Simon Says

We all know this game from childhood; in France, it is known as Jacques a dit. It’s great to play with 10-12 year olds, and it can take as long as you like (just keep playing more games if you need to fill more time). I have had students be so excited about it that they have refused to go to recreation period until the game is finished.

One caveat: make sure you have something for the students who are “out” to do. You cannot rely on them being interested enough to just watch the others keep playing.

I usually begin with a warm-up review of body parts or action verbs before having all the children stand in a group and begin play.

Always do the actions with the students so they can see what the words mean. It’s also a good way to catch them out if they aren’t listening.

I sometimes have small prizes like stickers for the winners, but I find they are usually not necessary.

A twist: If one student seems exceptionally good at the game, make him or her be “Simon”. He or she will need help from you to give the correct commands, but it’s great speaking practice.

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