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Put students in groups of eight or so and tell them to sit in a circle. Then get a ball of string and give one student the end to hold. Unravel the string, give it to someone on the other side of the circle. He holds a piece of it. Keep crossing backwards and forwards, so the string makes a star shape, so that everyone is holding a bit of it and all the students connected. Explain that this is a telephone line and that the students are going to send a message down the line. Then give the student at the beginning of the string a short text. He reads it, 2 or 3 words at a time to the person he is connected to, and so on round the group until it comes to the last student, who writes it down. Tell them to pass the message as quickly as possible. It soon gets pretty noisy with people trying to shout over each other. When they have finished, compare the original text with what the last student wrote. My class really enjoyed this.

Simon Mumford
Izmir, Turkey

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