I remember in sixth grade telling “Round Robin” stories where one person started a sentence and then we had to go in order around the circle, each adding a new detail to continue the story. These stories never made much sense, and I was always frustrated with my less-than-creative or overly-ridiculous classmates.
However, my colleague Tom likes to play the vocabulary version of this game with his students; he lists the vocabulary words to use on the board and has them take turns in a circle telling a story using the words. I was skeptical trying it with my own students -but it has quickly become their favorite vocabulary game. As you can hear from the video, there is a lot of persiflage in the process of creating stories about amorphous jelly or goo (can you tell what our first word was?). Thanks Tom for the idea!
- Project or write the vocabulary words you want to review on a board or screen so that all students can see the words easily.
- Split students into groups-preferably no more than eight so that the action stays lively for all involved.
- Have students in each group decide who goes first.
- The first person uses the first word on the list in a sentence.
- Going in clockwise order, the student to the left of the original student says the next word in a sentence that continues the story.
- Continue the game until all words have been said twice--to really drive home meaning.
*If a student uses two words in a row, s/he can “pass” the next round
*If a student doesn’t know the word s/he can be helped by classmates but then has to use the word in two sentences before the game moves on.
When I surveyed them after playing a three different vocabulary games in a week, the students almost unanimously chose this game as their favorite. When I asked why, they said they liked having a story to connect the words to-it gave them more context then simply repeating a definition or saying a sentence at random. I think they also liked the goofiness aspect of it. Finally, I can appreciate this much reviled game again!
MORE VOCABULARY GAMES