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America Day Fun and Games for ESL Learners
July 25, 2012 10:48 AM   Subscribe

It's "America Day"! What simple activities and games would you suggest for 40 English language learners in China, ages 8-12?

My program has been invited to run an "America Day" with 3rd-6th graders, ages 8-12, learning English at a summer camp in China. I have 20 American high schoolers who will volunteer to play games and do activities with these children. We will be playing games with the kids for about an hour and a half. We are not going to have a lot of supplies at our disposal - just PowerPoint capability.

What games would you suggest that we play with the Chinese students? I've been told their English is very basic/non-existent. Any suggestions and/or websites welcome! I've been thinking of having my students introduce some songs about various American holidays, and play some usual American children's games such as duck duck goose, and Simon Says.

Thank you in advance!
posted by elisse to Education (2 answers total)
 
Red Rover is always fun.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:49 AM on July 25, 2012


I always found it was more enjoyable for the students if the activities were not teacher-centered so much like Simon Says or Duck Duck Goose, because it is really difficult to get all the students to listen to the teacher. It's a little easier to get the students to explain a task among themselves.

However, getting the kids out of their seats and moving around (ideally without a lot of centralized, LISTEN TO ME direction from the teacher) is great.

Guessing games are kind of fun. Although this is not an activity to start the day (you'll need to do some activities first to burn off steam, that help them enjoy easy success and build of confidence, and focus and engage the students for the day ahead), get some tape and some small pieces of paper.

Use your Powerpoint to brainstorm the names of animals (get some photos from the Internet). Write the names of the animals on the whiteboard (or on the overhead or whatever) so the kids have it as a reference.

Somehow get the kids to write down the name of an animal on the piece of paper, and tape it somehow to the back of another student. Maybe the kids are sitting in rows or something and they put it on the back of the person sitting in front of them.

The thing is, the kids don't know what's written on their back (you'll have to be careful they don't write anything nasty). They ask their partner or something "Am I a cat?" etc.

Ideally you would build on this and do more complicated things (perhaps at a different time later in the day) so that the kids have to get up and walk around and ask these same sorts of questions (guessing game) and maybe collect other students. I can't remember how I did that, but I'm sure you can figure it out.

Other ideas are to have a hangman championship (students play hangman in teams and compete against other teams as they win).
posted by KokuRyu at 11:10 AM on July 25, 2012


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