What makes a good game?

I used to play Jeopardy at the end of every unit. I liked it because years ago Jeopardy was novel for the student and the element of competition would get them motivated. Then I noticed that there was a lot of Jeopardy playing in other classes and the idea got a little old.

In addition, what I didn’t like about Jeopardy, at least the way I played, was that the students who weren’t currently taking a turn didn’t always engage. There was a lot of sitting around not actively listening. I researched some new game ideas and found that my favorite games are those where either small groups play concurrently; the class has to listen and keep track of what others say; or partners play.

I have compiled some new game ideas for you to mix it up in your class as well.

Exhausting your options  Have all the students sit on the tables. Begin by asking the first student a question, such as, Where did you go yesterday? After the student answers, repeat the question for the next student, and so on, continuing until a student cannot respond with a new answer and sits back down. Then change the question and continue to play until only one student remains and is declared the winner. From Sheri L. Petelle, ¡Vamos a Jugar!, MaFLA Conference, 1999  Document: Exhaust your options

Loto Humain  Students ask their classmates if they do the following activities. If able to answer yes to a question, the student signs their first name in that box. Each student may only sign a paper once and can’t sign their own. Students finish by having every box signed and yelling out Loto and the game will stop and we will go over who does what.  Document: Loto Humain

Outburst  Make a half sheet for each of a variety of topics. Write the topic at the top (for example, FAMILY) and then vocabulary words underneath (la mère, le cousin). Divide the class into teams of 5. All teams play at the same time. One player from the team is handed a half sheet on a clipboard and tells the topic to the team members. Each team will have a minute to name as many items as possible. One point is awarded for each correct answer. Points are deducted for English. Play several rounds. The team with the most points wins. Idea from Diane Farrug and Catherine Fortin  Document: Outburst


For more game ideas and examples of games click here

2 responses to “What makes a good game?”

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