Game: “jumping on the article!”
The games focuses on the correct use of the indefinite article a/an. It is a 20 minute revision-consolidation game which can be played at the end of the lesson. It’s suitable for young learners (aged 7-8) at their first steps of learning English. A rope (about 3-4metres long) and two pieces of coloured cardboard (size A4) are needed. It is a game I’ve adapted to the English language teaching after watching clowns performing similar ones at parties but only for recreational purposes.
20 minutes before the lesson finishes, the teacher with the help of the students move the desks, leaving a space big enough for 12 children to stand in two lines. He? She makes sure that the classroom equipment in placed in such a way that students won’t get injured, as they’ll have to jump during the game. Then he/she places the rope on the floor , dividing it (the floor) into two imaginary separate spaces. On the first one, he/she places the first piece of cardboard having written the article “a” on it, and on the other space he/she places the second cardboard with the article “an” on it. The students stand in the first space with the article “a” and the games starts! The teacher calls out nouns and the students have to jump from spaces “a” to “an” according to the article that they should use in front of the noun. E.g. the teacher says “apple” and all the students should jump over the rope and move to the space with the “an” article cardboard. The teacher quickly says “ball” and the students have to jump to the “a” article space. He/She goes on saying “fox” and if the students jump to the wrong article , they are to leave the game. The role of the teacher us to call out nouns quickly and make students confused. The winner is the student who has jumped on the correct article spaces during the whole game.
Though the game might be a little noisy and fast paced for the students, they seemed to be enjoying it. There was the sense of competition but there was also the exciting element of luck, as many of them were predicting wrongly the teacher’s next noun announcement and, as a result, they jumped on the wrong article space. At the end, they all felt confident about their ability to distinguish the vowels and consonants sounds and match the correct article accordingly.
Since the kids asked to repeat the game again and again, I think that instead of the articles I could use the same game revising vocabulary (food-drinks) or even grammar (adjectives-adverbs) with students at beginner ‘s level. Although team or group games are more common because they are undoubtedly a way to maintain the students’ involvement, I found out in this case, that the students didn’t feel the individual stress of competition. The game itself involves lots of physical activity and excitement that the participants focus on their goal in a more relaxing way.