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ELT Game Corner

Welcome to my Game Corner. Here I introduce a game for you to use in your classes to help make English come alive.

September 01, 2003

Food Lotto

food_lotto.gif Food Lotto is a fun game appropriate for elementary school students and adolescents. From 2 to 20 students can play. There are 10 Food Lotto game boards which individually consist of one of the following food categories: fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, cold drinks, hot drinks, baked items, meals, desserts, and breakfast foods. (If 2 students play, then each student can have 5 Food Lotto game boards; if 10 students play, then each would have 1 game board; if 20 students play, then 2 could share a game board, etc.)

The students sit around a table, and the teacher passes out the Food Lotto game boards. All the colorful and appetizing food cards ( 60 in all) are spread out across the table face-down. The first student picks up a food card, which could be "cookie", for example. The student could say, "cookie" or "This is a cookie," (depending on the level of the class). If he has a cookie picture on his Food Lotto game board, he places the cookie card over the picture and goes again. If he does not need the cookie card, he places the cookie card to the right of his game board and says, "Pass" or "I don't need this cookie," (again the language usage depends on the level of the class). The person to his left now goes. If that person needs the cookie card, he can say, "Cookie, please," or "May I have your cookie, please?" to which the first student would reply, "Here you are." Then the student receiving the card would say, "Thank you," which would be acknowledged by the first student saying, "You're welcome." The game proceeds thus until a student has covered five of the six food cards on his Food Lotto game board. When the student covers the fifth card, he should say, "REACH*" which announces he can win on the next play. The first person or pair to fill up their Food Lotto game board is the winner.

(*REACH is a term from "mah jong" which is used widely in games or on quiz shows in Japan.)

Upon winning, the first winner can say, "I am number one." The second person to fill up his board can say, "I am number two." The game proceeds until all the students fill up their game boards. Then the students can select the item they like best from their Food Lotto game board and say, for example, "I like grapes," or "I like grapes the best."

It is interesting to note that there are many new food terms for students to master, such as lobster, stew, bagel, cupcake, cereal and pita bread. The teacher can teach the food vocabulary before the game begins or encourage the student to ask the teacher, "How do you say this word?" while they are playing.

Playing this popular game helps students increase their food vocabulary and master simple requests in a fun and interactive way; it also fosters language exchange with classmates and boosts independence because they can play the game with little help from the teacher!

The only draw back of Food Lotto is that it makes everyone hungry, including the teacher!



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