This really makes they game fun as time passes and helps keep students speaking longer.)
Give Them All a Point: Generally only the first person to arrive to the content square gets the point. However, you can change the rules and have the first person get 2 points and any additional visits by other players get 1 point. This is a good option if the students won't repeat the speech act on return visits. They generally participate if they're getting a point.
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