GimKit: Draw This

GimKit came out with a new mode this week, and I love it! You guys, this one is so great for us language teachers and so stinkin’ much fun!

Now, after you try GimKit free for two weeks, it’s subscription based. I admit, I’m like the cheapest person out there, and I really hate spending my own money on my classroom. I caved for GimKit. I’m paying my GimKit subscription out of pocket (one of very few out of pocket classroom purchases this year!) and I don’t have any regrets. It’s that good…and GimKit’s Draw This sweetens the deal!

The Low Down:

One student draws (you can select the student or have GimKit choose a random student) while the rest of the class looks at clues and guesses. Here’s what the Projected Screen looks like:

Make it AWESOME:

Here are a few suggestions for making it even better for if your class is focused on giving your Little Darlings lots of Comprehensible Input.

  • I tried to use a kit I had already created and it just doesn’t work as well. Create a “kit” with this game in mind! Think about phrases and sentences they can draw. Since students are going to be guessing the Phrase/Sentence, you want to make sure you’re using words they’re familiar with!! After doing a story or MovieTalk this would be a great one to include sentences from that!
  • Accents…if your kiddos know how to type accents on their devices, then you’re good! If not, either you have to teach them OR you can take the easy route (I did with my Level 1s yesterday) and strategically type sentences that don’t require any accents.
  • Right before you play, you’ll have the option to adjust the “term reveal”. I like “75% of letters revealed” best because they’re reading more! More reading = more better
  • Now I don’t know what the glitch is, or if they’re working on fixing it, but when we first tried yesterday (with a ready made kit) it didn’t matter which I selected, sometimes students would guess in Spanish but sometimes they would guess in English.

I wanted to ensure that my kiddos would be seeing the clues and guessing in Spanish, so here’s what worked. Create your specially made Gimkit with this game in mind, and include the same sentence for both the “answer” and “question”. The easiest way do do this is to “Import from Spreadsheet” then open up “Template 2” when you’re creating your kit.

Then, in the template, write your sentences in the target language in the first column, and then copy and paste them into the second column. Then download the template as a “Comma Separated Values (csv current sheet)” and import them into GimKit. Now you’re ready to rock and roll!

A MAJOR limitation:

I learned through trial and error that for this game, the sentences you use can only be 20 characters long, including spaces! If you don’t write short sentences, you’ll wonder why the same 5 sentences keep showing up and then you’ll figure out that GimKit is only selecting the short sentences from your carefully crafted list. I’ve written to GimKit asking them to give us a few more characters to work with, but in the meantime, keep your sentences short and sweet!

Let’s Play:

At the beginning of each round, you can either select a random student to draw OR you can chose the drawer. I prefer picking a specific student who I’m pretty confident won’t draw naughty pictures for the whole class to see! That’s not just my Little Darlings, right?! But never fear, if someone starts drawing and it looks like its heading into “Not School Appropriate” territory, GimKit has you covered! You can either “Clear Canvas” or pull the plug and “End round early”.

As one student is drawing, the rest of the students are looking at the picture, looking at the letter clues and typing in their guesses. Be sure to tell students they have to type in the entire sentence, not just letters or words! For the example above, if they type in “grita”, it will not be correct until they type “El chico grita”.

When you’re out of time just click “End Game” instead of “New round” and your winners will be announced.

This one made us really happy and I hope it brings you some joy too, whether your Little Darlings are sitting in front of you, or you’re still teaching virtually! Take care, my friends!

10 comments

  1. You are keeping me going this year! I have learned SO much from you!!! THANK YOU.. YOu’ll never know how much!!! Mindee

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  2. Love this, we’re playing today! To use a ready-made kit, in the game details screen, select “manage terms” and trash the English terms.

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  3. THIS IS SUPER HELPFUL! mil gracias
    Playing today….
    Wanna tackle Gimkit Ink for us next? jaja I have watched the video intros but still don’t have my head around it nor how to best adapt for novices…..

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  4. This was really helpful to read the exact process (aka tips) like creating a kit for this purpose, 20 characters, target language in both columns. Merci!! (Gracias!)

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    • Following up. I played it in English w/my homeroom kids and they loved it. I then played it w/7th & 8th grade classes all day (working remotely today b/c of a bunch of new cases and needing to contact trace…) to review two different novels (Brandon Brown ones). It was really well received and much easier than the other activity I had planned. Kids liked that we had two very different activities to review and liked the lighter side of this one. Precision (capitalization etc) matters. When we tried “randomly” selecting who drew, we got a lot of repeats, so it doesn’t remove the last person who drew (or anyone for that matter) from who draws next. I couldn’t import from a spreadsheet w/just two columns, so I ended up creating a new one w/three columns of “na” (not applicable) That worked. The kids wanted to draw and it was great. I really like this as a remote activity especially. I think I’d prefer other modes in person but I’ll still try it to see how it goes Thanks again for your great tips b/c they helped me make it a success today!

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  5. One other thought. The kids who had drawn could see other choices of what they might have been able to draw. This gave them an advantage guessing in future rounds. Just something to be aware of.

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