Sunday, December 01, 2013

makeup days

This coming week, along with proctoring some listening exams, I'm going to be doing some make-up classes that were ordered by the university. My Monday and Tuesday students don't have to worry about makeup days, but my Wednesday and Thursday students do: they had at least two holidays off each.

So—what to do with my kiddies? We've already done our listening-test and final-exam reviews. What more is there? I went to the office today and cogitated a bit, then came up with the following makeup-day activities:

1. Crossword: guys versus girls. Divide the class by sex into two teams; select captains for each team, then have the students work on crossword puzzles with 36 words on them. The teacher will judge correct completion of the crossword by looking only at the captains' worksheets. Whichever team finishes the crossword first is the winner; points will be awarded thus: under 10 minutes = 20 points; under 15 minutes = 15 points; under 20 minutes = 10 points; under 25 minutes = 5 points, and 0 points for going over 25 minutes. Both teams must finish the puzzle, and will also need to mark time: the number of minutes ahead the winning team is will be converted to points (1 point per minute) and added to the winning team's score. If the team that claims to have finished first has failed to fill out the crossword correctly (I'll check it quietly, in an isolated part of the room), that team will be given back its crossword and told to continue while the other team is busily catching up.

2. Password: guys versus girls. A somewhat altered version of the TV show, this game will involve pairs of guys and pairs of girls. If the guys go first, then a pair will come up front; one guy, the "speaker," will be given the "password"; the other guy will serve as the "guesser," who has to guess the word based on clues provided by the speaker. The speaker will be allowed up to five one-word clues to say to the guesser; after each word, the guesser must make a guess. If the guesser guesses the password, the guys get a point, and another pair of guys will come up. Same deal: up to five guesses, then a third pair will take the stage. Each correct guess will be worth 5 points. Then it'll be the girls' turn, and they'll get three rounds, too. I'll be tallying up the guys' and girls' total scores from both the Crossword and the Password games.

3. 2-Headed Monster: guys versus girls. A pair of guys (one 2-headed monster) and a pair of girls (the other 2-headed monster) take the stage. The girl monster will ask a question that might appear on the final exam. To ask the question, each "head" of the monster can say only one word, so both heads need to be very careful about getting the grammar correct. If the girl monster asks the question correctly, she'll get 5 points for her team. If not, then no points are awarded, but the monster can ask the question again—correctly, this time (possibly with help from the teacher). The guy monster must successfully answer the question to receive 5 points as well.* After that, the guy monster will ask a question and the girl monster will answer; this will go on for at least three rounds, with points tallied at the end.

Whichever team, guys or gals, has the most points at the end of class will win the prize (most likely a huge pile of candy). That ought to take about 90 minutes.

*I've mentioned this before, I know, but I've stolen this "monster" concept from the improv show "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" On the show, one of the tasks involved a "three-headed Broadway star" who had to sing a song about a topic provided by the audience or the host. The topic: cheese. Three guys lined up, shoulder to shoulder, and the piano began. On the episode I saw (this was the US version of the show), the "cheese" song was sung by the super-talented Wayne Brady, the equally talented Ryan Stiles (a holdover from the UK version of the show), and the hilarious Brad Sherwood. You can see the video here.

"Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" is a fantastic EFL resource. I occasionally troll YouTube for WLIIA videos of sketches that I can convert into exercises for my kids.


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