Details, Details, Details game

Here’s another game that I play when I want them to do a bit of writing but I feel like playing a game. Since they’re writing, I suppose one could argue that it’s an output game, but really there’s lots of input before the game begins and during the correcting, so I feel pretty good about it. (I hate dedicating class time to output because there is just not enough time in my day…what my little darlings need is input, input, input…our job is to cram their brains full of comprehensible input! Phew, glad to get that off my chest! Anyway…)

To Prep: The students need a story or MovieTalk that they’re familiar with. On Friday we played this game after we had spent 3 class periods talking about Don Omar’s Pura Vida video. It works equally as well to play after you’ve created and reviewed a class story. Just pick something that has a lot of details.   Students partner up and need 1 paper and 1 pencil to share.

To Play: Students work together to write out the story, in Spanish. One partner writes while both students help to think of all the details they can remember. At random intervals, Partner A passes the pencil to  Partner B and Partner B starts writing where Partner A left off. You can ring a bell or


say the “magic word” to indicate they should switch who’s writing. I have these awesome battery powered buzzers that make different noises and I use one of them for this game. (I bought mine at Teacher’s Discovery years ago but you can buy them on Amazon! Search Answer Buzzers- they’re great and I use them for all sorts of things. I have a siren one that I assign to a student to “pull me over” when I’m speeding…speaking Spanish too fast!) 

Let them write for a bit, maybe 8 to 10 minutes, stopping them every so often to have them trade which partner is writing. In the picture below you can see the handwriting alternates:

Now it’s time to have students trade and grade. (They’re not really “grading” but determining the winners.) Partners trade papers with another set of partners and everyone needs a marker. Now here’s the input piece…

Teacher says a random detail from the story, repeating it several times. Students scan the paper in front of them and if the detail is present, even if the Spanish isn’t perfect, they underline the detail and make a tally mark on the top of the paper. Teacher says another detail, slowly, several times, again students scan the paper they’re “grading” looking for the detail, and if it’s there, underline and tally. It looks like this:

Really milk it…give them a bunch of details because this is the part where they’re soaking up the input. Once you’ve said all the details you can think of, or you’re out of time, students return the paper to it’s owner. Or call a few random students to offer a new detail, for everyone to scan the paper for.  The pair(s) that have the most tally marks are the winners and they earn a stamp on their stamp sheet. 


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