Fun Games for ESL Kids Classrooms: Talking volleyball - ESL Communicative Game for Kids This is a game idea you can use for teaching. If you want new ideas, here is one. Read the full instructions below.
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How to Play the ESL Talking Volleyball Game
Skills to practice: Speaking and vocabulary practicing.
Levels: All levels of kids except toddlers
Requirements: skip rope, whistle, and one balloon or more just in case.
General Rules: Every time a student touches the ball, s/he must say a word or sentence.
Class size: 10 – 20 students
How to play:
How to play: Pick out three students, bring them to the front of the class and make them team captains. Tell the students they are going to play a volleyball game. The captains will take turns choosing students to join their teams until everyone is chosen.
Ask the students to choose their sides of the coin. Toss a coin to decide which two teams start first. The team that looses during the coin tossing has to sit at the side of the playground.
Define a playground and use a skip rope to divide the playground into two equal parts. Get a medium-sized balloon and blow it to almost full capacity. Tell the two teams to take their positions.
Tell them the rules- The teacher is the referee.
Rule 1- Every time a student hits the ball s/he must say a word or sentence under a chosen category. For example the teacher can say “when you touch the ball say a word related to animals” or make a sentence using the verb “like” or ask a question using the word “want”, -almost anything you want to practice.
Rule 2- Students can only hit the ball once every time.
Rule 3: First strikes of the ball must be upwards or across. This is especially useful when starting or restarting the game.
Rule 4- Loosing points. When a team looses a point the teacher blows his whistle, takes the ball and restarts the game.
(The ball cannot touch the ground. If the ball touches the ground a team looses a point. If a student hits the ball without saying a word, the team looses a point. If the ball does go over the skip rope after three attempts, the team looses a point. If a team looses a total of three points, the next team takes their place.).
Tips: This game can be played in or out of class. This is a great stirrer for most kids’ classes, but note that there are other variables you must consider depending on the students. Also, to avoid one student dominating the game, make a rule such that each student hits the ball and goes to the back. In some cases I (the teacher & referee) would hit the ball to the direction of the student who is not participating actively.
Caution: This game is exciting as it can be dangerous. I always ask my students with glasses to take them off. To avoid students missing the ball and hitting others' faces, make a rule such that hands don't go over the skip rope.
- The teacher might decide to play on the weak side to make it more fun.
- Some students might me physically weak to play- As a teacher I often took out the weak students and put them in the teacher’s team.
- Create more rules as time goes on, to save the fun.
- Watch out for students who wear glasses. I often advise my students to take off their glasses if they can.
- You might have many broken noses in the end if you don’t make a tough rule of no hands touching or crossing the skip rope i.e students must strike the ball from their own half of the defined playground.
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