Monday, October 30, 2017

The Bluffing Game: Full Class Review

As any of my readers might know, I like to incorporate games into instruction as often as possible. It helps keep students engaged in the lesson while breaking up the monotony of students' school days. One game I like to do with students is generally called The Bluffing Game.



Overview:The Bluffing Game is a full class activity that has students both work with teams and on their own to practice vocab, culture, or grammar topics. This is a good practice activity that you can do mid-way through the unit or at the end as a review.

What You'll Need:Questions/activities for the class. You'll want at least 18 questions along with a bonus question (I tend to do translations as the last question). I tend to find it easiest to have all the questions in a Power Point so that it's easier for the students to see the questions.

Types of questions might include:
- Defining words (based on Target Language descriptions)
- Sentence completion
- Changing words: making them singular/plural, changing the case, changing the subject, changing the tense, changing the article, etc
- Identifying features of words (for example Case, Number and Gender for nouns)

I try to do multiple question types during each game to hit on a couple different topics.

For lower level classes, I like to give students a worksheet to complete the questions/activities. This way students are responsible for paying attention even if they're not actively participating to the game.

How to Play:
As I go through how to play this game, I will be using this Latin Adjective Review. It's designed for a Level 1 Latin class that is learning Adjective/Noun Agreement for 1st and 2nd Declension Nouns. I use this worksheet to go along with the game.

1. Divide the class into 2-3 teams (depending on the size).  Each team will be gaining or losing points together, but students are responsible for their own answers.

2. Each question will be presented one at a time. The entire class will get to see the question, but only one team at a time will get a chance to answer.

Present the first time with their first question.


Even though only the first team will get a chance to answer this questions for points, all students should write down their answer on their worksheets. Students are not allowed to use their notes or talk to each other - this part is an individual practice of the skills in this unit.

After giving students time to respond to the question, it's time to reveal the answer...

3. The next part is ONLY directed at the first team. Tell students that if they think they know the answer, they should stand up. Students aren't allowed to discuss with their group members a plan, they either stand up or they stay seated. If they stand up, though, they might be required to give their answer to the class. Write down the number of students who are standing on the board.
Tell the students who are standing that they should NOT call out an answer unless YOU ask them to.

4. This part is ONLY directed at the NEXT team. Ask these students to pick one of the students who is standing to answer. They can discuss with their group who they want to answer. When they've made their final decision, they tell you and then YOU ask that that student to reveal their answer.
If students who are standing call out an answer before YOU ask them to, that's an automatic wrong answer. Make sure you emphasize this to students beforehand.

5. The student reveals their answer, then you put the correct answer on the board for everyone to see.


If their answer is correct, their team gains points for each person who stood up. If their answer is incorrect, their team loses those points. So if seven students stood up, the team would gain seven points for a correct answer and lose seven points for an incorrect answer.

6. Move on to the next team. The process repeats with a new question for the next team. Cycle through all the teams until you're out of questions (though make sure each team gets the same number of questions). Keep track of the points on the board.

7. Strategy: It's called the Bluffing Game for a reason - students don't actually need to know the correct answer to help their team gain points. If they stand up confidently, they're less likely to get picked. If they hesitate and make a show of being uncertain, it might increase their chances of being called to answer. Let students know this as you go through more rounds. It adds an extra bit of fun for students :)

8. At the end of the game, I like to include a bonus round. This is usually a short translation. Students wager the points they have - if they get the sentence completely correct, they'll get that many points, but if there's even one error, they'll lose that many points. Students need to wager before they get to see the sentence.

Note: For teams that are in the negatives, tell them you'll boost them to +5 points if they get it right (or some other positive number, just so they're still in the game). 

Once wagers are in, show the class the sentence. At this point, students are allowed to work with their group and use their notes. They only need to submit one answer per team. 

9. Once all the teams have submitted their sentence, reveal how each team did and determine the winner.

Hopefully this is a game your students will enjoy playing - I know mine tend to get pretty competitive with it! Let me know if you have any questions or if you try it out and have recommendations for tweaks!

- Frau Leonard

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