Take advantage of the beautiful weather here in Madrid and expand your classroom to the outdoors! Here are a few game ideas for big groups that we have put together at TtMadrid. Games are a great way to get your students active and excited about English.
Point to remember when using games in the classroom: Modeling is key – less talk and more show. Keep your instructions as simple as you can without multi-layering. Commit to the game – go in confident when demonstrating the game and your students will take it just as seriously!
1.The mutiny of Esquilache (variation of cops and robbers):
The object of the game is to avoid being caught by the opposite side.
Number of players: Can be done with large groups
Ages: From 3 years
Time: 15-20 minutes, in a big space
Materials: As many tapes as players
Target Language: Write words on the ribbons that each team can use to make sentences. When all of the ribbons are collected see which side, bailiffs/normal players, can make more sentences.
How to Play
Three or four players are chosen to be bailiffs. The rest of the players tie a piece of ribbon to their wrist or arm. Tape is attached to this ribbon, and the idea is for the bailiffs to get the tape from the players. Once they have the tape they become bailiffs. However, the guards can also be converted into normal players. They must be caught two or three players who have joined tapes. Players tied with ribbons have immunity can not be caught, but once you have decided to join, remain together until the end of the game. The game ends when all players are tied together in pairs, trios, etc.. You can also end being all bailiffs.
2. Pass Macedonia
The object of the game is for pairs to carry various objects and without using their hands.
Number of Players: Unlimited
Ages: From 4 years
Time: 15 minutes
Space: wide area free of obstacles
Mobility: Smooth or normal.
Materials: can be used from natural objects such as fruits (oranges, apples, etc..) To manufactured objects such as boxes, rings, pieces of foam, etc. However, it is usually done with different types of balls: tennis, foam of various sizes, beach volleyball, etc.
Target Language: Have each object be a category. Fruit’s/verbs, Round objects/adjectives, etc. When the pair successfully gets the object to you, give them a question in the category of their object.
How to play
Players are grouped in pairs. At least every couple must carry or move on at least four different objects, but no hands (can only be used at first when you take the object). For example, take a walk in pairs in order to face to face, back to back, breast to breast, butt to butt, hip to hip and so on. At the end of the different types of passes, the game continues changing partners. Use upbeat music to make the game more lively.
The game can be performed by all couples the same move in the same time, according to the instructions of the animator. You can also introduce new “rules.” For example, change of partner when dropping the object, request for help with folded arms when you drop the object, and so on.
3. Globocuchara (Spanish Name)
Players: The group
Ages: From 8 years
Time: 20 minutes
Area: Interior or exterior
Materials: spoons and balloons
Target Language: As the balloon is passed each student has to say a past tense irregular verb, fruits or vegetables, months/day/ season, the language target goes on and on. Great game to reinforce their lexical bank.
How to play
Players form a circle, each with a tablespoon.
Place a large open box in the circle. The idea is that the player to the left of the box, balances the balloon on a spoon and passes it to the next player in a clockwise direction. Once the balloon reaches the last player to the right of the box, that player puts it in the box. If the balloon is dropped they must begin the game again with the person to the left of the box. Usually played with 12 balloons.
With a little bit of creativity and preparation you can adapt these games to any lesson and make your TEFL classroom more exciting! If you have any other outdoor class ideas, feel free to comment and share them with us!