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Thread: Busy Work for Academic High School

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    &%$#@!!! Timoshi's Avatar
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    Default Busy Work for Academic High School

    This afternoon I have my last lesson with my Sannensei's for the year and have about 20minutes I need to kill. I want to do something that is fun for them, but makes them talk a bit as well.

    Any ideas?

    In any school, what is your favourite (and easy) games or lessons that you use to kill time when there is no need to subject the students to regular class work?

    Thanks!
    Me Rikey Very Much!!!

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    I find that scattegories works really well in teams of around 4. Maybe you could review some of the vocabulary you learnt this semester?

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    &%$#@!!! Timoshi's Avatar
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    Actually, that would be good for my 1st and 2nd years, where we have a text book. Not so much for this class. Thanks though.
    Me Rikey Very Much!!!

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    Senior Member psychohistoric's Avatar
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    You can play a game.

    Here's a game I often use in class in such cases that's fun and gets them speaking some.

    I break the class up into row-teams (i.e. each row is a team) and then the first person from each team comes to the front of the room (after the first person then the second person, third person, etc.)

    Write down a bunch of words on some pieces of paper and put them in a hat or a bag, something they can't see into. I usually use vocab they've learned recently.

    Have one of the students whose turn it is draw one card.

    On the vocab cards you also write either DRAW, GESTURE, NO JAPANESE under the word. The 'draw' cards will work like pictionary. The person has to draw a picture and their team has to guess the answer. With the 'gesture' cards, the person has to act out the word without speaking or writing anything. On 'no Japanese' cards the student has to explain to their team the word using only English (i.e., for elephant, they might say, big animal, grey, lives in Africa and India, long nose, etc.), and not saying the actual word, until their team guesses it.

    First team to get the correct answer gets a point.

    I also usually include one or two candy cards where, if drawn, they students' whose turn it is get a piece of candy and don't have to do anything else. It gets my students into the game, and I only have to provide 6 - 12 pieces of candy.

    To keep things orderly I make them raise their hands to answer. When I first did this game I had them just shout out the answers and it was chaos.

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    Senior Member Narnia's Avatar
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    I don't know how higher grade your school is, but maybe try a simple debate? Give a simple topic that requires no research. Give them 10mins to prepare and 10min to debate. If you have a lot of students, then maybe have a third team audience that will discuss the debate and decide who won
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    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Read from the textbook.
    Melanie: back!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdDxFsopVs

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    Senior Member Narnia's Avatar
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    Have two minute interviews:
    Write on the board a topic and the students must pair off and interview eachother for two mins. Then change topic and partners
    Dr Peterson: 'I'm a schoolteacher'
    Porter at Empire Hotel: 'Thought so: they always look as if they've lost something' -From "Spellbound"

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    Castles works great with my SHS kids, high or low academic. The teachers like it too, 'cause it can be spelling/translation practice.

    If you have 'Team Taught Pizza' it's in there, but if not, this is how you do it:

    Break the kids up into teams, usually 4 or 5 is best. Draw the same number of castles on the board, with three walls (I usually do two turrets and a main wall with the group's number in the middle).

    Each round one kid from each group goes up to the board and holds a piece of chalk. You give them a task "Spell ----' or "Translate ---". The first kid to write it correctly, wins.

    That kid then takes an eraser and can choose any other castle to erase ONE wall from.

    As the game goes on, if the kid who wins' castle is already missing a wall, they can draw it back.

    The team that erases the last and third wall from any castle gets that castle's flag, and its the team who has the most flags that wins at the end. The team that loses their flag can keep going, trying to redraw their castle.

    It sounds complicated but it's really easy once you get going, and it can easily take 20 minutes to explain and do.
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    Human knot is good. It gets them using the vocab for body parts, and prepositions.

    Basically, get them in a circle and tell them to hold hands with somebody else. They cannot hold hands with the person next to them on either side, and they cannot hold both hands of the same person. The they have to untangle themselves without letting go. They can use English instructions like 'go under his arm', 'turn around' etc. It tends to be fun for everyone.
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    &%$#@!!! Timoshi's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I like suggestions Keep them coming!

    I ended up doing the story thing Andreyla mentioned in another thread. I divided a piece of paper into six boxes and described to them how the 'Grinch stole Christmas' and got them to draw the scenes. Then I got six people who had good pictures to draw one of their scenes on the board.

    After, that I downloaded a Simpsons and Kitty-chan wall paper and got each other to describe their own picture in English. The other person (who couldn't see the original) then drew it. The kids seemed to enjoy doing both.
    Me Rikey Very Much!!!

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    w00t, another satisfied customer.
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    Senior Member Erdrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychohistoric

    I also usually include one or two candy cards where, if drawn, they students' whose turn it is get a piece of candy and don't have to do anything else. It gets my students into the game, and I only have to provide 6 - 12 pieces of candy.
    Awesome game! Thanks for the idea. Aren't we not supposed to give them candy?

