Zip Zap: A “no tech” teaching idea/game

ZipZapFinal01This is an activity that your students can do whenever some fun yet competitive language practice is needed. It would be a great activity for a camp or for a party or just as a reward for students. I discovered it when teaching Grade 4 and having my students in the portable on rainy days. I observed the games they played and modified this one for learning. It is called Zip – Zap.

Get the students in a circle standing, best size is 6-12 . One student starts in the middle. The student in the middle is the boss, what they say goes. The winner is last person standing.

The “boss” spins around pointing and saying , zip zip zip……when they stop, the person they are pointing at ducks. The two on either side have to draw and shoot or “zap” the other person. The boss calls the winner. In the ESL / EFL variation, instead of just pointing, the boss says a letter. The two students shoot each other by drawing and saying a word beginning with that letter. The loser dies and must sit down. Continue until 2 students left. Stand them back to back. They pace 3 steps and then draw. The winner, the last person alive goes to the middle as “boss” and you start again……

Lots of variations. Saying a letter is the simplest. But you can do ending in the letter, word association (boss says food, they say a food or associated word), verb – noun , noun – verb. opposites, colours. Country / city or language or nationality etc……

Fun game and the students really concentrate and get into it. Zip – zap. Sounds complicated but anything but. My grade 4s would play this all day if I had let them…..   Here’s the handout with a full explanation.  More ideas like this for EFL Classroom 2.0 members – HERE.  Also in our LinkedIn group, we are having a discussion about “low tech” teaching ideas.

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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