Head's Up Seven Up - the old favourite
This is a game we used to play all the time in my elementary school. And my friend suggested that, if we never got tired of it, then chances are kids here (rural Japan) wouldn't either.
The way it works best is if everyone is involved, so instead of just calling the original 7 people up to the front of the room, just take half of the class. The others stay at their desks. You explain that the people at the front of the room are to walk QUIETLY around the room while the others put their heads down and one thumb up on their desk.
The students who are walking around then each touch the thumb of one of the people whose heads are down. If they are noisy there is no point, as it is obvious who touched whose thumb.
After everyone has had their thumb touched (they should put it down once it has been touched), the students go to the front of the room and call "Heads Up!". The students (who hopefully haven't fallen asleep at this point) then stand up and take turns guessing who touched their thumb. We used to just say the name of the person we thought it was and then they'd say yes or no.
There is communication already involved in the guessing of who touched whose head, but another way to make it more relevant to English class is to use simple sentences like "Was it _____?" "Yes, it was./ No it wasn't." (adapt to suit the level of your students).
If a student guesses correctly they switch; if they don't they stay in their seats.
After they get the hang of it, the students seem to enjoy it and can do it over and over again. They usually think they know who touched their thumb (thinking it would be their friends) and are surprised to hear who really did. Hope it works for you!
World's Best Jobs!
Dave's ESL Cafe Copyright © 2008 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.