Saturday, March 03, 2007

Teaching using Solitaire

I was doing a lesson last week and it suddenly dawned on me that I could use Solitaire to teach English, more specifically, prepositions of position. I tried it using the Windows version to help my student with this tricky area. The beauty of using a game is that you can use repetition and not bore the students silly.

Lesson plan (for beginners)

1 Pre-teach the phrases.

on top of
next to

One idea is to hide a ball in the classroom and ask students to say where it is.

E.g. Is it under the table?
Is it near me?

2 Now pre-teach the other words you're going to use.



One idea for teaching the card names it play another game in which the students turn over cards in the deck and the first one to name it correctly wins.

3 Finally pre-teach the verbs needed.

click here
put _______ here.

4 Ask students if any of them know how to play the game. They them become the teacher and in groups teach the others the rules of the game. This could e done in the students own language if dealing with lower levels.

5 Now students get in pairs and play the game on a PC (or you could use a deck of cards, of course). The idea is that they have to finish the game as quickly as possible. The only rule is that they're only allowed to speak English. Anyone found breaking the rule can't touch the PC for 60 seconds.

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