Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Target Practice! Flying Airplanes For ESL

Today I had all my classes play a simple paper airplane game that helped them with their lesson vocabulary. I've used this airplane game before and played it like the hammer game. But this time I tried to introduce more speaking via role-play which takes place within the throwing of paper planes.
Students loved it.

You can use this as a warm up or end of lesson game.

How we played it...

First, I showed them a picture I found online for how to fold an airplane, the one below is what I used... It's good to have an illustrated guide and also fold along with them and show Ss who are having any troubles how to do it with your own demo one.

Next , I had them stand in a line, in front of the whiteboard where I had previously made my English word target.  Now I did this with different grades and different topics so here are my different boards :

Grade 3- Topic "What's this?"

Dialogue/Vocab:  "What's this? It's a ____________." pencil, pen, book, eraser, cup, ruler

How we played :

Students make a line and I ask "What's this?" then they fly their airplane and try to hit any word/target area on the board. Depending on where they land they answer "It's a _________."
Everyone takes a few shots each, rotating in their line one at a time.

Extra time? Ask one of the students to be the teacher and ask "What's this?"
Or you can play by reversing the dialogue. The student asks you "what's this?" and you reply with "It's a ________" and they have to try aim for what you said.

Grade 4 - Topic: She's A Doctor
Vocab: "singer, farmer, doctor, dancer, artist, teacher"
"He's/ She's a ______________. " "an" " He's my brother" "She's my sister" "Who is she/he?"

How we played:

I ask "Who's that?"
They reply with either He's my brother or She's my sister.
Then they have to fly their airplane to wherever on the board , where it lands determines what job their sister or brother does. So if the plane hits dancer they say "He's a dancer" / "She's a dancer."

I wrote the following on the board to help them:

"A: Who's that?"
B: She's my sister / He's my brother.
B: She's a ________. / He's a _________."

Extra time?

Have a bag full of cards that have either 'she' or 'he' written on them. Before they shoot their plane, they pick a card without looking from the bag. If they get she then they have to use 'she' in their dialogue ("She's my sister. She's a doctor.") and vice versa for 'he' cards.

Grade 5 - Topic - Whose ball is this?

Vocab: umbrella, pencil, picture, camera, pencil case, bag
Dialogue: "Whose _________ is this?" / "It's ________'s ______."

How we played:

I played this in teams because it was one on one - you could also play in teams for large classes (boys vs. girls, etc). A point is awarded to every successful hit.

I said "Whose __________ is this?" then the student would have to hit the object I said.
E.g. I said "Whose camera is this?" so my student aimed for "Baia teacher's camera" on the target. Before flying his plane he had to say "Baia teacher's camera" also. I played against him so he and I would take turns saying "Whose _________ is this?" therefore controlling the target and practicing the vocab.

Grade 6 , Topic- I want to be a cook
Vocab: teacher, soccer player, cook , doctor, scientist, singer, artist
Dialogue " You're good at _____________" "singing, cooking, playing soccer, drawing, helping people, English"
"You should be a/an ___________"

How to play:

I say "You're good at ___________" and the students must match my sentence to the correct job.
Because it was a class of mixed levels, I wrote in black some ideas for saying 'you're good at'

For example, in the English teacher zone I wrote "English" which means that they can make the sentence "you're good at English" and this corresponds with "You should be an English teacher."

After the students say the correct "you should be a ________" sentence they then have to try hit the right target / job zone.

Other examples of dialogue:

I say "you're good at drawing."
The student replies with "you should be an artist." and takes her/his shot.

I say " you're good at playing soccer."
Student replies "you should be a soccer player"

etc, etc...

Extra time?
Have the students take your place by saying the "you're good at_________" sentence to their classmates who are flying the airplane.

So as you can see, it's easy to design your target board and you don't need to be a master of circle drawing either.

After the game I suggest you have them write out the practiced vocab and/or sentences on their paper airplanes , if you have time. This is a quick writing practice that's spiced up by simply writing it on their airplane than in their textbook.

Here's my grade 4 paper airplanes that they wrote and decorated after playing the game:

After playing this airplane game the dialogue was in their heads and practiced well. I would highly recommend this for the start of any topic as it's so easily adjustable! And for any level of ESL.

Happy Teaching everyone!


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