Monthly Archives: September 2010

Bonte Room Adjective Order

Level: Intermediate+

Location: Classroom then Computer room

Skills Focus: Reading & Writing

Language Focus: Adjective word order

Game: Bonte Room

This is a very short point and click game.  In the gap fill exercise some of the gaps can be filled by simply playing the game and copying them into the right place.  Some objects in the gap fill have more spaces than adjectives supplied in the game.  This encourages learners to be a bit more inventive.

Screen shot 2010-05-13 at 1.19.09 PM

Preparation

Pre Play

  1. Hand out a copy of the Bonte Room Gap Fill Activity to each learner.
  2. Learners work in pairs to guess what adjective could go in each space.
  3. Feedback in open class.

Play

  1. Learners take the Bonte Room Gap Fill Activity to the computer room.
  2. They play the game in pairs and correct and change any of their guesses on the walkthrough.
  3. When each pair has finished finish the activity.
  4. Fast finishers can start to make their own worksheet for a different Bonte game (link at the bottom of the screen).

Post Play

  1. Back in the classroom compare answers in open class.
  2. Discuss any differences.
  3. Learners rank their adjectives into columns (opinion, size, age, shape, colour, origin, material etc)
  4. If you are in a connected classroom learners dictate to you how to play the game and you play it on the board.

Space Quest Reader

Level: Pre-intermediate+

Location: Computer room

Skills Focus: (Relay) Reading

Language Focus: Directions & Prepositions of place

Game: Space Quest

This is a short and simple sci-fi point and click game.

Screen shot 2010-05-10 at 11.57.23 AM

Preparation

Download a copy of the Space Quest Walkthrough and make a single copy to put on the wall of the computer room.

Pre-play

  1. Put learners into pairs.
  2. In the classroom put the walkthrough on the wall and tell learners they have 5 minutes to relay dictate as much as the walkthrough to their partner as possible.  The winners will be first in line to go to the computer room.
  3. Learners relay dictate the walkthrough to their partners.  This is to orientate learners towards the text on the walkthrough so when they go to the computer room they will continue to rely on it.
  4. After 5 minutes stop the activity.  Declare a winner and put them first in the queue to go to the computer room.
  5. Take the walkthrough with you.

Play

  1. At the door to the computer room explain to your learners they will continue the relay dictation but no writing.  this time learners will read the walkthrough (hold it up) which you will put on the wall (put it up) and go and tell their partner how to play the game.
  2. Tell them the winners get less homework.
  3. Sit learners in pairs at computers and direct them to the game.
  4. Do the relay gaming activity.
  5. After 3 minutes or so pairs swap roles so they both take turns in playing the game/ relay reading the walkthrough.
  6. Stop the activity when one pair finishes the game.

Homework

Photocopy the walkthrough on to double sides and give out to the learners who didn’t win the activity.  Their homework is to go home and complete the game using the walkthrough.

Alternative activity

DInstead of doing a relay gaming activity you could direct learners to an online Space Quest Walkthrough and they read the walkthrough as they play the game.  This activity is quieter and more appropriate if you have one learner to one computer.

A Pre-intermediate Reading activity

A cute point and click game with a graded reader for pre-intermediate learners.

Level: Pre-intermediate

Location: Computer room

Skills focus: Reading

Game: Bamba Snack Quest

A squirrel steals your crisps.  Bamba decides to go and get his crisps back but the ending might be a little different to what your learners predict . . .

Screen shot 2010-05-07 at 11.07.13 AM

Preparation

You need to get your learners to open two internet explorer pages:

To play the game

To read the walkthrough

As most of the language problems are to do with the vocabulary you may like your learners to either use an online dictionary OR use an image search engine to teach the vocabulary.  If you use the latter then you should set the filters on strict in the advanced search options to avoid embarrassingly inappropriate images appearing.  This is how you set a strict filter in google images.  REMEMBER your learners will need to use three internet explorer windows for the game, the walkthrough, dictionary/images.

Play

  1. Instruct your learners in how to open three internet explorer windows.
  2. Get them to open the game in the first one.
  3. Get them to open the walkthrough in the second one
  4. Get them to use an online dictionary or images (on strict filter) in the third one.
  5. Learners read the walkthrough to complete the game.
  6. Stop the activity when you see fit.

Post Play Activity

The walkthrough is graded but contains a lot of repetitive use of the zero conditional and some of the 1st conditional.  The zero conditional really just expresses the fact that if you do something in the game the result is always the same.  The 1st conditional is present when the game requires the player to complete a task that is difficult to complete and in this way uses ‘will’ to predict the eventual outcome in the game.  For this reason, the walkthrough language offers you the opportunity to focus on these two conditional forms.  You can either do this by:

  1. making a worksheet based on the walkthrough
  2. using a relevant section in the coursebook
  3. eliciting the form in a connected walkthrough while playing the first screen of the game.

Learners find the last activity very enjoyable and there is the option of either doing it orally in open class or by putting learners in pairs to write each stage of the walkthrough.  This last one is good as having played the game there is a memory test aspect to it that learners respond to well.  You can either feedback after each sentence or wait until the whole screen of the game has been completed.

Enjoy!

