If you’ve been teaching ESL / EFL for any substantial period of time you’ve already forgotten more ESL games then you currently know. It’s just how it goes. Games that were at one time your go-to-games slowly fall out of use and then eventually are forgotten. ESL game #056 – Scattergories was one of those games for me.
I recently came across a blog post written by Gavin on Premier ESL that reminded me what a great game Scattergories can be in almost any ESL class.
- Best of all the only materials you’ll need are a white board and a timer. If you want to get a little more advanced you can download the App from the App store. It picks the letters and gives you example topics and has a built in timer. It only cost $0.99 Canadian when I purchased it last week.
- You can play with 2 – 20 people. Although 4 – 10 works best.
- The ESL game can be catered to almost any level of ability.
- A game should take between 10 – 20 minutes but can easily go longer if your having fun or have a particularly large class.
- Divide your class into teams. I prefer pairs but if you have a larger class you might want to make groups of 3 or 4 ESL students.
- Pick 5 categories and fill them into the spaces in the top row of the table.
Ask the groups to draw a similar table on a piece of paper. They will only need one table per group.
- Inform your ESL students that they will have 1 minute (or less depending on ability) to select a word for each of the 5 category columns in the table. Each word must begin with the randomly selected letter you are about to choose.
- Pick a letter and start the timer.
- When the timer sounds everyone has to put down their pencils.
- Each group must read their answers out loud.
- Answers can be challenged by other groups if they don’t feel like the response is appropriate. It’s important to let the students challenge these points. After the class has made a decision on a specific word and points have been awarded you can tell explain the real answer. This opens up avenues for discussion and rewards persuasive speakers.
- Only original answers are awarded points. Any answer that is used by multiple groups is unacceptable.
- Answers that are deemed appropriate and only used by one group should be circled and tallied as points.
- After 3 rounds of Scatergories, tally the total points.
- If you wish to continue playing pick 5 new categories and repeat steps 4 – 11.
Of course if you’d like to purchase the real game of Scatergories it’s available anywhere you buy board games including Amazon.ca.