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Unread Jul 23rd, 2007, 06:13 am
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Default Re: My Worst Lesson - Any Advice

I used this activity when I did a sub-class:

Name of Activity: Guess it
Objective: to have a pair of students guess the meaning of a word without using the word itself -the advance student defines the word, while the beginner one guesses.

(note: activity is similar to "Taboo" if you are familiar with this game)


1. Students read a short article. While reading, they isolate new words and find their meaning. Teacher helps them understand the meaning of the words with examples and samples sentences.

2. After all the words have been defined, the teacher writes down the words into strips of paper -one word for each strip of paper. All the strips are placed in a jar (or whatever vessel)

3. Advance student (meaning student with higher speaking skills) randomly picks a strip of paper, reads the word, and defines the word to beginner student. The beginner must listen and try to guess the word.

4. The pair must guess the meaning of the word within a time-limit or else they get a punishment from the teacher: either they sing a song, or they give the teacher 3 dollars each -whichever they agree before hand. (The monetary-based punishment is a joke!)


a) Although the beginner student has weaker linguistic skills, it is not impossible for him to guess the word because the word came from the previously studied article. Also, the beginner student is suited for guessing because his listening and comprehension skills are better than his speaking skills.

b) The advance student can use his dictionary, and any example and analogy he can think of to make his partner guess the meaning.

c) It is best to make the student sit back to back from each other so that they can only hear each other's voices. If they define words while facing each other, the body language, face and hand gesture aid in the discovery of the word. By just listening to each other's voices, the students only rely on their voices and ears to solve the mystery word.

d) The point of the activity is to put to use the speaking skills of the advance student to engage the listening comprehension skill of the weaker student.

e) This activity works only within a context of a larger lesson. It can serve as a review activity or an ice breaker. I often use this as a crack-activity for emergency classes similar to what you had.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose -Jim Elliot
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