I love this game because they read, and reread and reread… It’s like a triple whammy of input! This one is especially fun because of the element of luck…That’s the secret to a fun game. Add an element of luck and your game will instantly be 10,000 times more fun. Guaranteed.
How to play: Pass out a reading/story/article to all students and divide the class into small groups (4-5 students). As a group they are responsible for reading/ translating the story and making sure that everyone in their group understands every word. If groups finish early, they should predict questions the teacher may ask about the reading and quiz each other.
Meanwhile the teacher sets up chairs at the front of the room, one for each group, and puts a marker, eraser and whiteboard on each chair up front. In my example, I have 4 groups, so there are 4 chairs set up in front.
Once everyone is finished reading/translating, tell students to decide their order within their group: Who will go first, who will go second, etc. Each group sends their 1st participant to a chair at the front. (So each of these boys represents a different team).
Teacher asks a question from the reading (either in English or Spanish) and students write their answer on their board without any help from their group. The teacher counts backwards from 5 and on 1, students show their answer to the teacher and the class.
All students with correct answers get to draw a playing card to determine their points. Just to make it especially fun, we use Gigantic Playing Cards. In the picture above everyone got the right answer, but they will all earn a different scores based on the card they draw. Project this slide with the point values. As soon as a student draws (or if they are incorrect) he or she should go back to their group and the next team member should take the spot, ready for the next question. Students who earn cards take those back to their group where their points are accumulated. (Thanks to Candice Chiang, here is the slide of point values in Mandarin Chinese!) (And thanks to Andrea DeLima Lossing’s Students I added a new card to the slide: Jokers are worth 0 points!)
The beauty of this game the cards! No one knows who is winning until the end, so no one gives up or stops trying. Additionally, since the random Red Three is worth the most points, every round students are hopeful they’ll draw the Big Money card. Adds to the excitement!
Tell students that the questions will be in order and encourage them to read ahead (and re-read!) to predict what question will appear next. I’ve never tried this, but I had a new idea while we were playing today: give students highlighters and the students who are in their groups should highlight the answers as the teacher is asking the question, to help them predict what question will come up next. YES! More reading! More input! I’m totally doing this the next time we play!
Of course at the end of the game, teams add up their accumulated cards and the winning team gets a stamp on their stamp sheet.
Pro Tip: Coach the kids to transition quickly between rounds. No time for dilly dallying!