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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.

June 01, 2004

The Gesture Game

gestures.gif The Gesture Game is a simple English game which is ideal for small or big group competitions for elementary school classes and up. Students have fun laughing at each other and trying to guess in English what is on the Gesture Game picture card. There are two sets of gesture cards, one easier (junior) and one more difficult (senior).

The class is divided into two teams. The teacher selects two students, one to be the "gesturer" for the game and the other to be the score-keeper.

The teacher shows the "gesturing" student the card. The student gestures or acts out the card without making any sounds. The first team to guess the word receives the card and the score-keeper gives that team a point. The team with the most cards at the end of the game wins.

After the students have guessed all the junior (yellow) cards, they can try the senior (purple) cards. The most difficult gesture cards are "snowman" and "curry rice." The ones that gets the most laughs are "washing machine," "spider," "helicopter" and "cockroach"!

(To begin with, the teacher should ask an outgoing and active student to act out the cards. After the game has been played several times, the teacher can ask more docile students to give it a try.)

The 24 words in the
yellow junior set are:

The 24 words in the
purple senior set are:

airplane
baby
bear
bird
boy
cap
car
cat
duck
drums
fish
girl

monkey
pencil
pig
rabbit
robot
shoes
snake
spider
teapot
TV game
watch
yo-yo

belt
bicycle
cake
cockroach
computer
curry rice
eraser
fan
grapes
helicopter
jump rope
iron

motorcycle
newspaper
spaghetti
scotch tape
snowman
washing machine
teacher
trombone
TV
udon
violin
watermelon

One of the merits of The Gesture Game, along with vocabulary expansion, is that it forces the students to think in English quickly. Also, by virtue of its format, it encourages students to guess and NOT be afraid of making a mistake. This is an excellent exercise for Japanese students who tend to hesitate since the only way to win points for teams is to shout out one's guess before someone else does.

It's always fun for everyone!


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