Monday, June 11, 2012

Crossing the River. A short activity to practice oral vocabulary

Thanks to Núria Biosca for this "engaging and motivating" activity to start or finish an ESL class. 

Material: Pictures or flashcards to practice a specific set of vocabulary or flashcards with the alphabet or numbers...

Time guide:10 minutes

Preparation: create some space across the middle of the classroom.

Activity: Use the cleared space in the classroom and place the flashcards in a line on the floor with the pictures facing up.

Divide the class into two teams, with one team standing at each end of the line pictures. If necessary check that the children know how to play ‘Rock, paper, scissors’ by practising this with the whole class.

Each student stand opposite another child with their fists clenched. They both move their fists up and down as they count 1, 2 3 together and out loud. On the third count each child chooses between showing rock, paper or scissors with their hand.

One child wins, rock beats scissors, paper beats rock, and scissors beats paper. If the same gesture is chosen by both children, they simply repeat the game until one of them wins.

The first child from each team walks along beside the line of pictures, each starting at opposite ends line. They have to take turns to say what each picture or letter is as they reach it. The rest of their team can join in by saying each item.

When the two players meet they play’ Rock, paper,scissors’. Whoever wins stays where they are, and the other player goes to the back of their team’s line.

The next player in the losing team now starts walking along the line of pictures saying what each picture is,and the winning player also continues. When they meet, they play ‘Rock,paper,scissors’ again. This continues until one team member manages to "cross the river", in other words, reaches the opposite end of the line of pictures. A point is scored for each child that crosses the river.

The game can end when all of one team reach the other side – but that could take a very long time! You can play for a set period of time, stopping when choose, and the winning team is the one with the most points or with the player furthest along the line.

Núria Biosca. Research group "Open&Share". Autonomous University of Barcelona ICE

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