BLUFF aka My new favorite game

This game is so simple and brilliant it’s sheer perfection! I just learned it this week! I’ve played it already a few times and I am in love. It even woke up my 1st period class, and that’s really saying something because my 1st period class nearly dead, no matter how hilarious I am!

Vanessa Noriega Gray shared this game on the iFLT/NTPRS/CI Teaching Facebook group. (If you’re not a member of this group, drop everything and join! You won’t regret it- it’s made of the 7,000 most generous, most supportive, most passionate CI teachers on the planet! You want to be a part of this party! Trust me!) She learned this game from another poster on the site but we can’t track down who. If this is your game, tell me! I’d really love to give you credit!

Anyway… play this game after reading a chapter, or creating a story, or doing a MovieTalk or reading an article…really after any activity that students can answer questions about.

How to play: Divide the class into 2 equal teams. The teacher asks a question to one team. Every who can answer it stands up. Then, the teacher calls a student on the opposing team, who calls one of the students who is standing up to answer the question.

This sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. Let’s make the example a bit more clear:

  • The teacher asks a question to Team A: “¿A dónde va Mr. Bean?”
  • 5 students on Team A can answer the question confidently and they stand up.
  • Teacher calls a student on Team B- “Antonio”
  • Antonio looks at the kids standing up on Team A, and calls the student who he thinks doesn’t know the answer. Antonio calls “Jenna” from Team A.
  • Jena answers “un restaurante elegante” and her team cheers because Jenna answered correctly.
  • Teacher assigns 5 points to Team A, because 5 students stood up.

Now let’s imagine the same scenario but Jenna answered incorrectly. The teacher deducts 5 points from Team A’s score. Then the teacher asks Team B a new question and the students on Team B who can answer it stand up and the game continues…

I love this game for a million reasons, but here are some of the best:

  • Hello informal assessment! You can easily see who gets it and who needs more input.
  • Hello input! Really I just use games as a disguise to give my little darlings more input, input, input. Giving True/False questions or a question that requires them to fill in a blank or giving them a statement with 2 options really ups the input impact.
    • Cierto o Falso: Señor Bean tiene dinero suficiente para pagar la cuenta.
    • Señor Bean pide un ____________________ pero el mesero escucha “Steak Tartar”,
    • Cuando Mr. Bean llega al restaurante, ¿tira la sirviellata primero or se escribe una tarjeta de cumpleaños?
  • All games are more fun when there’s a risk! The bluffing element of this game makes it so fun and dramatic!
  • You can play for 5 minutes or 25 minutes! As long as you can think of questions, you can stretch this game out as long as you want.  It would be perfect at the end of the class to play until the bell rings.
  • Great way to review a story/ MovieTalk from a previous class or to wrap up a story at the end.
  • 100% engagement! Vary your questions- some easier and some harder. I love watching my weaker students stand up confidently because they know an answer.

Love it! So happy to add it to my Game Toolbox… try it out!


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