My students have vocab lists. It keeps their behavior in check, gives them a way to mark their progress during the year, and helps them learn the language. It also gives all of us the opportunity to play fun games like Quizlet.live, Gimkit and Blooket! However, since studying a vocab list will never make it to the Top 10 of Most Awesome Things To Do I went on a deep dive into the internet to find fun ways to practice, learn, and retain our vocabulary.
My searching brought me to La Maestra Loca's and to Señora Chase's blog and a game called Reverse, or Backwards, Charades, and I was intrigued! "How can I play this with my high schooler's," I asked myself. Below is my take on how to play the game and a huge thanks to Maestra Loca and Señora Chase!
I write stories for each of my units and then create our vocab list based on those stories. The story for Unit 29 is called Estamos jugando and focuses on the Present Progressive. This makes it perfect for playing Reverse Charades! I wrote 20 sentences from the story then 10 random sentences that used our vocabulary. I put them in a PPT to project on the screen while we play.
Step 1: Divide the class into 2-3 groups. Give them a minute or two to come up with a group name and decide, roughly, what order they will go in. (My classes have about 20 students in them so I split it into 2 groups.)
Step 2: Each group will send 2-3 Guessers up to the front of the room, facing away from the projector and towards their group. When you are sure the student can't see it, project the sentence onto the board for the groups see.
Step 3. Each group, simultaneously and silently, will act out the sentence to the person they sent up front. I give them 20-30 seconds but the first Guesser to hold up their whiteboard with the correctly written sentence on it wins the round. If nobody has guessed after 30(ish) seconds, I move on to the next sentence.
Step 3: I combined this with a step from the Lucky Reading Game from Señora Chase and the winner of the round chooses a card from my oversized deck of playing cards. At the end of the game, each group adds up their cards to see who won!
- Señora Chase recommends giving the Guessers a handout of all the sentences (Yes! This makes the game much more fun and relaxed).
- Another recommendation from Chase is to let the shy kids, or the whole group, up to you, use whiteboards. This lets some kids act it out while others are drawing.
- From Sarah Breckley, she has multiple Guessers go up for each group and whomever can write the sentence, first and correct, gets the point. (I ended up playing using this option and it was so much fun!)
Note from me after playing for the first time. Make sure all your students are standing up. The game flopped when I let the Actors stay in their seat. They were "too cool for school" and wouldn't do anything. Once I made them stand up, it was like a switch was turned on and suddenly everybody wanted in on the action! That goes for all my grades 10-12!
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