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-   -   The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous (http://www.eslhq.com/forums/esl-forums/esl-games-activities/freeze-game-teaching-past-continuous-165/)

little sage May 6th, 2005 12:19 pm

The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
I can't remember which book I learned this from, but it was a great success in my class of 11-12 year olds.

Purpose: to review the past continuous ie. "They were playing basketball".

Preparation: Either have cards with action words ready, or use your text book to point to the actions they have studied in their book.

Method:

1) Divide the class into two teams.
2) Create a space where one team can sit in chairs together and the other team can stand up without tables in the way.
3) Have one team sit down and close their eyes, or face the wall.
4) Monitor that eye closed/no peeking rule, perhaps deduct points for peeking.
5) Show the other team an action verb like "playing basketball".
6) That team silently acts out the action until you say FREEZE.
7) When you say FREEZE every member of the team freezes their current action and holds it.
8) Team one can now open their eyes and see the frozen actors.
9) Each student from the seated team takes a guess at to what Team 2 was doing. "Was she playing tennis?" HINT: Guessing should be fairly swift, poor team one is patiently frozen, remember.
10) A successful guess gives them one point.
11) After all students guess once, point or no point, play proceeds to the next team.
12) Game ends at teacher's discretion.

TIPS:
To get the game going at a good pace, use simple sentences like "She was eating". Once the kids are into it, increase the level of difficulty by adding objects (not physical objects, silly) to the sentences. ex. "She was eating spaghetti".

Manuela Jan 26th, 2006 09:28 am

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
This game sounds excellent. I'll definitely try it out tomorrow.

mesmark Jan 26th, 2006 04:52 pm

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
That's great! Thanks.

I have some students who have been studying the past tense for about a year and have alrady covered some irregular verbs. I was trying to think of some way to start using be verbs and this will work out perfectly.

Thanks again.
Mark

little sage Jan 26th, 2006 07:29 pm

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
Yeah, the freeze game is really fun. It reminds me of "Frozen Tag" and also "Statues", did you ever play those when you were a kid?

Anyway, I'd like to hear if either of you ,Mark or Manuela, think of any innovations when you play. I think the point-making system could be refined.

Thanks,
Karen

Manuela Feb 3rd, 2006 09:43 am

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
Schools were closed in Athens for five days due to snowfall so I couldn't try outyour game sooner. Anyway it worked OK. I started by sticking 16 flashcards with actions (read, argue, play the piano, fish etc) on the board. I quickly went through them and asked them what each of the persons in the card was doing, using the present continuous tense. Then I collected the cards and asked students to remember what the person in the first card was doing, what the person in the second card was doing and so on. I encouraged them to use the past continuous, after quickly explaining how it is formed. I only had 2 cards exemplifying the plural form of the tense: "They were arguing" "They were eating".

Then I played the FREEZE game. I followed your instructions but instead of showing students the actions I showed them a flashcard. So there was no peeking problem since only one group could see the flashcard the others could only see its backside even if they peeked. It worked fine.

The following class I brought to class a broken plastic spoon, a soft rubberball
and the flashcards. I wrote on the board
"Who broke the spoon? You broke it!"
"It wasn't me. I was cooking."
I gave each of the students a flashcard(I used Mesmarks wonderful cards and they enjoyed holding one) and told them to prepare defending themselves. Then I threw the rubberball to one of them and said accusingly:
You broke it" The student answered giving as an alibi the action on the card.
I collected the flashcard that had been used so it was easy for the students to pick out a person who hadn't had a turn, to whom they should throw the ball. They enjoyed the drill and started acting out their roles as accuser and blameless accused. THey also wanted to know who had broken the spoon. So when they had all given their excuses I let them accuse me and I admitted I had done it. I really enjoyed my lesson, some of the students sounded so convincing.


