The use of the mini-ball in the classroom
Every teacher knows that the teaching that happens in their classroom can sometimes be difficult for young learners. The latter have to pay attention, study, engage, and complete tasks. Teachers most often find it hard to maintain their students’ motivation and interest. One way that teachers can use to overcome this tough situation is to ‘’play the ball with students’’. This simply means that they can use a ball in the classroom as a fun game to help students finish their in-class work. Here are four ways to use a ball in EFL or ESL classrooms to motivate and engage learners.
The first game is “Choose a victim”
This is a very good game of asking and answering questions. Students stand in a circle. The teacher might choose a particular skill to practice, for example, grammar. The teacher tells students to ask questions using ‘’many’’. The first student, who has the ball, asks the question, how many sisters do you have? and throws the ball to another classmate who must answer the question correctly to stay in the circle and gain the chance to ask another question. Once the student fails at correctly answering the questions, s/he becomes out of the circle. The game goes on like this until there is a winner.
The second game is “Basket challenge”.
This is another great game in which students can practice commands and make orders. The teacher sets a basket, and asks students to line up. Every student shoots the ball for the basket. If they score, they get to give the teacher or another student a command they must follow such as walk like a monkey, say something in Chinese, dance crazily, skip over one chair, sing, imitate a movie actor or actress, do some pushups….etc.
The third game is “Spelling circle”.
This game can be used with beginners or intermediate students. The teacher asks students to have a big circle in the classroom. S/he then says a word and throws the ball to one of his or her students. The student says the first letter of the word and tosses the ball to a classmate who is supposed to say the second letter and then throws the ball to another classmate. The more students make mistakes, the more the circle becomes smaller, till only one student stays. The last student is the winner.
The fourth game is “it’s a bomb”.
This a great way for learners to present themselves and their colleagues at the beginning of the academic year. Also, it is a fun way to practice or review previous lessons. Have learners form a circle. After you tell what they have to review, give one of them the ball, and say “it’s a bomb, the timer is ticking”. Use your watch or phone to keep time. For example, if you are reviewing vocabulary. Each student will start saying a word and pass the ball to someone else. The student who has the ball when the timer goes off is out of the circle. The game is on until one student is left. If teachers teach large classes. They can bring 3-to-4 balls and divide students by groups.
Please, Like our Facebook page and share this post to help others understand more about these techniques.