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Dicing with Phrasal Verbs

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AIMS:
Revise phrasal verbs; perhaps teach some new ones informally; speaking; improve short-term memory and concentration; FUN.

MATERIALS:
A dice and a dictionary (or list) of phrasal verbs with examples for each six students; white/blackboard and pen/chalk.

PROCEDURE:
Write six verbs (e.g. GO,COME,GET,TAKE,PUT,GIVE) and six advebial particles (e.g.OFF,AWAY,OUT,UP,BACK, OVER)in two separate columns on the board and number the items in each column from 1 to 6. If you use different verbs or particles, make sure that all 36 combinations give at least one meaningful phrasal verb (the students may not necessarily have met every combination before.

Divide the class into groups of six, and these into teams of three.
Each team has two "players" and an "umpire". The umpires' job is to keep notes of the phrasal verbs used in the game and to challenge incorrect examples of these.

Each team takes it in turns to throw the dice - twice. This will produce random phrasal verbs (e.g. 2+1 in the above list gives COME+OFF).The team then has 20 seconds to produce an unambiguous explanation of the phrasal verb (e.g. the wheel of the car came off because the nuts were loose). Other mistakes are not penalised and weaker students may use gestures to compensate for missing vocabulary.

Umpires are allowed to consult reference material but not to show it to other team members.If the umpire of the opposing team disagrees with the explanation given,(s)he may challenge it and provide a correct version. The teacher is the final arbiter of any disputes.

Score as in tennis.If the answer is incorrect or no answer is given, the points go to the other team.If a combination is exhausted - tough for the team that drew it (that's life!)

When the same phrasal verb comes up again, players are allowed to use any examples given by the umpires during challenges - but not those given before by other players. They have to give an example of the same phrasal verb with a different meaning. Umpires can also query whether the new meaning is really "new" or not (this may depend on first language translations, too!)

It sounds complicated but, in fact, students learn the rules very quickly. The last time I played it with a group of six, it ran for the whole hour. Once students realize that they can't reuse examples,
they start listening very carefully to the umpires explanations...

Hope your students enjoy it!

Douglas Town
Medina del Campo, Spain.
<douglas.town@terra.es>

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