On the sixth day of Geekmas, some blogger gave to me:  six games worth playing

Welcome to the teflgeek Christmas celebration!  Themed around the classic Christmas carol – but going backwards, mostly because it’s more like a countdown that way:

12 blogs worth clutching

11 tips for writing

10 tricks for reading

9 pretty pictures

8 talks worth watching

7 simple statements

and six games worth playing – with your class or at least directing learners to for some self study – or even, when the marking’s magically disappeared and you’re all planned up for the next week, worth playing yourself!

I’ve used almost all of these with learners with great success – further details on that as below!

(1)  The Curfew Game.

I’ve mentioned this game before (see original post for more detail) – it’s a truly excellent piece of free game play that ties into themes related to civil liberties and authoritarianism.  Authentic (scripted) dialogues could make this challenging for lower levels, but this could be a fun lesson for upper intermediate and above!

(2)  Stop Disasters!

This is a natural disaster prevention game created by the United Nations ISDR to raise awareness of the lack of disaster preparedness in many places around the world.  Similar in set up to “god games” like Civilisation, the player chooses between the Hurricane, Tsunami, Wild Fire, Flood or Earthquake scenarios, and then tries to put measures in place to reduce loss of life when the big one hits.  You get advice and a time limit within which to work!

(3)  Nation States.

This is a game I played with my summer school classes some years ago, arising out of a project class where learners created a micro-nation.  With Nation States, learners answer an initial set of questions to determine what sort of country they’ll create (i.e. liberal / authoritarian) and then as time goes by they are asked further questions which determine the development of their nation state.  Interaction with other users playing the game is also possible and learners can forge alliances as they need to.  This is a long term game and not suitable for a single lesson – better perhaps as a warmer / the last ten minutes of a regularly scheduled once or twice a week class meeting over an entire academic year.

(4)  Destination Impossible.

Spotted this the other day on Larry Ferlazzo’s site and have investigated!  The game destination impossible is one of about 53 excellent flash based games for language learner development – aimed at adult literacy tutoring in the UK.  Activities suitable for most levels (possibly not the very low or the very high) – my favourite of which is the following directions based game “Destination Impossible” – a must play for anyone doing this topic with their classes!

(5)  Lyrics Training.

Lyrics Training is the ultimate fast finisher task for computer room based lessons.  Learners would, if they could, spend entire lessons attempting to type the lyrics to their favourite songs in time to the singer.  With graded levels of difficulty (watch that your learners don’t “underestimate” their own abilities!) – and a wide range of songs, there’s something for all ages and abilities.  Warning:  make sure you know the lyrics for the songs they’ve chosen, or an irate DoS may soon be banning the class from the computer room forever!  A great website to have up your sleeve when one group finishes the writing task in ten minutes and the rest of the class are still struggling.

(6)  CSI:  Web Adventures.

A nice one for the more scientifically minded – or for the legions of CSI obsessives who all want to be forensic pathologists when they grow up!  The rookie stages involve learners processing a certain amount of written information and then answering some content based questions – it’s a little slow to start!  But highly motivating and enjoyable.  Again, could be a great fast finisher task?

Have a look and I hope you enjoy!