DIY Board Game

Levels: strong elementary to advanced.
Ages: kids; teens; adults.
Type: board game; conversations.
Skills: listening; speaking; writing; pronunciation (difficult phonemes).
Language focus: question forms; vocab revision.

Preparation: draw a board game “track” on a large-ish piece of paper and make enough copies for each group of 3 to 4 Ss. Some dice or coins. Some spare pens.

1. EITHER board a topic (e.g., living in London, careers) and elicit and board vocab OR elicit and board vocab from a recent lesson OR use the class vocab bag (see here for the general idea).

2. Elicit and board a couple of questions based on the vocab or topic. Board a tongue twister. Elicit and board an interesting challenge.

3. Divide your students into groups of 4 or 5. Explain they will be making a board game to revise this vocabulary for another group. Ask them to work together to write questions on a separate piece of paper. Tell them they should have enough questions for each square on the board (show the board now), minus 6, which will be for 3 tongue twisters and 3 challenges.

4. Monitor and elicit corrections for the students’ questions. When theyʼre finished, they transfer these neatly to the board, leaving occasional spaces for challenges and tongue twisters.

5. In their groups, students decide what the 3 challenges are and create three simple tongue twisters using phonemes they find difficult to produce (e.g., “red leg, red leg, red leg”).

6. Each group passes their board to the group on their left, along with challenges and tongue twisters.

7. Tell your students they will play against each other in groups. The first to the finish is the winner. Explain that they have to talk for 1 minute when they land on a square with a question. If they run out of things to say, the other students in their group can prompt them with questions. If they land on a tongue twister, the whole group has to say it, first slowly, then as fast as possible. The winner is the student who can say it fastest but still accurately – they get to move forward one space, but donʼt have to do the task. Challenges are for the student who lands on the square.

8. Monitor and note down vocab or grammar issues for subsequent feedback.

2 thoughts on “DIY Board Game

  1. Good step-by-step instructions. I’ve created similar boardgames in my English and writing classes, and once students get the hang of it, they will create questions and twists for a variety of games reviewing anything you study in class!

  2. Hi Janet, thanks for your comment!

    You make an excellent point, I think – and even more generally, I’ve found the more you can get students involved in lesson generation (either through getting them involved in producing materials or even through planning the week or the term) the more language they produce, and the more engaged they (generally) become in the lessons as well. It’s a sort of virtuous circle!

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