Type: verbal, written, concept check
Setup: 1 min
This is a fun game which can be played in a variety of ways, is quick to setup and can last a while. The idea is to freely associate words going round the class and can be used to concept check vocab as well as spelling and pronunciation.
Start: Introduce the idea of free association by writing a single word on the board and then add a couple more to show that the words have a relationship. I usually use my name, then add teacher, English etc.
Once they get the idea do a trial run by writing another word and inviting free association from class members. Once everyone is onboard you can start the games!
Get students into groups and give them different coloured chalk per team. Divide the board into as many groups as there are, and then instruct the first person in each team to write a word.
Then the first writer has to move across and write an associated word on the other team’s section, once written move on the the other team’s and so on in a round robin style.
Once they have written on each team’s section and are back to their own team, they hand the chalk over to the next member of their team and start again. Great chaos and screaming, add tension with a time limit.
When its over, check associations and spellings – sometimes you’ll get a funny association that has no match and it’s fun to find out what was going!
Another way is to give each student a piece of paper and then have them all write a word at the top and when you clap your hands they pass it on to the left or right. You can double clap and that means reverse direction. Again great fun if you start slow and build up speed!
You can also do the same thing verbally with students in circles going round, or add a ball which the student passes to their friend (or enemy) to randomize the process a little. Can be great fun if pronunciation is off and the association starts going wild!
When the dust has settled give feedback on pronunciation or spelling or relationships between the words (clarifying meaning and concepts).