Answering questions can be extremely difficult for language learners. Especially if their entire class is watching them. It is our opinion, that difficult does not mean impossible and if you do not require your students to stand up and talk in front of all of their classmates, you are doing them a disservice.
We love the game Criss Cross because it's a fun warm-up that requires participation from everyone in the class and focuses on a common objective (sitting down). If executed properly your students will be cheering each other on as everyone works together to achieve their common goal.
The Details About Criss Cross
- This is a game for big classes.
- Criss cross works best for junior high school and high school students.
- It works great as an icebreaker.
- You don’t need anything to play Criss cross.
How To Play Criss Cross:
- Before the class, make a list of questions you think the students can answer. They can be about a topic you’re studying or a general English review.
- To play Criss cross, you need to make sure the desks or students are lined up in rows.
- Get all the students to stand up.
- If they’re sleepy or not very enthusiastic, you could make them do some jumping jacks, or something.
- The aim of the game is to have the whole class sitting down.
- Ask a question.
- Any student can raise their hand to answer the question. If they answer correctly, they have 3 choices. They can choose "up and down", or "left and right". If they choose up and down, they and all the students in front and behind them sit down. If they choose left and right, then they and all the students on their left and right sit down.
- The last choice is "just me". That means, only they sit down.
- The last row standing has to choose just me.
- This is great because kids who are quiet or less enthusiastic, may have to stand up the longest, and answer a question in front of the whole class.
- You can use a timer to make the game more exciting.
- Sometimes the choosing can cause problems, so be prepared to choose for them or choose randomly.
- It’s a perfect warmer for students in a large class.
- It’s excellent for practicing questions and answers.
- It encourages everyone to play.
If you liked this ESL Game for High School classes you might also enjoy some of these classroom favorites!