I previously shared that my school is a Capturing Kids’ Hearts school and we’re supposed to share “Good Things” at the beginning of each and every class, every day. I have reduced Good Things to Friday and Monday in my classes to focus on the future and past tense of some essential verbs (but don’t tell anyone!) and because it can get a little boring when kids hear their peers’ announcements all day long. I’ve also been trying to spice them up on Mondays this semester because even though I’ve cut them down I can tell students are getting bored with just talking about their time away from class. I’ve done two truths and a lie in the past and last Monday I shared this baseball activity that worked out well.
Today’s activity was a spin on rock-paper-scissors. I’ve often used this when I have teams competing and when I came across this alternative version called Wizards-Giants-Elves I knew I had to think of a way to make this work for my class! I fiddled around with it, and although it wasn’t flawless it worked well and students were asking to play again!
Here’s how it worked:
- We focused in on one question and one structure each round. The Round 1 question was ¿A quién viste este fin de semana? (Who did you see this weekend?). Students then had 6 sentences that started with Yo vi a … (I saw…) and they were to fill in the blanks. The Round 2 question was ¿Adónde fuiste este fin de semana? (Where did you go this weekend?) and the had starter sentences of Yo fui a… (I went to…). They then again completed these sentences with information about their weekend. They were allowed to repeat (because I know some students lead boring lives), but I encouraged them to spice up their answers. All information provided had to be true.
- On the board, I had Rock-Paper-Scissors on the board and I then broke down each round’s answers into categories and placed them next to one of the three categories. So for example in Round 1 any answer that qualified as a family member was rock, any person that was a friend was paper, and everyone else was scissors. In Round 2 if the answer was somewhere in the house it was scissors, somewhere in our town was rock, and anywhere else was paper.
- Students then got up and competed against a peer. They had to go in order of what they wrote down and if they tied they would then go on to the next one. If students got all the way down the list, they were then to go to the top of their list and start over.
- The student that lost then became part of the winner’s train. They placed their hands on the winner’s shoulders and cheered on their leader as they competed against other trains.
- Eventually, there is one winner at the front of the train and I played train sounds as I the winner takes his train on a victory lap around my classroom.
Here are my thoughts on the activity:
- Logistics that were important for my kids: allowing them to repeat, stressing that their sentences were true (especially since we’ve played Two Truths & a Lie), and stressing the fact that they had to go in the order they wrote on their paper.
- I suggest putting a timer up while students fill out the sentences. In two classes, I had boys filling out their sheets while I was trying to give categories (and thus could cheat).
- Only a small handful of times did students actually need to go back to the top of their list while playing.
- Want to get more repetitions out of ONE question and starter sentence? Then have students do one round for Saturday and a different round for Sunday.
- I need to teach chants! Or, figure out someway for those who lose to still get in repetitions of the phrases we’re working with. Maybe the whole group has to yell their leader’s phrase after it’s said? Chant the phrase that wins between two trains? I’ve yet to figure this out!
- I didn’t turn this into a full discussion since it took a while to setup while I stayed in the TL… but that’s the goal for the next time!
I’m already brainstorming which other questions and sentence starters I could do this with. It’s hard because not everyone has a celebration over the weekend, plays sports, or goes shopping. I’m thinking I could repeat this activity by asking what they ate over the weekend (the categories I could break it into are fruits/veggies, meats, and all others) , what they listened to (the categories I could break it into are country, rap, and all others) , and what TV shows they watched (the categories I could break it into are comedy, drama, and all others).
I hope you give this activity a try – and my students do, too!