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Five minute Activities

I tried this activity with a class consisting of kids between 8 and 11 years old. Even those who were usually quiet got involved.
The teacher writes a simple sentence on the board, "The book is on the bed." or "My father is playing with Tim." You tell the students that they are very curious and that they want to have more details about the sentence. They have to come up with as many questions as they can think of and you make up the answers as you go. For example; "What color is the book? Whose book is it? Why is it on the bed? Where is the bed? Who is Tim? Where are they playing? How old is your father?" As you can see the possibilities are endless and it will allow them to use all the English they've learned. Correct their grammar mistakes along the way and have a really good time. I was surprised with some of the questions because your answers sometimes make them more curious and initiate more questions. At one point I thought I was being questioned by a bunch of lawyers. I plan to use it for my parent's demo night, it's that good. Give it a try and see what happens. You'll be impressed.
 It's a good warm-up for between 5 and 10 minutes.
The students sit in a circle and begin to clap a slow rhythm. One begins by saying any English word (with the rhythm). The student to his/her left must then say a word that begins with the last letter of the previous word. The next student follows suit and it might go something like this:
The game starts over when one student misses his/her turn. Of course, it's all in fun. The kids like to see how long they can go before the "chain" gets broken and will often speed up the pace as they go along. It can get a little crazy as they try to sort through all of the words that they know and sometimes, in desperation, come up with a few new ones! :)

I Spy

Remember this one?
"I spy with my little eye something that begins with the letter E."
I've played it with my high school students a time or two and we had a fine time. Give it a try!

Classmates choose a partner.
One set of partners stands in a circle.
The other set of partners stands in another circle surround the first circle.
Music starts and this indicates to the students to start walking in circles- Inside circle one way and outside circle the other way.
Let the music play for maybe 30 seconds and then stop it.
Teacher yells out "Hand to knee!" Students have to find their partner and put one hand to the partners knee.
The last set of partners to find each other and get in position is OUT.
Students get back into the two circles.
Music starts again and the process is repeated until only a few sets of partners are left.
The last set of partners is the winner!
Watch out! This game can get crazy but it’s a lot of fun. Works best with 20 or more students.

Tic-Tac-Toe with a twist!

All you need is a board and a marker/chalk. Draw a large square and divide it into 9 blocks by running two parallel lines horizontally and vertically in it. Assign random letters of your choice and put a small number besides each letter in each of the nine blocks. Then divide the class into two teams (boys & girls works best) and assign a symbol to each team i.e. Heart for girls and Star for the boys. Throw a coin to see which team will start first. The team that won the turn must agree on a letter from the nine blocks and tell as many words beginning with that letter as the number next to the letter indicates (so it’s important to mark the letters with smaller numbers if the vocabulary of students is limited). The team must not pause for more than 10 seconds between speaking up each word or it will loose turn. If the team came up with all the words, the team symbol will be written over the letter of that block. When the same symbol marks three blocks horizontally, vertically or diagonally, the team wins. When there is a tie and one team has more symbols on the square, it wins.

I usually end up playing it 3-4 times every class so take lots of tongue twisters with you!
Good tongue twisters are:
Peter Piper picks peppers.
Lovely Laura loves lucky Larry.
Double bubble gum bubbles double.
Six sick sheep.

The students always enjoy games where money is used. Set up a shop and have them make purchases.

In small groups I play "Dollar Awards."

For example:

Teacher: This is a ten dollar question. What colour is my shirt?
The student who answers correctly receives $10 from each of the other players. (or the teacher)

Teacher: This is a twenty dollar question. What time do you eat lunch?
The students must give $20 each to the student who answers correctly.

If a student answers incorrectly they must pay a penalty of $5 to all the other players.

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