Is 'Simon says' too easy for you?
... Then try this variation.
Teacher: “Simon says: ‘Touch your toes.’ ” — they should do it.
Teacher: “Touch your toes.” — they should not do it.
This is soon becomes trivially easy. So how about this:
Teacher: “Touch your toes.” — they should do it.
Teacher: “Touch your toes?” — they should not do it.
In other words, if the teacher gives the command with a falling intonation, as with statements, then they should obey the teacher—and try to be the first to do so. If the teacher gives the command with a rising intonation, as with questions, then they should not obey the teacher.
In this activity, everything hangs on the intonation. An awareness of intonation helps to increase their communicative competence with native speakers. This idea came about because we wanted to help the students to tell the difference between a question and a statement. In addition, Simon says was too easy.
But this is just one activity. I would like to encourage all you creative teachers out there with a similar concern to try to think up an activity where winning or losing the game depends on recognizing or producing the correct intonation. Often this will be an adaptation of a tried-and-true activity, or it could be one of your very own creations.
Anyway, I hope this adaptation works for you.
David Kendrick from New Zealand.
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