This is the English game I made up last week. I tried it a few times and it seems to work fine with a group of 15 to 20 kids. I like it because it takes very little preparation and the activity takes about 45 minutes (a class) or more. The kids like it because it’s a game.
Here is what you need: A white board (though a black board will do fine), three different coloured markers, a small magnet, enough small sheets with words the students know for every student.
To make the word sheet, I just looked at the words the students had seen in class over the year, picked 40 and made two word lists. I printed these lists out and cut them into individual servings. The reason I’ve got two word list is to add some variety in the vocabulary. I guess you could make unique word lists for each student if you wanted.
On the board, draw a soccer field/hockey rink. Basically a square with nets at the end. Draw circles representing the players in symmetrical fashion on the board (goalie, defence, middle, offence). Every red player must have a blue counterpart. Make the circles big enough so you can fit the magnet (ball) in them to indicate possession. Now you’re ready to explain the game to the kids.
Hand out the word banks to the kids. Explain that they knew these words. Because I have grade 1 and 2 in my class, I made two word banks. The rules are simple. To complete a pass, you must make a sentence with one of the words on the list. These sentences much be 4 words or more and be perfect. If there’s an article missing, it doesn’t count. When the students make a perfect sentence, they can pass to whoever they want that is close to them. If the student is on defence, he can’t pass to offence without going to the middle first. So if the sentence is perfect, it’s a pass. If it’s not, the opposing player who is paired with that student gets possession. When an “offensive player” makes a shot at the net for a goal, give one word that isn’t on the list. If the attacker make a perfect sentence first, it’s a goal. If the goalie makes one first, it’s a save and goalie gets possession. I make the goal sentences one word longer, just so it’s more of a challenge.
When you give them the words, you can give them a few minutes to look at the words and make sure they know what they all mean. I do this because it takes up a bit of time and give everyone a chance to have a few sentences ready.
At first, I had troubles with the other team members helping goalies and correcting “pass sentences”. To fix this, I get them to stand up when they “take a shot” and everyone else needs to be quiet. Same with taking a shot at the goal. Because shots at the goal require rapid sentence making abilities, the second either the attacker or the goalie gets up, everyone is quiet and the student immediately gives a sentence. Otherwise, it’s not fair to the other team because they’ll take more time to think of their sentence without the threat of being on the clock again the other student. So “when you get up, everyone is quiet and the person standing up says his/her sentence immediately.”
If you have an odd number of students, you can pair the two poorest students together as one player, put two for goalie and have one do the saving sentence and the other the passing sentence, simply get two of them to take turns as a player, or anything else you can think of.
I realize this may sounds a bit confusing, but it’s not. It’s good fun and I like to think it helps the students apply what they see in class to “real life” sentence making. These rules aren’t set in stone, it worked for me, but if you want to switch it up, by all means!
If you have suggestions on how to improve this game, please let me know!