View Full Version : heads & tails, phonic recognition warm-up game

October 20th, 2008, 13:46
Hey everyone,

This is something I came up with in a few minutes this morning, when asked to come up with a warm-up game. It seemed to work pretty well, but suggestions on how to make it better are welcome. It's inspired by a game we used to play at bar trivia nights at university :)

Heads & tails

Make up a quick list of words with sounds that are uber-hard for Japanese speakers to distinguish between - ie. light vs. right

Write "heads" and "tails" on the board. Each round, write each pair of words next to the "heads" and "tails" respectively. Then read out one of the words. The students have to listen, and then place both their hands on their head or butt, depending one whether they think it was the "heads" or "tails" word. Losers have to sit down. Make the words gradually harder, until only one kid is standing - give him or her a prize and a round of applause.

October 20th, 2008, 13:48
list of words I use (feel free to suggest more):

Cheese / trees

Thank / sank

Vat / bat

Link / rink

Oozy / Woozy

Pit / Bit

Quick / Kick

Prick / Brick

Tender / Tinder

Lore / law

Grot / clot

Raise / lathe

Swing / sling

and, for a tie breaker between two extremely smart kids, possibly the ultimate in non-intuitive english spelling:

wonder / wander

October 20th, 2008, 16:28
I do something simliary and I have a list of words in my desk that I keep adding to.
One of the hardest:

year / ear

October 21st, 2008, 15:20
How old were the kids? Thinking it might be good for elementary - they're actually really good at hearing out the difference between words and their pronunciation is a million times better than my san nenseis at JHS..

the classic rice/lice
trick/ treat - kids seem to find this one really hard for some reason

October 30th, 2008, 14:57
How about 13/30, 14/40, 15/50 etc.?
hat/hot is hard for them too (theyre used to hatto for hot, and our "hot" sounds like their "hat")

October 30th, 2008, 17:22
I like these kinds of listening games. Unfortunately, I think speaking is harder to practice in large groups. I do wish I had more opportunities in JHS to teach phonics.

November 2nd, 2008, 20:47
There's also -u- vs. -a- sound words... like in YAM and YUM. They sound completely different to me, but Japanese friends and students mess them up all the time. Said they sound the same. I know there's more, but can't think of any....