Guessing Games

August 30th, 20116:19 am


Guessing Games

Guessing Games

1. What’s In It?

One team is given a bag and the other a box. At the disposal of both teams is a locker full of objects the names of which are known to the group. Each team takes it turn in coming to the locker and selecting an object without showing it to the opposing team, which is then called on to guess what it is. Both teams face each other, and each member of the questioning team (A) takes his turn in asking questions of his opposite number of the guessing team (B).

A1: What’s in the box?

B1: A ball?

A1: No. (He passes the box with the ball in it to A2)

A2: What’s in the box? etc.

Each team keeps the objects which it succeeds in guessing or which the other team fails to guess. The team with the most objects wins the game.

As new question and answer forms are taught they can be included in the pattern of the game. For example, after the inversion forms have been taught, you can have a pattern that goes something like this:

A1: What’s in the box?

B1: Is it a button?

A1: No, it isn’t.

And later

A1: What’s in the bag?

B1: Is it a part of something.?

A1: Yes, it is.

B1: Is it red?

A1: No, it isn’t. (passes bag to A2)

A2: What’s in the bag? etc.

In this way, the learners go gradually from habits of uttering colloquial sentences to habits of exchanging dialogue.

Guessing games need not be limited to object questions. They

can be used with nearly any question form with which the group is familiar.

2. Where Is It?

In this game one team hides an object somewhere in the room and the other team tries to guess where it is.

A1: Where’s the key?

B1: It’s in your pocket. (or Is it in your pocket?)

A1: No. (or No, it isn’t)

A2: Where’s the key? etc.

If the guessing team is blindfolded or is facing the wall, a greater range of positions is possible – on the table, under the desk, etc. When the game becomes too easy, more precise information might be required.

3. Where Was I?

The guessing team is asked where each of the members of the opposing team was at a certain time.

A: Where was I yesterday at noon?

B: Were you at the post office?

A: No, I wasn’t.

C: Were you at the cinema? etc.

4. Who Has It?

Arrange for the questioning team to give some small object to one of its members without the guessing team seeing it. Then each member of the guessing team takes his turn in guessing who has the object.

A1: Who has the button?

B1: Tom has it. (or Has Tom got it?)

A1: No. (or No, he hasn’t)

A2: Who has the button?

B2: You have it. (or Have you got it?)

A2: Yes. (or Yes, I have) etc.

5. Who Did It?

Actions can also be elaborated into a guessing game. A member of the questioning team performs some action without the guessing team seeing him. The guessing team must find out who did the action and what kind of action it was.

A1: Who took the picture off the wall?

B1: Did Tom did it?

Team A: No, he didn’t. etc.

6. What’s my line?

This is the well-known television game in which one team tries to guess someone’s trade or profession by a series of questions that narrow down the possibilities. In school, learners may assume fictitious trades and professions for the purpose of the game.

7. Twenty Questions

The game can be played in a number of ways. For example, one person is asked to write the name of a familiar object on a bit of paper, which is then placed face down on the table. The others take turns in asking questions on the object or in guessing what it is. A maximum of twenty questions is allowed; all of them must be fixed questions of the yes-or-no-type. The one who guesses right may pick the new word and answer the questions on it.

This game can also be played as a team game, with one team picking the word and the other team asking the questions. One team writes a word on a card; the other team must find the word in no more than twenty questions.

8. Riddles

Give a few facts about an object and see whether the group can guess what it is. For example: “It has hands but no feet. It has a face, but no head.” If the group are unable to guess what it is, add more facts. “I have one in my pocket. It has numbers on it.” Encourage learners to bring their own riddles.

Used as a group guessing game, it can be played by two teams. Team A picks a word and team B tries to guess what it is from the sequence developed by team A. For example:

A1: I have one in my pocket.

B1: Is it a key?

A1: No, it isn’t.

A2: I got mine on my birthday.

B2: Is it a watch? etc.

9. Let’s Tell a Story

This is an attempt at communal composition. Give the first sentence yourself, and let each person take his turn in adding a new one. For example:

Teacher: One day a small boy was going from his house to the school when

A: He saw a large dog.

B: The dog went after him. etc.

One of the learners, acting as secretary, makes notes of what is said and when the last sentence has been added reads the entire story to the class.

10. Name the Picture

Divide the group into two teams, hold up a picture and let each team take turns (alternate) in describing it. Anyone who fails to name what is in the picture loses a point, provided his opposite number in the opposing team succeeds in naming it.

11. What’s in the Picture

Take a picture which the group has not yet seen, expose it to view for a minute or less; then place the picture face down and ask the group to say what they observed in the picture.

As a team game, let each team alternate in adding new items. Make sure full sentences are used.

12. Question-and-Answer Game

Use pictures of the conversational wall-picture type. Place the picture in such a way that the group can see the detail. Use names of items in the picture as call-words. When you call out one of these names it is the signal for a member of the questioning team to ask his opposite number a question on it. For example:

Teacher: Train.

A1: Where is the train?

B1: It’s on the bridge.

Maps can also be used for this sort of game. For example, in response to your call-words, one team can be required to ask their way to a certain point on the map, and a member of the opposing group must tell them how to get there.

13. The Information Desk

Collect all sorts of timetables, programs, posters, printed invitations, letters, notices, and lists of rules and regulations. Post up some of them on the blackboard or on the wall, and put the rest of the material on the table next to it. It is a good idea to begin by posting each document separately, questioning the class on it in order to practise the whole variety of questions possible; then ask the class to question you on it. If you have a map on your information desk, learners can also ask directions about it. For example:

Where is the school, post-office, bank,… etc.

Envelopes from old letters can be distributed to the class and the learners can ask one another various questions, such as: “Where is the letter from?” “Who is it for?” “What’s the address?” “Who sent the letter?” “When did it get here?”, and so on.

Thus, speaking a foreign language is a habitual activity. The student moves from operations that require no choice at all to those that require a modest amount of choice, and only later arrives at the stage when he can freely express himself.

During the early stages of conversation practice, the teacher is bound to maintain a fairly controlled situation in which the pupils interact within the constraints imposed by their limited knowledge of the language. During later stages the constraints are gradually removed until they are eliminated altogether, and the student enters the realm of real communication.

Communicative competence entails not solely grammatical and lexical accuracy, bur also a knowledge of socio-cultural rules or appropriateness, discourse norms, and strategies ensuring that the communication is understood at least by majority of learners.

Близнюк М.І. Курс лекцій з методики викладання англійської мови. – Чернівці: ЧДУ, 1999 – с.