ESL Games

Sphere Selector

By TheWatchman

This ones an old favorite of mine, it’s basically just a quiz game with a slight twist that really makes it more enjoyable for the students.

Materials needed – One soft ball ( one that wont do any damage as its thrown around a classroom), white-board, question cards.

The setup – Before the lesson prepare questions of varying difficulty for at least 5 categories. It doesn’t matter what these categories are, so you can manipulate the game however you wish depending on the language and skill level that you want to target. You will need 4 questions per category, ranging in difficulty from easy to very hard.

Categories I often use are: Geography (questions about the world), Grammar (they must correct a sentence), general knowledge (i just find odd facts on the internet for this one), Word Race (students must race to write down words for a specific target) and acting (you give the student a word or sentence, they must act it out for their team to guess without making any sound).

So, once you have your questions ready, draw a jigsaw type map on the board with 5 big pieces, and assign each piece one of your 5 categories. In the center of each space, write the name of the category, and surround it with the numbers 1,2,3 and 4.

The game – Divide the students into two teams, and give one team the ball to start with. They must throw the ball at the board to select a category. This makes it harder for them to just always pick the category they are comfortable with, and they have fun throwing the ball in the classroom.

Once they have a category selected, you ask them “How many points will you play for?”, and they then get to select a number from 1-4. 1 means an easy question, but only 1 point. 4 would be a very difficult question, and therefore you get 4 points for it.

If for some reason their team can’t answer the question, or they get it wrong, the other team then gets a chance to steal the points if they can answer it correctly.

Its fun, and all you have to do is sit back and ask the questions. They enjoy throwing the ball and they get to talk with each other about what the correct answer is.

Of course, keep a running tally of the scores somewhere on the board, and at the end of class, you can declare who is the champion!


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