Kathryn Newby has been teaching at Zuunmod English College for the last three years. Next year she will teach in Khovsgol aimag.
Don’t you love those times when you create an activity to practice a particular teaching point and you discover that you can use it for any teaching point? Recently I decided to make a board game that would require my students to practice a grammatical structure we had just learned. By the time I was done making the game I realized that I could exchange any teaching point I wanted them to practice with the teaching point I used to create the game. Then I thought I should share this game with you because it really was easy to create and my students had a great time playing it and practicing their English.
- a large piece of paper or cardboard to draw the game board on
- markers or pens to draw the game board with
- one dice or cube with numbers on it
- game pieces for moving around the board
- instructions for the students
The game board is made up of 12 stations with varying numbers of spaces in between each station. Players begin at the first station marked START. Each player rolls the die and moves their game piece the amount they rolled. If their piece lands on a station they must say something using the particular language structure we are practicing. If their game piece doesn’t land on a station they don’t have to say anything and can just wait for their next turn. Each player continues like this until they reach the last station marked END. To make the game a little more interesting and competitive you can cause the students to move their game pieces backwards a certain number of spaces when they land on particular stations. There should be 10 stations that require players to use the language structure (the START and END stations don’t require players to do anything).
I chose to use pictures of vocabulary words at each of the 10 stations on the board. I then wrote particular instructions about language structures to be used at each of the 10 stations corresponding to the picture. The instructions for 5 of the stations also contained directions for players to move their game piece back a certain amount of spaces. While playing, players had to identify the picture and then look at the whiteboard for the corresponding game instructions.
Game #1 Instructions
(Click on image to make it bigger or right click and save game boards to your computer.)
Here is an example of how you can use the clothing stations game board (on the left) with beginning students. The goal of the game, with these instructions, is to give the students practice with clothing vocabulary and singular and plural nouns.
When students land on a clothing station they must ask one person in their group if they wear that kind of clothing. They should ask and answer in complete sentences.
Example: Tuya is at the beginning of the game and rolls a six with the dice. She moves her game piece six spaces to the station that has a skirt.
Tuya: Do you wear a skirt, Bat?
Bat: No, I don’t wear a skirt.
Then Tuya moves her piece two more spaces because the directions say “Skirt: go forward two spaces.”
1. Boots: ask the question, then go back one space
2. Skirt: ask the question, go forward two spaces
3. Gloves: ask the question, go back two spaces
4. Hat: ask the question, go back one space
5. Socks: ask the question, go forward one space
6. Suit: ask the question, go back three spaces
7. Sports shoes: ask the question, go back one space
8. Sweater: ask the question, go forward one space
9. Jeans: ask the question, go back two spaces
10. Shirt: ask the question, go back one space
Game #2 Instructions: Creepy Crawlies
To play the game you’ll need game pieces (different colored candies will work fine), a die*, and the game board.
- In groups of 2-4 your students will take turns rolling the die and moving their piece according to the number rolled.
- Once the student has moved her game piece, she will use the modal or modal phrase that corresponds with the number rolled on the die in combination with the action written in the square.
- If a player lands on a blank square, they should follow the trail of the insect forward or backward to the square indicated and then practice the grammar structure using the information in that square.
- Once the player says their sentence correctly the next player takes their turn. The first player to reach the “Finish” square wins the game.
Below are examples of how to form the proper grammar structure for each modal/modal phrase:
- Can... “Can you take your boots off?”
- Could... “Could you take your boots off?
- Would... “Would you take your boots off?
- Would you mind... “Would you mind taking your boots off?
- Imperative... “Take your boots off.
- Would you mind not... “Would you mind not taking your boots off?
How to Make Dice
First, right click on the image above and save to your computer. Then print it out as large as will fit on a piece of THICK paper. The cut around the border with a scissors.
Then follow the diagram below on how to fold your die.