Observation Games

August 30th, 20116:23 am


Observation Games

Observation Games


1. Point-and-Say

This is the simplest of the observation games. Simply divide the group into two teams, and touch or hold up an object the name of which has been taught. Members of each team take their turn in naming the object by pointing and saying: “That’s a (an) …” If someone should fail to name the object correctly, his opposite number on the other team can make a point by naming the object.

2. Kim’s Game

This is probably the best-known type of observation game. Take half a dozen or more objects the names of which have been taught. Place them on the table, or on the floor, and cover them with a cloth. Remove the cloth for about half a minute and let both teams have a look at the objects. Members of each team alternately take their turn in naming an object. If possible, make them do so within a sentence pattern that has already been taught. Each object may be named only once. As the group becomes used to the game, increase the number of objects and reduce the time exposure. At the intermediate level, require more details about the object named. At this level, for example, it will not be sufficient to identify the object as “a pen”, but as “a red ball-pen”. A point is given for each true statement.

3. Getting your own back

From each member of the group collect one or more of his personal belongings – pens, pencils, books, watches, etc. Put them in a heap on the table or on the floor. Each member of the group tries to get back his possessions by the use of some appropriate formula. Unless what he says is correct in every respect, he does not get back his belongings. The formula used in identifying possessions will depend on the language level reached. At the very beginning level it will be possible to take an object from the collection, say, a watch, hold it up and ask the owner to identify it by pointing to it and saying: “That’s my watch.” Do not give it back to the owner until you get the right answer, and do no let him go until the learner says “Thank you”.

After the interrogative “whose” has been mastered, let each member of the group take his turn in going up to the collection of belongings, selecting one of the objects, a watch, for example, showing it to the group and saying: “Whose watch is this?” the owner points and replies: “That’s my watch”.

After the inverted (yes-or-no) question form has been taught, the questioner may be required to guess the name of the owner, with the formula: “Martin, is this your watch?”

 4. The Here-and-There Game

(This is really a variation of the above game).

 5. Charades

A charade is an episode in the game in which a word is guessed by the onlookers after the word itself, and each syllable of it in turn, have been suggested by acting a little play.

Among the observation games which can be played at a more advanced level are those of the charade type. This type consists in letting the group observe the miming of an action while trying to guess which action is being mimed. For example, one team may decide – secretly of course – that one of its members should mime a person getting dressed in an upper berth. While going through the motions, each member of his team takes his turn in asking a member of the opposite team (“What is he doing?”). The opposing team must reply with complete and correct sentences. Make sure the actions chosen for miming can be described in words the group knows. The more sophisticated, multiple types of charade are generally too difficult for the average language learner, since they often suppose an extensive vocabulary.

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