In a previous post, I shared with you my favorite teaching technique when teaching English to non-native English speakers. I wanted to share with you another game that seems to be a hit with my 1st - 4th graders.
I call it the Dice Game - only because I have not come up with a better name - and it is as simple as it sounds. I was able to create my first version in less than five minutes. It works best with a group of three to six kids.
Besides being simple to create, I love this game because the children quickly learn the words. After one go-round, my students recognized six new verbs without realizing they were learning. (Another great game for quick learning is Bingo, but a post on that will coming shortly!)
How to Make the Dice Game
As the name suggests, you need dice for this game. I just grabbed some from a board game we had upstairs, but if you need to buy some they are pretty cheap.
Next, grab a sheet of paper. Create six sections, and write a verb in each one. Make sure these verbs are fun to act out, can be done in a small space and not too difficult to learn. In my first version, I used verbs like "clap," "run" and "wave." Number the sections 1-6.
After doing this a few times, I wanted to increase the words we were learning and give us more options. I added a second die and second page of actions (numbered 7-12). Instead of just one word, I created short sentences. Instructions such as "pat your head" and "hop on one foot." My goal is to continue building their vocabulary and grammar WITHOUT them knowing it!
Note: If you use two dice, you will never use the "1" space. I didn't even realize it until we began playing the game. I recommend either using action that as a warm up exercise or wait to see if any of the students catch on.
Later I invested in sillier dice. I bought these big, yellow, styrofoam dice on Amazon. For one thing, the small white ones were getting thrown all over the room and with nine kids, I needed more space to play.
How to Play The Dice Game
Now that you have the materials, you are ready to play! Form a circle with your students. Explain and demonstrate each action listed on the paper. Hand the dice to a student, and let them roll! Whatever number it lands on is the action you all do. It is funny because students quickly root for a number and dread another. Then the next students rolls, and so on until you want to be done.
I usually go for two or three rounds before the kids (or I, rather) get tired of it. But I love that this is a ten-minute activity that teaches the kids, gets them active and gets them involved.
I would love to hear other games you play with your students! I am always looking for engaging activities for these youngsters.
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