Online MA in TESOL!

Amazing Game: Making Money (Expansion Set)

Home Main Submit Contents Recipes

This is an addition to a game that really, really, really works. It's a lot of fun for both the students and the teacher, and it doesn't necessarily have to be related to Business English. You can use it for adult classes, and intermediate to advanced students.

My addition to the game is a stock market scheme. At the beginning of the game, you can draw a price chart for the different types of "money" or produced goods. It will fluctuate as every transaction occurs. For example, if one group cashes in their triangles, the price of triangles will fall, while other products/money will increase in value. It's a good lesson in supply and demand, and by the end of the class, you'll see teams waiting for the right time to cash in their money.

A second addition to the original game is courtesy of the computer strategy games I've been playing (I say with a grin of embarrassment). You, as the Central Bank Authority, can create scenarios such as trade barriers, natural disaters (typhoons, earthquakes, volcanoes), political unrest, and an International Relief Fund. You can give a poor country more natural resources or technology, take from a rich country their resources or technology, just to even things out.

The original game is a gem. But with these additions, it proved to be the best game I've played with EFL students, ever! It's actually quite easy to prep for, if you follow the advice below (from the original game).

One last addition could be different kinds of technology. For example, you can't make a circle without the special kind of technology, so add more kinds of technology for variety.

As a follow-up, you can ask students questions concerning global issues, fairness, ethics, economics, politics. I work in Taiwan, which means that natural resources are limited, and my students absolutely understood the idea of importing goods and resources for added national benefit.

I also had my students write a report of the game, how they faired, whether or not it was "fair", and what it's like in real life. The game probably takes about two 1.5 hour lessons, with game as one lesson (pre-teach vocabulary), and follow-up as the second lesson.

Let me know if you have any questions.

[email protected]


The Object: To "make" as much money as possible.

Lesson Goal: To demonstrate the world economy through an economic model-- the game is the model.

Materials (for about 12-16 students, you want 3 or 4 in a group-- 4 teams): A4 paper, scissors, colored or lead pencils, rulers, protractors, four large envelopes.

Preparation: In envelop 1 put a three sheets of paper, two scissors, two rulers, three colored pencils and one protractor. In envelope 2 put do the same and add or subtract a tool of your choosing. In envelope 3 put only ten sheets of paper, a colored pencil. In envelope 4, put one piece of paper, one pencil, one ruler.

a) Draw a triangle, a square, and a rectangle on the board. As a warmer, tell students they're going to play a game and ask if they know what the game will be about. Give them hints. Elicit the idea of "making money." Ask them how they make money?
b) Show them some paper, scissors, and instruments (but not the ones in the envelopes). Demonstate to the students how they will make money. Draw a square to 4x4 inches and cut it out. Their money will be in the shapes on the board. The money is to be measured to your exact measurements (I'm from the states and don't know metric but you get the idea). Also assign dollar amounts to the money:
*squares 4" x 4" = $50
*rectangles 4" by 6" = $75
*triangles each side 3" (isoceles?) $100
*Have all $AMOUNTS and MEASUREMENTS on board
c) Instruct students that the money is to be the exact measurement or it's no good at the BANK (TEACHER)-- you'll be the BANK measuring it and keeping score on the whiteboard (if you have an assistant it would be good, maybe assign another student to assist in measuring). Crumple up bad money-- money with imprecise measurements-- and throw it in the trash for effect. Also instruct the teams to put their team number on the money (it gets confusing).

d) Distribute the envelopes. Teams 1 and 2 should start working immediately and 3 and 4 will probably complain to you that they don't have all the tools. Tell them simply to make money. They may get upset and that's part of the game. T4 can make some money but only certain kinds. T3 is missing essential tools but has an abundance of resources, paper. The money that is the easiest to make will be made first-- squares and rectangles. When you-- the BANK-- starts checking money record the money made on the board for everyone to see-- Team 1, Team 2, Team 3, Team 4.

What is supposed to happen? trade will begin to take place. The Team with only paper will trade some of its paper for some tools. The Superpowers with everything will decide they can trade a tool for some paper.

***When the BANK decides it has to many squares's the price on squares will drop to a number of your choosing and the price on the scarce triangle should shoot up.

Let them make money for a while. Keep notes on how the teams are doing, how they react, bring up any observations in the followup discussion.

Discussion: Ask them how they felt and if they felt it was unfair. Ask what they did when they realized they didn't have all the tools, or ran out of resources.

Results of this game may vary-- much depends on the materials. Terms this can lead into are supply and demand, inflation, third world country, superpower, trade, etc.

Dave Crimaldi
[email protected]

If this works for you, let me know.

Home Main Submit Contents Recipes

World's Best Jobs!
Best Jobs

Dave's ESL Cafe Copyright 2016 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.