Students enjoy this activity that is fast paced and interactive. I call this game “Vocabu-Lettre” in French, “Vocabu-Letra” in Spanish and “Vocabo-Lettere” in Italian. It is basically played like the game Scattegories, but with only one letter and category at a time. This Powerpoint Template has the three language versions. Choose the two slides of the language that you want to use and copy the second slide as many times as you would like. The animation copies with the slide.
Prepare the slides by typing in a category and a letter in the category and letter boxes. Put students in groups of 2-3. Click on the slide and the category and a the letter are revealed. The timer then begins to count down from 20 to 1. It just takes one click to set everything in motion until the timer runs out. While the timer is running down, groups write as many words in the category that they can that begin with the letter. Once the timer runs out, all teams stop writing. Team one then begins reading their list to the class, one word at a time. If another team has that word, no points are scored. The team only gets a point when they are the only ones to have a particular word. Then move to the next team. With each team this will go more quickly because they will have eliminated (crossed out) the words that they heard from previous teams.
I usually use small white boards and markers in this activity and I also typically use the same category with 4-5 letters before changing the category. It is also a good idea to give students some phrases in the target language to use during the activity (“We have that word too”). This is a quick and fun way to review previously learned vocabulary so that it stays accessible to students.
I have seen several versions of the game “Bang”, “Zut”, “Caramba”, etc. on the Internet lately. The basic premise is that points for answering a question correctly in the game are not guaranteed, but rather the player or players may get points, lose points, take points from another team or give points to another team.
I like this type of activity because it keeps the points fluid and constantly changing. This can be done on cards in box. This is great because the teacher can use any topic and ask the questions orally to review a topic. When a team answers correctly they take a card out of the box. The cards have the following on them:
- 1 point
- 2 points
- 3 points
- Lose two points (Bang, Zut, Caramba)
- Give 2 points to another team
- Take 1 point from another team.
You can pull out the box anytime and use it with review questions. After the initial creation of the cards in the box there is almost no prep if the questions are asked orally by the teacher. I have also created a powerpoint version of the activity where teams choose a number and when clicked one of the possibilities above is revealed. I call this version “At Your Own Risk!”
Doodle Buddy is a fun app for vocabulary practice. Have students draw pictures of vocabulary, then have a partner guess what it is in the target language. Or you can use them as mini-white boards to have students write practice sentences on a given vocabulary/grammar topic. Just literally shake the iPod/iPad to clear the screen.
Language teachers have been using VoiceThread for years, but it’s much easier for students to create their own stories using an app on an iPod/iPad. Students need to create their own free accounts, but the only drawback is that they can created a limited number of threads per account.
Sound Cloud is a web 2.0 tool with an easy-to-use iPad/iPod app. It’s designed for musicians, but language teachers should take advantage for in-class voice recording. Students need to create a free account, then make their recording, which can be emailed to the teacher, or posted directly to a Twitter account. Since the sounds are hosted online, you can embed them on a class website or blog.
If you use the iPod/iPad for creating student videos, Splice is a really easy way to have them “splice” scenes together. You then export the spliced video to your camera roll and can email it, upload to YouTube, or upload to your computer. Very easy!
UrTak is a free site that allows you to create yes/no/don’t care questions, then embed them in your class site or blog. You can also set the language (oui/non/je m’en fiche). Students can add questions as well.
GoAnimate is a free site that allows you to create cartoon animations and either record voice or type text that the program reads for you. It also has authentic foreign language accents and voices.
Storybird is a free site that lets you choose artwork to create a story. You choose your art, then type in your story. The final product reads like a book and can be embedded easily on class sites or blogs.
LinoIt is a free message board. You create a board where students can post “sticky notes,” including video clips.