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Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?!

OK... so no real wolves involved here, but this is a game I call 'The Wolf Game', although i'm sure it goes by many other names in the ESL world - This is my take on it, and it can be adapted in many ways -

Create some space in the classroom and create two teams (just to start) - Have them stand on opposite sides of the classroom - Place the numbers 1-6 in front of each team, leading away from them to the centre - These are the 6 steps they need to take during the game - If they get to step 6, they win a point for their team -

To do this, choose whatever language/vocab you wish to cover - For this example I'm going to use the past simple structure -

You can use whatever you are studying for this game, although it works best with tenses.

Firstly, you need to pick a key sentence - Here it will be: 'I ate a student yesterday' -

You will now start saying correct & incorrect sentences (in the target language) to the students.

If the sentence is correct, they should take a step forward; if not, they don't move - Anyone who makes a mistake is out, and must join you as the 'wolf' - (you can be lenient to begin with until they get the idea of the game) - If you say the key sentence, they must all run back to the start of their steps (e.g. before number 1) -

The last person to get back is out and has been eaten by the 'wolf' . They must join you and the other wolves - The students that join you can then help you by saying sentences (either correct or incorrect) - If a student reaches step 6, they get a point for their team and return before step 1 -

If two students from opposite teams reach step 6 at the same time (opposite each other), they do Rock, Scissors, Paper; the winner gets the point and stays, and the loser goes to the wolves.

N.B. You can also make the students who make a mistake to go back to the start before Step 1 (rather than out), and the ones who reach step 6 to join you as the wolves - It depends whether you want the weaker students to have speaking, or understanding practice - (Also, nothing stopping you playing both!)

The key to this game is to start slowly, and get faster & faster - The faster you say sentences, the more drama you can create, the more mistakes the students will make; adding to the learning & the excitement.

If you find the numbers in your class unmanageable for this game, feel free to separate the class into 4 teams all with 6 steps to the centre of the classroom - You can also put the class into 3 groups of say 8 students, and let them play it alone (after you've showed them) while you can monitor & support them.

Have fun with it, and let me know how you get on!


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