- Keywords: games, comprehension, cooperation
- Learner English Level: Beginner and above
- Learner maturity: Elementary and above
- Preparation time: 5
- Activity time: 15-20 minutes
- Materials: Fly swatters, A4 size T/F signs, tape or Blu Tack
This is a whole body approach to the traditional paper-based T/F comprehension activity. Although a familiar activity often found in language text books, these types of questions can be quite uninspiring. This is a competitive game that literally takes the activity off the page and gets students moving their bodies. It is a lively game that can be adapted to fit various class sizes. Students will be motivated to skim and scan reading texts or listen carefully to audio texts in order to win the game.
Step 1: Prepare enough flyswatters to allow for one per team.
Step 2: Prepare one A4-size paper that has a ‘T’ printed on it and one with an ‘F’ on it for each pair of teams. Laminating these plaques is a good idea.
Step 3: Prepare T/F statements to be read out. These can often simply be taken from the T/F tasks that often accompanying reading and listening tasks.
Step 1: Put a set of the ‘T’ and ‘F’ plaques next to each other on a wall. You can have up to four sets, using all four walls if you have a large number of students.
Step 2: Have students read or listen (some kind of comprehension-based task). The reading or listening could be a task that was set for homework or something that they are presented with in the classroom and given a certain amount of time to review before the flyswatter activity begins. Before they read or listen, let them know that they will be doing a T/F comprehension task to check their understanding.
Step 3: Divide the class into an even number of teams. You can have as few as two teams or as many as eight (two teams per wall). A team can have as few as one student or as many as five or six.
Step 4: Instruct two teams to line up in front of each set of T/F plaques on the wall.
Step 5: Instruct students to hit the ‘T’ or ‘F’ based on the statement you read out.
Step 6: Have students keep the fly swatter on the plaque until the winner is decided. It is easier to determine who was first, as the winner should be the one whose fly swatter is on the bottom. Encourage team members to help teammates if someone does not know the answer.
If students do not get the answer correct, it is useful to open it up to the class to elicit the correct response.
Similarly, if the answer is false, ask the students what the true (correct) answer would be. This is good to check that they are not just guessing and to help them verbalize responses.
Step 7: Have students keep a tally of their team’s points. The team that has the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
Putting a new spin on an already familiar activity can help to mix things up and create a change of pace in the classroom. Students seem to like the competitive edge to the game, which can motivate them to read and listen more carefully to texts whilst keeping enjoyment levels high in the class.