Lesson Plan: Directions Dice Game, An ESL Board Game for 2 Players
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Material Requirements: flash cards, 1 game board for every 2 students, 1 half sheet dice print for each pair, one small scrap of paper for use as a game token, scissors and glue.
Warm-up and Introduction
After your typical warm-up, introduce the directional vocabulary with the flash cards: turn left, turn right, and go straight. For younger kids, just right left and straight work. Have the kids stand up and practice with turning to the left and right with you. And, stepping one step forward in response to “go straight”.
Segue the practice into the “Please Game”. The please game is, in essence, Simon Says using practical, polite English instead of an obscure reference to British history. If a statement starts with Please, students should do the accompanying gesture. If it doesn’t, they shouldn’t. “Please Turn Left”, “Please Turn Right”, “Please Go Straight”, “Please Sit Down/Stand Up”, “Please Walk/Run/Jump/Stop”, “Any student who makes a mistake is out and has to sit down. After a round or two, everyone has a more solid grasp on right and left and it’s onto the main game.
First, have the students get into pairs and assemble the dice. Tape works better than glue for this, but not all kids have access. Make them in advance yourself for an easier go of it.
The game is played with two students. One student is the “Voice” and the other student is the “Player”. It can be a game played as a team of two or a game played as two opponents. The “Voice” rolls the dice and speaks the direction that comes up. Ex: “Go straight.” The “Player” follows the instructions and moves the paper game piece accordingly. Ex: Moving the paper game piece one square forward. When the game piece passes over a number, the “Player” tallies a mark at the bottom of the game board. If the students are playing as a team, all points go towards the team’s total. If they are playing as opponents, the “Player” gets the points. If the “Voice” rolls “Stop”, the two students trade places (Voice becomes Player, Player becomes Voice). If a game piece approaches the edge of the game board, the “Player” moves it back to the “Start”.
The game’s rules are pretty self explanatory once the kids get a look at the game board. Play one rigged round with a big print out on the chalk board and a magnet for a game piece and most older kids will be golden. Mod the dice to add different directional vocabulary for extra fun.
Game Board and Dice
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Update: Here’s a new version of the game board with actual buildings and trees instead of shapes and numbers.