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I've been using this method for a couple of years and my students LOVE it. Whenever I have them compete in groups, I always give them a chance to overturn the results. That way, the game doesn't get too competitive and it helps all the groups to try their best until the end of the game. This is the method that I use:
I've made a chart with 12 pockets(seal up 6 envelopes, then cut them in half) and using velcro tape, I've put an alphabet card on each pocket. I've also made 12 cards that give from 1 to 3 points.
At the end of a game, I place a 'point card' in each pocket so that the students cannot see how many points it is. Then, I have each group think of a word that starts with the letter on the pocket they want to choose. When I ask for the word, all the students in the group shout it out together. That group gets whatever amount of points is written on the point card in that pocket.
Say that Team A and Team B each have 8 and 7 points. But then Team A chooses a 1 point card but Team B chooses a 3 point card. The results of the game are overturned! Team B goes wild! And the students in Team A do not think this is unfair because they made the final decision in choosing the point card.
I think this method works because I'm sure we'd all like a chance to come up from behind and come out the winner in any game we're playing. My students certainly seem to. Hope yours do, too. ^^
P.S. One final note. If there's too big a gap in the scores to over turn the results, just double(triple...)the points written on your point cards.(If you choose a 2 pointer, you get 4(6) more points, etc...)

Chris in Shanghai(originally from Seoul, Korea)
lunch94@hanmail.net

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