Continuing on with the series of Top 5 games posts – today, I’m offering up the top games I’ve created. Games not based on any other concept but what I’ve thought up.
I got into making my own games simply because I saw so much “possibility”. A way for me to be creative in the classroom and prime my own teacher development. There is a lot that goes into making a great game;
1. Engagement. How to keep the students “there” and in the game.
2. Construction. How to make the game visually attractive and simple for a teacher/student to use/play.
3. Content. What to put in the game so it will be valuable for language learning.
Mostly, to make a great game, you have to really have a solid understanding of how students learn. That’s what excited me, to make something that better helped students learn because the game understood implicitly, what kept students ticking and piecing together language in their brains. To me, game making isn’t just Q and A – there is much deeper possibility.
I’m now risking boring you to death! So let the games begin – here are the Top 5 games I’ve made with an example and all available for download through the games folder on EFL Classroom 2.0.
1. One of These Things Is Not Like The Others. This game gets my top vote because of how it focuses and fosters student critical thinking skills while at the same time, keeping things simple. Students are presented with 4 images and must produce sentences stating why one thing is different from the others. Here’s a nice Picasa slideshow version I made (just pause and then use the arrow keys to advance) or try the flash version.
2. Top 5. In this Family Feud styled game, students brainstorm the top 5 words for a category. Then they check and get points depending on the rank of their answer. Worksheet included and check out the video a teacher made using the game. It can get noisy!
3. BAAM. Teachers have gone mad over this game. Possibly because it has templates of different length, possibly because in this game, any team could win right up to the last round/chance! Easy to put in your own content and a very simple concept. Simplicity is its key and strength.
4. What the Wordle. I’m really proud of this game (not really a game but a concept). I saw the power and beauty of Wordle and thought I could use that to make attractive games. The next key was to put it together using PicasaWeb. Bingo. You have a simple game of slides with hours of interaction / learning. See the whole directory here.
5. Lastonestanding. This game is a classic that you play with any audio or song. Students love it and it fosters great listening skills. Always a winner and a team winner!