Couldn't we maybe collect in this thread other games and activities used to practise past continuous/progressive?

selenozkan Apr 25th, 2006 07:31 am

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
A very creative game and seems to create chance for 'teachable moments'...
So, thanks a lot!!!

little sage Apr 25th, 2006 09:28 am

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
Quote:

Quote Manuela
Then I played the FREEZE game. I followed your instructions but instead of showing students the actions I showed them a flashcard. So there was no peeking problem since only one group could see the flashcard the others could only see its backside even if they peeked. It worked fine.

Eegad. I don't know how I missed your response, but now it's almost 3 months later... I'm so sorry!!!!

I think I play the freeze game differently. I make one team close their eyes while the other teams is miming, then I say FREEZE and the members of the acting group stop and hold the pose, then Team B opens their eyes, looks at the other team who is no longer moving, they are frozen, and they guess what they had been doing. Guessing is a little wilder then if they had watched the action being acted.

Wow, a long sentence to explain but it doesn't really matter. Both ways could work, I just wanted to clarify my original meaning.

I love your broken spoon game. Ah, that sounds like so much fun. I think I might do a version of that to review P.C. with my uni kids after exam week (I'll leave my rubber ball at home ;) and maybe take in my broken watch instead).

So sorry to have not replied...

Karen

mesmark Apr 25th, 2006 08:52 pm

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
Quote:

Quote little sage
3) Have one team sit down and close their eyes, or face the wall.

I totally missed step 3 the first time I read through this. It makes so much more sense now. I'm glad this was dug up again.

Manuela Apr 26th, 2006 01:46 am

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
Hi Karen.
Nice to see (read:) you back! I played it the way you do, I said FREEZE and then let the students turn around. I just didn't have to pay close attention to their peeping or not since I let the other group see a flashcard.
The rubber ball sounds silly I know. However, it is a very successful tool in getting each and every student to say something during class. For some reason which I can't explain (i have never been a fan of ball games) students seem to enjoy catching the ball and saying whatever they are supposed to practise saying. I have a collection of small balls, one looking like a hedgehog, one a funny little smiling face (five cms in diameter), another one that opens up and becomes 5 times its original size when you throw it. I find that the moment you
ask a question and throw the ball an electic current goes through the class and everybody is eager to take a turn. With my 8-10 year olds I do this at the beginning of each class to revise things we have learnt to say so far.eg. "Where do you live?" . The first student answers and throws the ball to a student of his choice and repeats the question. When I think they have had enough practice with that I clap my hands and I get the ball back and start a new question thread.
The rubber ball can very well be replaced by a a crumpled piece of paper.
Happy teaching.
Manuela

nshubin May 6th, 2006 11:27 am

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
I really like the game and I 'll use it, but doesn't it drill "They have been doing smth", rather than "They were doing smth"? My students are so picky!

Manuela May 6th, 2006 01:21 pm

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
From what I know the present perfect continuous has two meanings:
1. An action that started in the past which is still continuing at the moment
e.g. It's 12 o'clock. They have been sleeping for 15 hours. Should I wake them up?
2. When an action has stopped but its results are obvious.
e.g. He's exhausted because he's been working in the garden.
Look the streets are wet. It has been raining.

Past Continuous we use when we know exactly the moment when something was happening in the past.
e.g. What were you doing yesterday at noon?
Time can be established by the occurence of another action.
What were you doing when the phone rang.

In the FREEZE game time is implied. i.e. What were they doing when I said FREEZE?I don't think that any of the uses of the present perfect continuous applies here.
Only if you consider that the positions of the players are obvioius results of what they had been doing. But is a frozen position an obvioius result of an action? I wonder.

Do you still feel that the game practises the PPC? If you do , you have found a perfect game to practise that!:)

little sage May 6th, 2006 05:50 pm

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
Hi,

I think it could be used to teach the Past Perfect Continuous, because there are some (weird) present results, and because the time the action stopped is so close to the present.

I can imagine, say, me washing the floors and my husband walking in. When he walks in, I stop washing the floor, I pause.