Top Ten Guinness Book of Gaming Records

Here’s a list of World records from the Guinness World Records 2010 Gamer’s edition.  Can you identify which numbers below go in the spaces for each record?

376          1 million       24.84 million      2,468        214       156        379,552,748       200 million    45.7 million    161,600   100 million

Screen shot 2010-05-06 at 1.59.57 PM1 Most people dressed as a videogame character.

On May the 29th 2009 the MCM (Movie Comic Media) expo was held in London and _______ enthusiastic participants got dressed up as their favourite video game character.   If you could dress up as a videogame character, which one would you be?

2  The Fastest selling DS title

When the Nintendo DS (dual screen) version of Pokémon Platinum went on sale in Japan in September of 2008, it sold over _____________ copies in the first two days that it went on sale.  Pokémon is a combination of the words ‘pocket’ and ‘monster’.  How many can you name?

Screen shot 2010-05-06 at 2.14.48 PM3  The best-selling FPS franchise

HALO has sold over _____________ copies world wide making it the best-selling FPS (First Person Shooter) in history.  At the moment the fourth in the series HALO: REACH is set for release in September this year.  Do you know the name of the main character pictured on the left?

4  The most money taken by a single arcade machine

The most income generated by a single arcade machine in just one week was $____________ in the states in 1993.  The arcade machine played the game NBA Jam which is a basketball game.  Have you ever played an arcade machine?

Screen shot 2010-05-06 at 2.29.39 PM5 The game with the largest in-game soundtrack

The highly rated GTA (Grand Theft Auto) IV has ___________ licensed music tracks that can be heard while playing the game.  The previous record holder was, in fact, GTA: San Andreas with _________ tracks.  Did you know that Burt Reynolds, Chris Penn, Ice T, Kyle Maclachlan, Michael Madsen, Phil Collins, Ray Liotta, Ricky Gervais, Samuel L. Jackson and many more actors have appeared or provided their voices in the game.

6  The most successful movie franchise based on a videogame

The series of Resident evil films have all together generated revenue greater than $_________________ and with a fourth called Resident Evil: Afterlife due for release later this year, it looks like that figure will increase.  The story follows the outbreak of a biological weapon that causes monstrous mutations in evryone and everything that it comes into contact with.

Screen shot 2010-05-06 at 2.38.54 PM

7  The most successful game franchise

The honour of this title goes to a short fat character with a black moustache.  That’s right, Mario.  The Mario series have sold over __________________ copies worldwide.  Did you know he first appeared in a game called Donkey Kong?  at this time though, he wasn’t called Mario yet.  He was called jumpman.

Screen shot 2010-05-06 at 2.42.18 PM8 The best selling videogame

Wii sports sold over ________________ copies from between the time it was launched in 2006 to May of 2009.  With this game you can play a physical game of Tennis, Bowling or Boxing in the comfort of your own living room.  Do you know anyone who has played one of these games?

Screen shot 2010-05-06 at 2.53.03 PM9  The largest environment in a videogame

In the PC and Xbox role playing game called The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall it is possible to explore over ______________ km² of in-game land.  This area contains villages, towns, cities and dungeons.

Screen shot 2010-05-06 at 2.56.47 PM10  The best selling PC series

The very popular life-simulation game called The Sims has proved to be the best selling PC series in the world with over _______________ sold around the world.  Did you know that Lily Allen, The Black-eyed Peas and the Pussycat Dolls (and other bands) have all re-recorded songs in Simlish – the official language of the Sims.

Answers:  They are in the right order at the top

The Impossible Quiz Book

A fun channel 4 commissioned quiz game that has a lot to do with play on words than word play.  Its surprising how low a level you can do this with as the quiz tests their passive knowledge of the language.  However, the language is a high level and if you don’t think fart, poo and wee jokes are appropriate for your learners then I would stay clear of this.

Level: Intermediate

Location: Connected classroom

Skills focus: Speaking

Game: The impossible quiz book

This game is a little quirky in its thought process but learners seem to adapt to its train of thought quite quickly.  Don’t try to explain it but let your learners learn how it works/ thinks.

Screen shot 2010-05-03 at 2.16.42 PM

Preparation

Ddownload a copy of The Impossible Quiz Book Hints and either make one copy for you to use in a connected classroom.  Alternatively allow learners to access the online version of the Impossible Quiz Book.

Play

Connected classroom

  1. Put learners into groups of two or three.
  2. Tell learners you will show them a question for a minute.  In pairs they tell their partner/ group which they think is the right answer and why.
  3. Class votes on the correct answer, you click on it.  If learners vote the wrong answer then read them the clue for them to discuss.
  4. If they don’t get the clue then tell them the answer and ask for someone to volunteer to explain why it’s the right answer.

Computer room

Learners work in pairs to do the quiz.  They can use the online hints to help them.  When you stop the activity find out which pair got the furthest through the quiz.  Remember that they may have got far through it but had to start again so don’t trust your eyes at the end of the activity but do trust your learners to tell you.

Post Play Activity

Get your learners to write their own quirky quiz.  Encourage learners to be as humorous and inventive with the language as they like.

Here’s a video of the game being completed (I found it a bit helpful sometimes to show some learners the correct answer – you can pause it and rewind it to explain it).