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Memory with a Twist

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This game requires some prep but it's worth it. First create a list of words that have similar but different pronunciations. My list goes as follows:
Pen-Pan, Write-Ride, Hall-Hole, Bus-Boss, Ball-Bowl, Heard-Hurt,
Hard-Heart, Sea-She, Boot-Foot, Sad-Said, Class-Glass, Far-Four,
Bug-Bag, Hat-Hot, Walk-Work.

On a large sheet of paper create a grid of maybe 30 squares.
Place the words in the squares at random and then using numbered index cards cover them all up. Break the class into two teams and have them take turns, student by student, looking for pairs. Once they find one have the student say the two words. If the student is unable to differentiate between the two then the team doesn't get the point and you move on to the other team, who most often will attempt to achieve where their opponents just failed.
I play this game with my High School age Chinese students and it works very well. The spirit of competition grabs them like nothing I've ever seen. It's really incredible watching them try so hard and work together to figure out exactly how the words should be pronounced. All I have to do is play Vannah White for forty minutes.

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