Jun 20, 2011

A twist to the Conventional 'Tic-tac-toe'

If you've taught ESL long enough, I'm sure you have used the 'Tic-tac-toe' game to review vocabulary, irregular verbs in the past tense, phrasal verbs and many other topics. This is probably the most cliche game when it comes to the ESL classroom. However, I'd like to make a suggestion for you to be able to use this game for anything. And I really DO mean ANYTHING!!!

Lately, I've used this game to review units from the book. You know how every unit in coursebooks is filled with different topics and contents that students need to learn? Well, I found a good way to check how much they knew about these by playing tic-tac-toe. What I'd do is to set up a tic-tac-toe grill containing key words from the unit in each space. For example, one of our books presented the topic: Jobs and Hobbies and we reviewed using the following chart:
Even when the words seem a little unrelated, we had studied all of these and students had enough information in their books to provide a description of the job/activity and the necessary skills and/or equipment needed to succeed in each of them. So, I would play with a small class divided in two groups. Each group would pick a topic, taking turns and in order to get their cross or nought in the spaces they selected, they are required to provide general information about the topic. I'd set a minimum of sentences according to the number of students in each group. They are all required to participate with at least one sentence related to the topic and using vocabulary and structures from the coursebook. Giving the students the opportunity to speak freely, allow them to be creative and you might get surprised to hear the sentences they are able to produce.
A different option that I LOVED to review grammar, was this amazing grill I found at etimag.com.ar, one of my favorite websites  :) It's an E-magazine that provides creative ideas and printables to use in class. Check it out! You're gonna love it too! 
As I said before, you can use this game for pretty much anything. And even if it's a very simple one, it helps create a different atmosphere and students forget that they are actually reviewing and learn while having fun. :)

Enjoy! XO

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