|A Robertson Language Resources Langsem 2011
Noughts and Crosses
El tres en raya
This is a great game for practising pronunciation and reviewing vocabulary from a unit. I originally made up this game to use as a starter activity to review vocab from a previous lesson, but it sort of snowballed and now my students clamour to play it all the time!
Use any language you want – I originally did this with a French class to practise descriptions and adjectives to give scope for differentiation, imagination and creativity, but I have used it with my Spanish classes to practise role play vocabulary. You could also use it just for some vocabulary with absolute beginners but I am constantly amazed at how much the students push themselves to come up with more complex language.
Sometimes I let them have their books and sometimes I use it as a way of testing that they have done some learning homework so they are not allowed any resources. Either way they have a time limit so that momentum is not lost.
You can prepare this on an IWB beforehand but I actually quite like the spontaneity of getting the students to suggest the pictures for the noughts and crosses board. (they also like how useless I am at drawing!)
Draw your noughts and crosses grid and then ask the student to suggest pictures to go in the grid. So, for example, if you are revising directions and moving around a city they might suggest the post office, a right hand arrow, a museum, a question mark, a hotel, a taxi, a train ticket ……
Divide the class in half and then give them a few minutes in their teams to come up with some ideas of sentences or questions that relate to the sentences. If you have an IWB you can find the interactive coin to toss a coin to see who goes first or you can do a language starter question – e.g the first team to translate a sentence you give them correctly.
Then the game begins – the first team nominates a speaker to choose the first square and suggest a sentence for it. The other team has to listen and decide whether the sentence is correct grammatically, or whether there are any pronunciation errors, you can also get them to judge whether they think it is an Achieved, Merit or Excellence sentence if you want to. In fact you can decide what your aim is for the game and limit it simply to pronunciation and ignore grammatical inaccuracies if you want to stimulate spontaneity. Or you could focus on grammar and accuracy. The beauty of this game is that you can make up the rules! If the opposing team is happy to award the sentence then the first team gets to put their nought/cross in the square. Then you can say whether there was an error or not and correct it. If the opposing team think there is an error, they have to say what it is and correct it. You have overall control, of course, to make the final decision. If there was a mistake and they correct it then the other team doesn’t get to put their nought/cross in the square and the other team have their go. The game continues just like noughts and crosses until a team wins.
A different person in each team has to suggest a sentence each time - the same few are not allowed to dominate and if you end up doing more than one game (often the case!) then they carry over until everyone has had a go. Anybody can challenge - this gives the more confident/able students the opportunity for extension but ensures that the others still participate.
There are opportunities here for variation – you could let the team who has spotted an error and corrected it claim that square for themselves.
You can add a points system in as well – you can award points for extended, creative sentences even if they have errors, deduct points if they are noisy, so that even if a team always wins or loses the noughts and crosses they can still get points for creativity.
Just recently I have also given the teams the opportunity to suggest a better sentence - the students judge which sentence is the best and say why.
Lots of formulaic language can be used here;
es correcto/c'est correcte
no es correcto/ce n'est pas correcte
to choose which picture to go for they have to use instructions like - en el centro, abajo, arriba, a la derecha, a la izquierda / au centre, en haut, en bas, à gauche, à droite
no es correcto porque ....../ ce n'est pas correcte parce que.....
es correcto pero una frase mejor es ....../ c'est correcte mais une meilleure phrase c'est....
you could extend it so they have to say - pienso que es correcto...../je pense que c'est correcte.....