This is a good one. You don't need anything except a blackboard and a few pieces of paper. Divide the class into teams of 2,3,4 or even 5 kids and seat each team around around a desk or a group of shoved together desks. Each group must have a piece or two of blank paper and one student in each group will need to be a secretary. Next, evenly spaced out on the board you need to write Team 1, Team 2, Team 3, etc., depending on how many teams you have. Big groups are fine. I had a great time once with eight teams. So now with the desks arranged and the blackboard prepped you are ready to play. It is very simple. You will announce a general topic to the entire group such as "fruits and vegetables" or "animals" or "holidays" or "irregular verbs" or "adjectives" or "Hollywood actors" or "fast food items." Adjust the topics to the level of your students. The groups then will have just one minute to "brainstorm" and write on their piece of paper as many English words related to the topic as they can. So if the topic is animals they will probably write words like bear, horse, pig, etc. After one minute announce time is up and make sure the writing stops. Then do an eeny, meeny miney, mo or my mother and your mother were hanging up clothes to see which team can go first and ask the chosen team to tell you one word - just one word from their brainstorm list. You will then clearly pronounce the word and write it beneath their team number on the board. Then in turn ask the other teams for one word from their lists. Now here's the catch and the "rummy" part of the game. Once a word has been written on the board another team may not use it, even if they have that word on their brainstorm list. (I love it when they groan.) Keep asking each team in turn for a word keep writing it on the board until they run out of words. The team with the most words wins the round. I make a chalk mark by their team number to indicate the winners and then announce another topic. The winner of the last game should go first in the next round and that's it. Write and tell me what you think.
Jim Solomon, Tokyo
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