Archive for the ‘ESL Games’ Category

Recently we reviewed adjectives and adverbs in my intermediate grammar class. As a wrap-up we played a modified Jeopardy game. By modified, I mean that it doesn’t follow the traditional question-answer format of Jeopardy. It simply asks questions (instead of asking for a question). The students had a lot of fun. They were really competitive! The link to the game is: http://jeopardylabs.com/play/grammar-review-esl-adjectives-and-adverbs.

I just wish it were a little more difficult. The third category where they simply had to change the adjective to an adverb was not challenging at all. Before I use it again, I will look for ways to make it trickier. That should make it even more fun.

If you would like to make a Jeopardy game of your own, it’s easy to do at http://jeopardylabs.com/.


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Some time ago I made a concentration game using PowerPoint and put the template here on this blog. The template doesn’t have any content, but you are welcome to take it and add your own content. You can download it at: Concentration Template.

From time to time, I check the stats for this blog and not long after creating the Concentration game, I did just that. When I check the stats,  I can see several things: how many hits there have been, the referrers, the links that have been clicked, and the search engine terms people have used. One day, I noticed that someone found this blog by using the terms “cause and effect concentration.” I thought this was a great idea and since one of the rhetorical patterns we work on in my writing class is cause and effect, I have made just such a game.

I use it to do two things:

  1. help students clarify their understanding of what cause means and what effect means
  2. practice writing logical sentences (with correct punctuation) that use the following words and phrases:
    • as a result
    • so
    • since
    • consequently
    • that is why
    • because
    • for this reason

I chose seven words and phrases because this is the number of pairs in the game. I did not use therefore and thus because these words are usually only used when writing about logical conclusions in math and law and would not fit any of the sentences in the game.

The game worked very well. I wrote the above words and phrases on the board and broke the class into teams. I then explained the game and told the class that the teams needed to do two things.

  1. First, they had to match two cards. One card would be a picture that represented a cause and the other would be a picture that represented the effect. They were not allowed to take notes on the location of the cards. This is a concentration game after all!
  2. After matching two cards, one team member would come to the board and use the information on the cards and one of the words on the board to write a sentence of cause and effect. The team could help them, but I would not look at the sentence until it was finished. If the sentence was correct, the team would get a point and another turn. If the sentence was not correct, the next team would have a shot at writing a correct sentence. Once one of the words or phrases on the board was used, I would cross it off to ensure that all of them were used for practice.

Students enjoyed the game and had to work hard to make sure their team’s sentences were logical and correct. The whole class appeared to find mistakes in logic particularly interesting.

Please note that  there is one picture that represents surprised and another that represents frightened or terrified. Surprised is intended to match up with the mouse and frightened or terrified is intended to match up with the ghost. Students thought it was funny when I acted out surprised versus frightened and were fine when I explained that I was looking for something very strong for the ghost and not so strong for the mouse.

To open or download the game go to Cause and Effect Concentration Game.

The source for most of the images was My English Images.

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Many of you have seen and used Jeopardy templates for review. Some of these games use PowerPoint, but recently I learned about Jeopardy Labs. It is very easy to use. You can make your own games or use one of the games that are on file.  The one on Parts of Speech will be useful at the beginning of my writing class next semester. I am hoping to use this site to make a review game for my grammar class. I will share that with you when I finish it, but for now I thought I’d share this site so that you can get going on making some easy to use games of your own. Let us know if you make one!

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concentrationjpgPreviously I wrote about nonlinear PowerPoint presentations and some of the creative, interactive things you can do with them. Recently I learned how to use triggers and with my newly gained skill I made a concentration game. I used it on Thursday with my grammar class and it was really fun. For my first experiment with concentration, I divided the class into teams and then explained the game. For this version of the game, they simply had to match possessive adjectives with possessive pronouns. They really liked it and at the end, asked if they could play another round. We didn’t have enough time, but I promised them that we would play another version of the game in the future.

My use of this game on Thursday was pretty basic, but used in other contexts is gives students the opportunity to categorize. They could, for example, match examples with categories. My big picture for this game really involves a marathon review at the end of my writing class. I plan to divide the class into groups and assign each group the responsibility for reviewing one section of the course (time order, space order, persuasive, comparison, contrast, cause and effect, and summary) with the class, using a game format. As an example, I will show them a concentration game that I’ve made to review the things to consider when writing a paragraph that gives instructions. Their responsibility will be to decide which features they will review and make a game which does this. During review week, one of the members of each of the groups will act as quiz master. It’s too much to ask them to create a game so, along with the concentration template that I’ve made, I will make several other game templates available to them. Jeff Ertzberger’s site has lots of great game templates that look like they would be fun and some of them don’t require the students to make any modifications.

If you would like to use this game, please feel free to download the Concentration Template. It was made using Word 2007 and I apologize for not being able to make it available in 2003, but too many of the features were lost. You will need to add your content. Move the brown cards to the side and type in your content where there is currently a question mark.

April 23, 2009 Note: If you downloaded the Concentration Template before April 23, 2009 there is a small glitch with card one. If you download it again after this date, the problem should be fixed. Thank you Toula!

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