For some reason this year my two sets of 5th grade classes ended at different parts of the textbook. I think it happened when everyone was out sick with the flu in January. I needed something to fill an extra lesson that was worth the students’ time. The answer came from the old Eigo Note series: A board game! There used to be this great year end board game in Eigo Note 1 that I loved to just let the kids go at back in the day.
But the textbooks changed and it disappeared so I had to update the thing for a whole new set of grammar. Not that hard really.
- 1 large, A3 or B4 size, print out of the game board for each pair of students
- An eraser or pencil cap, to act as a game piece, for each kid
- A pencil or pen to write in their scores
How to Play
This is a two player game, but it can be played with three players readily easily if there are an odd number of kids in the class. Each kid chooses a game piece from the nick knacks in their desk and puts their game piece, usually an eraser, on the “START”. The two (or three) players then play a round of rock/paper/scissors. If the winner of rock/paper/scissors wins with a “rock”, that player advances one space. If they won with a “scissors”, the advance two spaces. If paper, three spaces. A guide to this is up in the left hand corner of the game board. Simple English explanation: “Champion with Rock, one. Champion with scissors, two. Champion with paper, three.”
After the winner of rock/scissors/paper has moved their game piece, they read the task written on the space they landed on. Tasks include “Say the color you like,” ” Ask your friend their name,” and “Say 31 in English”. If they are able to complete the task they stay at their new space. If they are unable to complete the task, they must return to their previous space. Then, they play rock/paper/scissors again and again the winner of rock/paper/scissors advances and completes the task. Reach the “GOAL” to win the game. Kids can keep track of how many games each of them has won in the 8 pointed star box near the “GOAL”.
I usually demo this game with the homeroom teacher on the board using colored magnets as game pieces instead of erasers or pencil caps. It can take as little as two minutes to demo the game, but the students often take at least 10 minutes to get through a single round. This year I promised stickers to the “grand champion” of each game and we played for about 25 minutes with a five minute rock/paper/scissors warm-up, a five minute demo, and a little time at the end to hand out stickers to the winners of the game.
A translation of all of the game squares is as follows:
Board Games: My favorite low-stress way to end a school year.