Like me, you are likely to find yourself teaching the same lessons multiple times. For example, I currently have three SSC classes in the same unit and I have multiple HFE classes all following each other through the books.
You could go crazy teaching the same lesson over and over, or you could do a little research and think up a few new games or activities to keep it interesting for yourself, and see what works best for the lessons. Talk to your fellow teachers or do some internet searching, and the world is your oyster. You will be surprised at what you can find very easily, and at the change you see in your students when you mix things up a little.
I’m going to share a couple of games / activities I’ve come across lately that have worked well for me. If you come up with anything amazing, don’t forget to share it with your team.
Sit all the students on the floor in a circle. Start by passing one flashcard around the circle and have each student say the word. Next round, introduce two flashcards around the circle. Each round, add more and more flashcards to the circle. You can make this dramatic and hilarious and all of the classes I’ve tried this on so far have loved it. Just make sure you’re controlling the activity and students are producing the language correctly.
Quick draw (from Natalie)
Have two students stand up with their backs together, each holding a flashcard. On the count of three students should take three steps, then turn around and race to say what is on the other students’ flashcard. You can adapt this for HF level by writing sentences on cards.
Number practice (from Todd)
What’s missing – write numbers 1-12 on the IWB. Have two students at a time stand with their backs to the board and then erase 2 numbers. Have the students turn around and race to yell out which numbers are missing.
Number practice (from Rena)
Students should stand in a circle and place their right hand palm-down, on top of the next students hand (palm-up). Tell students they are going to count to 20 (or whatever you’re practicing), but whenever they get to a multiple of 5, instead of saying the number, they must try and hit the hand of the student to their left. If they hit it, the other student sits down; if they miss, they sit down. The game ends when there is only one student left standing. Definitely demonstrate this game with one or two students first.
Practicing days of the week or months
Write the days of the week or months of the year on the IWB and have students stand in a circle. Students must go around the circle saying the days or months, but when they get to a certain day or month they must sit in the middle of the circle. The game ends when there is only one student left standing.
Trailblazer / Frontrunner
Thanks to Taz from TJ2 for some really great ideas!
Set a timer. Decide on vocab or grammar structures that you’ll be using. Each student writes one sentence and passes the paper on to the next student. You can add more rules – for example, you can’t use certain words twice and so on.
Word salad – as an extension.
Students work in groups. Set a timer – students should write as many words as they can that are related to the theme or topic of the unit. Again, passing the paper and just throwing words in. At the end of the time students share words and then can write sentences, paragraphs or phrases using the words list.