He could say:
1) What were you (just) doing? PC

2) What have you been doing? PPC

or, if the cloth is still in my hand and I'm obviously not done the action:

3) What are you doing? PrC

I think, though I'm no expert, all three would be correct but show slightly different perceptions about the situation: 1) the action is finished, had duration, was interrupted 2) gee, the room is clean now / why is she holding a dirty cloth? 3) the action is not finished

If your (very perceptive) students are really picky, then make a sign saying "Yesterday at 4:00" and have the acting students stand by that when they mime the actions. Then PC usage is more clear.

Hope this helps,
Karen

nshubin May 10th, 2006 11:37 am

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
dear Karen and Manuela<
thanks a lot, I can see the difference now. Today I have done "the Freeze game' So much fun and laughter! But in the beginning I emphasized that they needed to guess what the group was doing just at the very moment I said FREEZE. And that helped me explain that the moment can be expressed via another action in past simple. So, the game did great! Besides, to my little ones I offered something similar, but only one of them was guessing. All the others mimed the word I had written on the board. It was so great! Children (age 6-7) were encouraged both to read and recall the word without using its Russian equivalent( I used the verbs, the animals, and feelings).
Thanks a lot to all of you!

smy2brazil Jan 3rd, 2007 09:41 am

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
I did a game with teenagers and with adults, that I called "Crime." I wrote the question on the board:

"Where were you and what were you doing last night at 10:30 pm?" (which is practically a tongue twister for Brazilians, because they don't use the letters "w" and "y" in Portuguese.)

I passed out cards from a regular deck, but only one king and on joker. The joker was the criminal and the king, the detective. The detective had to ask the question to different students to try to discover the criminal. Each of the students who had a plain card (innocent students) had to create an alibi.

"I was at home with my parents, watching TV"
"I was having dinner at a restaurant"
"I was taking a shower at home"

The criminal had to give an alibi that didn't match.

"I was playing soccer at the bakery"
"I was waiting in line at the bank" (which would be closed at that hour)

I liked your games a lot.

susan53 Jan 3rd, 2007 01:44 pm

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
Super game - I shall use it!

the Obscure May 14th, 2007 01:13 am

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
Hey Karen,

Thanks for the activity. I used it with my second year middle school students, and they seemed to have a lot of fun with it. I had them milk cows, sumo wrestle and eat hamsters and they came up with some pretty creative ways to portray the actions. And they got the point of the continuous. Yay! So thanks for posting the game.

the o

miss primary Oct 7th, 2007 11:13 am

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
hi
thanks for the exciting game me and my friend like it and we will use it while presenting our micro teaching for the past continuous in the college :)

Siemens Jan 15th, 2008 06:52 pm

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
Really really good and I am pretty sure that my students will be thrilled with this activity. I just need to read your instructions again and print them if possible. lol.

little sage Jan 15th, 2008 08:00 pm

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
Wow, it's been so long since I've posted this game!!! I taught the textbook where it's from more often, and now do recall where it's from: Let's Go 4, unit 4 or 5. If anyone wants to look up the original version of directions, check the Let's Go teacher's manual. Their supplemental games are really good.

Amazon.com: Let's Go 4: Student Book (Let's Go): Books: K. Frazier,R. Nakata,B. Hoskins,S. Wilkinson

Hime_Neko Feb 27th, 2008 09:09 pm

Re: The Freeze Game, for teaching past continuous
 
Quote:

Quote smy2brazil (Post 6785)
I did a game with teenagers and with adults, that I called "Crime." I wrote the question on the board:

"Where were you and what were you doing last night at 10:30 pm?" (which is practically a tongue twister for Brazilians, because they don't use the letters "w" and "y" in Portuguese.)

Hello.

Thx for this game... and as fast as I read it I came up with a little variaton of it...

Instead of teaching Past Continuous, it could be used to teach Past Simple just changing the question to "Where were you and what did you do last night?"


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