Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Das Rad von Glück: Wheel of Fortune Game

A few years ago at the MFLA Fall Conference I attended a session that talked about games (and drills and how to organize class time... it was a really good session), and one game that really stuck with me is Wheel of Fortune.

I have since found my notes from that conference.  Credit goes to Tyrone F. Parker with Baltimore City Public Schools, as he is the one who first introduced me to this game.

Wheel of Fortune - or Rad of Glück as we call it in my German classes - is based on the game show of the same name.  It's a great end of class game if you have an extra five minutes and a great game right after beginning students have learned the alphabet.

What You'll Need:

A deck of cards and your chalkboard.  I'd recommend having different colored markers or chalk, one per each group playing, but this is optional.

How to Play:

1. Divide the class into 2-3 teams (depending on the size).  Each team will work together to try and solve the phrase.

2. Put a phrase on the board the same way you would for hangman (one space for each letter).  I usually have a phrase that uses whatever grammar or vocabulary topic we're currently focusing on.  

3. Each team starts their turn by "spinning the wheel."  One team member volunteers to "spin" by drawing a card from the deck.  This card determines how many points they can get this round.  Each card is worth its face value (2 of diamonds is worth 2 pts, 4 of hearts is worth 4 pts, etc.).  I have Aces worth 1 pt and all face cards worth 10 pts.  I also keep the Jokers in - if a team draws a Joker, their team loses the rest of that turn.
Pick a card - any card!
This team drew a 4 - that means any letter they guess will be worth 4 pts

4. Once the point value for the turn has been determined, the team gets a chance to guess a letter.  They can guess any consonant.  If that consonant is in the phrase, write it in each time it appears (just like hangman).  For each instance of that letter in the phrase, they get however many points they drew.  

For example: My group draws the 5 of clubs.  We guess the letter "t" and there are three t's in the phrase.  My group gets 5 x 3 = 15 points for this round.

Record the letter and point values for each round, plus how many points each team earned

Optional: Different ColorsI use a different color for each team - I write all the letters they guess in the same color.  It makes it easier for me just in case I forget to put in a letter - I can still figure out which team guessed it and then give them points.

5. Keep going through each group until the puzzle is solved.  They draw one card and guess one letter per turn.

6. Vowels: Just like in the game show, groups will need to buy vowels.  At the beginning of their turn, a team must forgo drawing a card and say they want to buy a vowel.  It costs 5 points (doesn't matter how many are in the puzzle - it's a flat fee).  They choose a vowel and all instances of that vowel in the phrase are written in.

Note: I make groups specify that they want to buy a vowel at the beginning of their turn so that they don't draw a card, determine it's not worth very many points and then decide to buy a vowel.

7. Solving the Puzzle: Groups can also forgo drawing a card and guessing a letter for a chance to solve the entire puzzle.  They must have the entire phrase ready - not just one or two words.  If students get the puzzle right, I give them 2 pts for each letter that was missing.  

This team solved the puzzle, giving them 2 pts for each missing letter - a total of 14 points

*Update* 4/4/19

I have recently made a template I can use on the board for the game - it makes it easy both me and students to keep track of teams/point values and it looks a whole lot nicer than scribbles on the board ;)

If you'd like the template, click here - to save a copy, go to "File" and then "Make a Copy." Let me know if you end up playing!

- Frau Leonard

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