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    OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE mteacher80's Avatar
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    im just copy and pasting this from another forum i post in so you may not know the names, but i didnt want to type all of it here so there:

    I'm a huge fan of Q/A activities with my kids. I usually use the same set of questions and add stuff from the new unit as we go along. The only variation is the score keeping. It's a good review after having a couple weeks off. Also, you could ask questions specifically about their Winter Break if you want. Also, these rules are really easy to explain completely in English.

    -- Typhoon: I stole this from renchan5 a while ago. You make a chart; divide the kids into teams; the kids choose a square; you ask a question; if they're right, they get the points in that square. Special card A is "Typhoon." They lose all of their points. I added special card B, "Fundraising." There are two ways you can use this one. One way is the team with the most points "donates" all of their points to the team that gets this card. The "donating" team loses all of their points. Another is The Bank of (your name) matches the amount of the team with the most points and gives it to the team that gets this card. That way, no one loses points and no one cries or throws a hissy fit. It really depends on the class as to which way you go... Also, you can match the points with the difficulty of the question or just keep it all random.

    -- Pacman: I stole this from Emma's Shark game. You print out 6 pix of Pacman (or the ghost thingies or sharks or lemmings or The Prince from "Katamari" or monkeys or TMNT if you so choose; it really doesn't matter what you use; haha) and paste them on different colored squares. I laminated them and put magnets on the back so I could reuse them. Draw a circle on the board and write numbers 1-6 on it like a clock. These are the number bases. Make 3 dashes between each number on the circle. Next to the circle, draw a "cage." Put all of the Pacman pieces into this square. Split the kids into teams (I use the rows, usually). The first person in each team stands up. Ask a question. The fastest kid to raise his/her hand gets to answer. If correct, the kid's teams gets to choose the color and which number they would like to start at. Move that piece from the "cage" onto the game board. Every question they answer correctly from then on, they move clockwise one dashed spot. They get a point for every number base they land on. If they land on another team's piece, they get a point and the other team goes back into the cage until they can correctly answer a question. For some reason, my kids liked the idea of their team "eating" another team's piece... (O.o)

    -- Tower Building: I stole this from GenkiEnglish.com. Divide the kids into teams. Person one from each team stands up. Fastest kid raises their hand. If correct, they get 5 seconds to build up his/her team's tower using ONLY one hand. I use cheapy 100en shop jenga blocks. If they manage to build up 9 blocks worth, their team gets a hanko point and starts from the beginning. Warn them that if the tower topples, they have to continue no matter what. If another team causes their tower to topple, they have to continue. It's a way to keep the kids from knocking into the table...

    -- Jeopardy: I use headings like "You're the coolest" (superlatives); "Look ma! I can spell!" (spelling), "Is this light/right?" (give a sentence and they have to find the error); "Say what?!" (translation); etc.

    -- Tug-of-War: Draw a line on the board. Draw notches on it. If you're really artsy, you can make it look like an actual rope or you can be lazy like me. Make the center notch extra fancy. Place a magnet underneath it. I printed out and laminated something that looked like a flag to use as the magnet. Split the kids into two teams. One person from each team comes to the front. Place a ball or something squishy between the two. Ask a question. The first kid to grab the ball gets to answer. If correct, the marker moves in that team's direction. Their team gets a point whenever the marker reaches the end of the "rope." Yea!

    -- Build a (whatever): I stole this game from genkienglish too... Choose something to make the kids draw. Smiley faces or monsters work. Split the kids into teams. Fastest kid gets to answer. If correct, they roll the die. I bought a squishy one from the 100en shop. Every number represents a part of the pic so they draw whatever they roll. If you want, you can teach the kids the phrase, "Oh no!" and have them all yell it out if a team rolls an item that's already drawn...

    With the fastest kid to raise their hand thing -- have them shuffle their order around every now and then if the rows are completely even so they're not always up against the same kids... Oh! And make sure they know that their team only gets 7 seconds to answer before another team can take the question away; otherwise they'll just sit and stare or say, "No, you say the answer." "No, *you* say the answer." (-_-

    Other options, if you don't like Q/A games, is to show a DVD and ask questions about it... Or card games... Or an interview worksheet... but worksheets are kind of boring...

    Have you ever seen "Sarudie"? I don't think it's on anymore but there are a lot of brain teaser puzzles. I edit out the Japanese and replace it with English. For the "3 Letter Game," I'll say, "3 letter word, middle letter's 'A'; 3-2-1, Go!" Umm... There's a "Pointless Details" portion, as well. The monkey'll do something and then it'll freezeframe and turn b&w. Next, it'll ask a question like, "What color was the monkey's shoes?" or something random and pointless like that.
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