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THE PYRAMID GAME!!!
("why does she call it that?" You ask? I'll tell you at the bottom :) )

-two teams - boys against girls works well BUT YOU NEED EVEN NUMBERS! If you don't have them, then you must play too!
-each student must write 6 words (NOUNS are easiest) on a scrap piece of paper such as:
1)umbrella
2)dog
3)apartment
4)table
5)candy
6)notebook
just as examples. Tell your students to choose words that they know and understand, that they think are (a bit) challenging.
-Then, take the boys' pieces of paper and give each of them a girl's paper and vice versa = each girl should have a piece of paper with a boy's six words and each boy should have a piece of paper with a girl's six words!
-No one should show anyone their paper at any time!!!
-You can check the words to make sure they are not too difficult or hard to decipher - allow a minute for the students to look over their words and make sure they understand them (i sometimes change them and write my own in)
THEN!
The game begins!
-A girl comes to the front of the room and has 2 minutes to describe her words and the girls on her team shout out guesses! She is not allowed to say any part of the word ie. snowman - cannot say "snow" or "man"
-NO HAND GESTURES ARE ALLOWED!!!
-for every word her team gets, you put a point on the board.
-as it gets more stressful to explain the last words and time is running out, the points increase in value as they get closer to running out of time! THUS i use the PYRAMID shape to have the bottom three points worth 100, middle two worth 200, and the top, last point worth 300! TOTAL of 1000 points if they guess them all!!!
-if they do not guess all the words, have either the same student continue to describe the missed words to the other team (or do it yourself) who only have 1 minute (or less) to get the final words. Each word they guess gets them 100 points.

The kids LOVE this game and can play it again and again because THEY MAKE THE WORDS and they love the excitement and the guessing and the clock ticking...!!! PLUS, they speak like you've never hear them speak before! They go nuts thinking of ways to describe an apple and it forces them to really dig into their vocabulary, using adjectives and describing how to use things - it is so impressive! Try it and let me know how it goes!

ONE more suggestion is that the team cannot get the point for the guessed word until they also make a sentence with this word - good idea for higher levels AND give them more time in this case - 3 mins?

Hailey Tallman,
Canadian in SOUTH KOREA

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