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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread May 8th, 2005, 07:44 pm
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Default Does anyone know some good activities for large classes?

Doea anyone here know any good activities for classes with 40+ students.
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Unread May 8th, 2005, 08:00 pm
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I'm struggling with the same thing. I have one idea that I am going to try today and I'll let you know how it goes.

Name: Back to the Board
Materials: None
Useful For: Reviewing vocabulary and producing short structures

basically divide the class into 2-3 teams. one person from each team comes to the front of the class and sit with their backs facing the board. then you write the vocab/stucture you want them to say on the board. then the teams try to get their team member to say the word on the board.

it activates everyone and is exciting. i've played it with smaller, unenthusiastic classes and they went crazy. now to test it on some older students.

other than survey style exercises i don't have any more ideas.

if you use this activity, let us know how it goes.

eric
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Unread May 8th, 2005, 08:10 pm
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I've done something similar to that simple give the person a keyword such as Chistmas. They have to write as many words as possible that are related to that word. This is a good short activity. I wouldn't try it for the whole period.
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Unread May 8th, 2005, 08:27 pm
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I forgot another activity I have been using lately with seccess.

I break the class into groups of 4. Each group (team) has one piece of paper.

Then I say an answer to a question and they (as a group) write the question.

For example:
Teacher says: "I ate pizza yesterday."
Students write: "What did you eat?"

I keep track of points and it becomes more interesting and competitive.

Eric
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Unread May 8th, 2005, 08:31 pm
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Quote:
Quote fishead soup
I've done something similar to that simple give the person a keyword such as Chistmas. They have to write as many words as possible that are related to that word. This is a good short activity. I wouldn't try it for the whole period.
An alternative to this is a game called Crazy IQ. Basically give them a topic (ex. Christmas, action verbs, colors, etc...) and individually or in groups, write one word from the given category. Give a point to each person/team that has a word that was not said. But if a word is duplicated, those teams with the same word don't receive a point.
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Unread May 13th, 2005, 12:53 am
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Default A few suggestions

Class surveys are a good way to get larger groups to circulate. Give the students some time (10-15 minutes, or as homework) to formulate their own questionaires related to whatever you're teaching in class. Then they all have to get up and interview X number of people in the class and record their answers. Afterwards you can talk as a class about the questions they made and some of the answers they received. This gives a little bit of structure to students who are intimidated by "free-talking", and relieves the pressure of speaking in front a large class.

Another one I did with a very large class of military officers (!!) was provide a few discussion topics on the board, such as "how did you meet your wife" and "what would you like to do when you retire" and have them work through them in pairs. You could do this at the start of each class to get them warmed up.

HTH
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Unread May 31st, 2005, 09:11 am
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I made a whole set of cards out of frustration. I made 80+ personalities with all kinds of information about each person. Using the cards Ss can try to guess the other persons information. The S who guess correctly first wins the card and then they find new partners.

The cards are here: Big Town

This page will explain more in detail but I've had success with these cards in every class I've used them in. That includes elementary school, junior high school, and college classes all ranging from 25-40 students.

The cards I have prepared are simple and for beginner to intermediate students.

I hope that helps or inspires.

Mark
MES-English.com
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Unread Jun 7th, 2005, 11:23 pm
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Quote:
Quote Eric
I'm struggling with the same thing. I have one idea that I am going to try today and I'll let you know how it goes.

Name: Back to the Board
Materials: None
Useful For: Reviewing vocabulary and producing short structures

basically divide the class into 2-3 teams. one person from each team comes to the front of the class and sit with their backs facing the board. then you write the vocab/stucture you want them to say on the board. then the teams try to get their team member to say the word on the board.

it activates everyone and is exciting. i've played it with smaller, unenthusiastic classes and they went crazy. now to test it on some older students.

other than survey style exercises i don't have any more ideas.

if you use this activity, let us know how it goes.

eric
I did this activity for 3rd grade middle school students. I did it in the last ten minutes. It was really effective. The class got really noisy
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Unread Jun 8th, 2005, 05:34 am
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Quote:
Quote fishead soup
I did this activity for 3rd grade middle school students. I did it in the last ten minutes. It was really effective. The class got really noisy
Cool! I'm glad it worked! It saved a few of my classes.
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Unread Jul 25th, 2005, 11:23 pm
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Default Stop the Bus

40+ classes.... That brings back memories!!!

I have found that STOP THE BUS always works... Each student has a piece of paper... you need to determine 5 categories (most popular ones are usually (Place/Food/Animal/Thing/Famous Person)

Either yourself or by nominating students, a letter is picked and the students start filling in the sheet using the specific letter..

For example: A -- Australia/Apple/Ant etc

When it gets competitive its fun..

Ang from sydney
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Unread Dec 29th, 2005, 01:53 pm
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Default Re: Bombs, Guns, Nurses

To Start:
Make a large grid on the board like a bingo board. At the top write A B C D E F
and along the side write 1 2 3 4 5 6. In your head or on a piece of paper in each square draw in a checkmark, a bomb, a nurse, a gun, or a tornado. Make sure the board is empty, this is on a piece of paper or in your head.

Description of symbols:
A bomb blows you up when you choose it, a checkmark is a question and if the student gets it right, they recieve 10 points, a nurse brings you back to life, a gun gives you the option to shoot someone, and a tornado wipes out all your points.

Split the class into 2 or 3 or 4 teams and each team will start to choose a square on the grid. From your paper or head write in the appropriate symbol and carry out what it does. The team with the most points when the grid is full wins!

