ESL Games: Bomb

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The goal of this game is to help the students with their pronunciation by repeating new vocabulary words.

I play this game with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders with the class sizes usually being 40 or so students. What you need to do first is divide the classroom up into two teams. It’s easiest just to split the class down the middle with the left side being “team one” and the right side being “team two”.

You can then make a score sheet on the board to track which team scores the most points. Keeping track of the points also helps keep the kids interested.

Next you write a list of the last 4-6 vocabulary words you’ve been teaching them on the blackboard (I think you could do more words with an older class, but with younger classes this amount seems good). Then you draw a bomb next to the list of words.

After that, you draw an arrow from the bomb to one of the vocabulary words on the blackboard. Explain to the kids that saying the word with the arrow pointing to it will make them blow up (and lose the game). Then you shout out one of the other vocabulary words at random and have the students repeat the word after you. Saying the words faster makes the game more interesting (I found this out the hard way). Then after 6-10 words you say the word with the arrow pointing to it and if the students repeat it after you, they lose.

(Example: If you're teaching them the numbers 1-5 and 3 is the word with the arrow from the bomb, you might call out, 1, 1, 4, 5, 2, 2, 5, 2, 3! Each time you say a word you wait for the kids to repeat it. Then when you say the word with the arrow from the bomb wait to see which students say it.)

Ideally only one or two kids would say the word, but that’s not how it’s worked with me. I usually award the team that had fewer students say the word with a point.

Then you erase the arrow and pick a new word. It’s super fun, you get the kids interested and get them saying the words you’re teaching them which is great.

Fun variation: For more advanced students you can make it teachers vs. students. If the students say the word they shouldn't the teacher gets a point, if they remain silent the students get a point.

Anonymous YWAMer