One of my favorite quick games to play is what I call Reacción en Cadena. It is kind of like the game telephone that you might have played as a kid. The best part about this game is that you stay in the target language the entire time!
Here’s what you need:
- groups of 4 students
- one dry erase board, eraser and marker for each group
- maraca / bell
Here’s how you play:
- Divide the class into groups of four students.
- If you have an odd number of students, have the one or two extra kids pair up with a peer and work as a team.
- Make sure that each group has one dry erase board, marker and eraser.
- Have students sit in a row.
- The first student in the row starts with the dry erase board, marker and eraser.
- Instruct all students to close their eyes / put their heads down EXCEPT for the first students in each row (those with the dry erase boards).
- While everyone’s eyes are closed (except for the first students in each row) the teacher writes down a word that you have been practicing on the board. The first students in each row then have about 30 seconds to draw a picture of that word.
- They can only draw a picture and cannot add any words.
- After about 30 seconds, shake a maraca or ring a bell. Then, the second person in each row will take the boards from the person in front of / next to them. They look at the picture, erase it, and then have about 15 seconds to write the word that they think that picture represents.
- Shake the maraca / ring the bell again. Now the third person in each row will take the board, look at the word that the person in front of them wrote, erase it, and will have about 30 seconds to draw a picture to represent that word.
- Finally, shake the maraca / ring the bell again and the last person will open their eyes. They get the board, look at the picture, erase it and have about 15 seconds to write the word that they think the picture represents.
- After about 15 seconds, shake the maraca, have the last students raise their boards, and compare their answers to what the real word was.
- Next round, have the students swap seats so that they have a new role.
- You can play with more than four people in each group, just try to make the groups even.
- You students can sit in a row, circle, next to one another or whatever placement you want. I’ve done this in rows with one in front of the other, tables with four students in one group, and side by side rows.