Tuesday, 26 August 2014

An ESL Spin on the Classic 'Whisper' Game!

 Hey all, it's been a couple of weeks since I blogged, I was off on vacation in the lovely land of Brunei. Had a blast. Now, back at it - I admit, I wasn't too thrilled on Monday morning to start the new semester...but today, today! Is Tuesday. Feeling much better and this easy, fun game helped me get pumped up for this new term.

Chinese Whispers or 'Telephone' in the States, is a simple game of having to whisper a word in someone's ear and hope they hear and pass on your word correctly. Now, the English spin on this game is very easy... here's what I did for my current lesson 'Hello, Is Minu There?' which is all about phone conversations and inviting friends to join you in an activity.

First, I wrote 2 different scripts (from the textbook) on the board, but left 5 blanks.

Script 1:

Script 2

 After that, I wrote the missing words on cards. So 2 sets of cards - one for each team.

 After I put these cards in two separate containers, one for each group.

When the class came in I halved them by giving them the number 1 or 2 and telling them to make 2 group lines.

After lining up, we read both scripts out loud as a class, saying 'lalala' when we hit a blank. (They love lalala for some reason). After reading I told them their mission was to fill the blanks of the dialogue.

Next I told them that the first students in line would be the writers and I gave the writers a white board marker each.

I then told them the last students in line were the card pickers, and responsible for starting the whisper.

So the student at the end of their group line picks a card from their container , reads it and whispers it to the next student in line. The whisper is then passed on, by whispering and when it reaches the student who is first in line - the 'writer' - they must write it in the correct blank spot of the script on the whiteboard.

I acted the whispering part out very dramatically so the lower level kids could understand - ALWAYS DEMO YOUR GAME! I grabbed 4 kids and whispered "crazy" in the first kid's ear and they passed it on, much laughter at the word 'crazy', and the student's immediately understood the game. 
It was easy to then explain that the writers had to write the whispered word on the whiteboard, filling in the blanks of the script.

So then...let the game begin!

Now, you can play two ways - the first team to fill the dialogue wins OR which I prefer, I do word by word and the first team to fill their blank gets a point. This gives more of a chance if one group is slower.

After the game make sure to read the filled out scripts as a class.

I did it with my grade 6 class also for our current lesson "Would you like to come?" and I used the following scripts:

"_____ you like to ____ to my ________ party?
  Yes, ______ for _________ me!
  Don't ________ to bring __________________. "

Blank words: Would / come / snack / thanks / inviting / forget / some snacks

"Would you _____ to ______ to my ________ party?
   I'd ______ to, ____ I can't.
   Oh, _____ too _____."

Blank words: like / come / Halloween / love / but / that's / bad

I suggest doing this game for any topic as it's fun and easy to make. If you have a co-teacher you could always trash the cards and containers and use yourself and co-teacher to start the whisper! Yay! Less to make!

To ya'll in Korea, hope you all had a great vacation. Welcome back!

Happy Teaching!