Enjoy the kids love it!
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Unread Dec 29th, 2005, 02:00 pm
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Default Re: Monkeys and Bananas

Make a large dice from cardboard on the 6 faces draw 1 banana 2 bananas and 6 bananas as well as 1 monkey 2 monkeys and 6 monkeys.

Split the class iinto 2 or more teams and each team starts with 3 bananas. Ask a question to the first team if they get it right they get roll the dice. Before they roll the dice they get to decide if they want to roll for their own team or one of their opponents teams.

The game is simple. Monkey's eat Bananas and Bananas get added to their total on the board. The team with the most bananas at the end wins!

Game was a hit!
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Unread Feb 13th, 2006, 12:16 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know some good activities for large classes?

Hi, I teach very large classes as well, often with a massive range of levels, both in interest and ability.

I find that most of the whispering or relay games work really well with large groups because the more teams you have the stronger the competition.

1) For low level students line them up in teams of 5 or 6. Give the last student in each row the same word, and have them whisper it up to the front. The first class to either write the word on the board or tell it to the teacher wins. It forces kids to both speak clearly and listen carefully, as well as pay attention to that day's key phrases.

For higher levels you can do a relay with a sentence. Gradually feed them the words and have the kid at the front take the place at the back after they have written their word, that way each student plays each role.

You can vary this game again by giving them a word to spell. Each student has to write one letter from the word in question, and they keep rotating until the word is spelled correctly. This can take quite a while if they are poor spellers.

2) My favorite game of all though is the "Snap" game. You probably know it, but its perfect for overstuffed classrooms where active games are not possible.

Put the students in pairs and lay out a set of flashcards between them that represent the key concepts of that unit. As the teacher calls out the cards the students try to be the first to hit it. In the end the student with the most cards is the winner. Its a fantastic game for drilling new ideas into their heads at the end of the first period of a new unit.

Hope these help, and if you have any more ideas I would love to hear them.
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Unread Apr 12th, 2006, 10:43 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know some good activities for large classes?

I use this with lower level adults to teach prepositions. It works with kids very well, we have done it at church as well (teaching a different concept altogether)

Find a simple picture in a magazine or newspaper, or draw one yourself on a large 11 x 17 piece of paper. Choose one student to be the "artist", let them volunteer or pick someone. Then, show the class the picture and don't let the artist see it. Have the students tell the artist how to draw the picture using on, next to, between etc. Then when it's done, see how close the artist is to the original picture. You can do this several times if you have different pictures. I have used pictures of homes and rooms, they are simple for the students. You can also introduce new vocabulary like roof, chimney, window pane etc. Good luck.
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Unread May 18th, 2006, 02:48 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know some good activities for large classes?

I would suggest the purchase of George P McCallum's "101 Word Games"

lots of great activites.
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Unread May 19th, 2006, 02:22 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know some good activities for large classes?

I have the book "101 Word Games" and have not had much use for it. I've went through the book a few times for different ideas or have tried to think of variations for larger classes, but usually there is not enough time to play the games in the class since they are quite large.
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Unread Jun 1st, 2006, 12:27 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know some good activities for large classes?

I like to play Las Vegas Grammar. I divide the kids into teams and give each team the same amount of "fake" money. I bought some for really cheap at Target and laminated it but any kind will work. Then I type out a bunch of sentences with errors and give each group a few minutes to correct them. Finally each group takes turns "betting" on whether or not they got it all right. For example, if the group is confident, they'll place a big bet. Also , I always pass out at least five singles and take away money if the group is talking out of turn. THe kids LOVE this game. Of course, you could have them spell words on the board, play concentration with antonymns...whatever!
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Unread Aug 18th, 2006, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know some good activities for large classes?

There are a lot of games out there that can be adapted for large groups. If you find a great game, you can do many different things to adapt it. First of all you can enlarge the game board and play with teams (just make a rule that everyone in each group needs a turn before going again). You could also use 5-7 games that work well with smaller groups and set them up as stations in the room. Break down the class into the smaller groups and have each small group go to a different game. If there is time, they might be able to play two or three games in one day or else keep the stations the same for one week or throughout the entire unit so all students get a chance to participate in each game.

Having said that I think that board games only really work with small groups of up to 6 people, otherwise there is just too much hanging around waiting for your turn. And don't forget the logistics of all those games and pieces which you can and surely will lose. So I don't really use board games in my teaching unless I have a small group.

Instead I use games made specifically for large groups which can be played even in a class where you have no room to move. Indeed I did write a special edition of games specifically for that purpose. The Blanket Game and others are available free at the site below if you would like an example. Each game, and examples of how you can apply it are described over several pages so I won't include them here.

You can also use strategies such as having the class whispering while playing rather than talking to keep the overall noise down.
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Last edited by Pix : Aug 31st, 2006 at 12:15 pm.
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Unread Aug 19th, 2006, 08:31 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know some good activities for large classes?

I haven't read all of the thread but did anybody mention any pair work activities?
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Unread Aug 29th, 2006, 02:46 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know some good activities for large classes?

one of the activities I usually use for spelling warm ups, past tense verbs, or anything to do with words is to have a pile of the alphabet letters cut outs. I add several more vowels and the other letters that can be double used in a word. Each group gets a pile of these letters.
You can divide the class into how many groups you want, even by ones. the first group to finish spelling the word shouts "stop".,if its not correctly spelled, they continue until a group gets it. The students really learn and enjoy it.
you can add several "rules " to this activity . for ex: if the children are loud, you can tell them to whisper, if not, they loose 1 point, and so on.
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