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Ball Bomb!

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This is a super-simple and effective activity for practicing possessive adjectives and pronouns--one that's requested guite often by my students. Have them form a circle with their chairs. Establish the spoken statement that incorporates the adjectives/pronouns you wish to focus upon by holding up a ball and declaring "THIS is not MY ball, this is YOUR ball" (this is not mine, this is yours, his, hers, etc. This does not belong to me, it belongs to you, etc.) and hand the ball to one of the students. Play begins. Each student must reiterate the simple phrase and pass the ball along. You, the teacher should be in the middle of the circle and close to the students to monitor their English. If they do not say the phrase correctly, they keep the ball until they do, you coaching a bit, of course. You will also be keeping time with a watch or stop-watch as the play moves along. When a pre-determined time limit is up, Yell BOOM! as loud as possible at the student left holding the ball (it's fun to watch them ALL tense up as time counts down and then jerk with a start when the "bomb" goes off, laughter and exclamations abounding). This person (victim) must then perform an English task, lose a credit, or some such penalty of your choosing, though I never exclude them from play, as such also excludes them from English usage. I suggest taking any watches they might be wearing, as they will try to keep time as well. Better to surprise them with varied time lengths as well. Though your voice may pay a price from this game due to the loud "booms," the benifits are obvious and participation eagerly enjoyed.

From Richard Kurtz
Carden Amrican School
San Hsia, Taiwan

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