Teach English in Chiyan Zhen - Ankang Shi

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It is been over a decade and I can vividly remember every game I played in primary school. My teachers especially my grade two, Miss Wendy made learning so easy and fun through games. Gosh, I could not imagine how lessons would have been without those interesting games. The reality today is that games have become integral part of our daily life particularly in school. They serve as tools used to assist the learner to acquire and master some learning skills whilst they help teachers to achieve their teaching goals. Games have no age restrictions that is anyone can play to relieve stress and also to maintain social connections with other people. There are different kinds with different rulesand at different levels. Some of these are played indoor and others are played outdoor. This essay focuses on indoor games. Indoor games are very convenient for teachers to manage. Children can learn and develop multipleskills such as creativity, critical thinking, team spirit and listening skills. Last year, I developed five new games for my lessons and I would like to write about them in this essay. And they contributed to learning greatly. 1. Jump, Hit and Say (HJS) game. This game was developed for preschoolers who were learning how to say their ages in English. I taught them numbers (1-5) first, then they have to learn to say how old they were per my teaching objective for the week. For instance, I’m four years old. So, I used repetition method to teach them the sentence verbally. How to play the game. a. Choose flash cards (1-5). b. Display on a wall. c. Select 5 play sticks d. Divide class into 5 age groups e. A student asks the question: ‘How old are you?’ f. The student who jumps, hits and says ‘I’m ...’first and loud, wins. g. Each group plays in turns Rules: The student must jump, hit and repeat the sentence at the same time. He must say it loud and clear. Game points: 5pts per hit This game improves students’ cognitive and psychomotor skills. Students are able to reproduce what has been taught easily with fun. The running and jumping will keep them healthy. Also, it builds social skill because they learn to work in groups. 2. Cup and Pitch game The cup and pitch game help to identify words easily. It is ideal for practicing new words and sentences. This game help learners to accept tasks as challenges in life and learn how to cope with others in problem-solving. It emphasizes on reading and speaking abilities. They learn to be patient and wait for their turns. Most children like this game a lot. How to play a. Put students into 2 teams. b. Each cup on the pitch represents a team player c. Place flash cards under each cup d. Select a striker from both sides e. A striker from Team A kick a ball against an opponent’s cup. f. Team B will have to say all the words accordingly and vice versa g. A team that is able to say all words correctly, takes the cup for the day! This game follows the same rules in soccer. 3.Speed alphabet smash relay. This game is geared toward recognition of the letters of the alphabet, their sounds and easy words beginning with the letters. It is essential for listening. It is a relay hence improves social skills as participants have to keep seated and wait their turn.They also have to hand over the smash stick to the next person inline whichincreasesteam work. It also improves psychomotor skills. HOW TO PLAY 1. Divide class into two groups, ask themtokeep seated and hand the first member of eachgroup a moustache smash stick. 2. Spread yourpre- taught alphabet flashcards on a table in no particular order. 3. When groups are ready, call out a letter and the kids with the smash stick are to run smash the flashcard with the letter. when they have smashed the correct card, they are to take it with them to their group and hand over the stick to the next person, who is to cone and try to smash the next letter mentioned. 4.After the whole game is over every group mentions the letters on the flashcards they have and then count to know which group won the game. 5. Sinking Island This game is designed for elementary and intermediate English learners. It is used to identify words easily. The learners accept each turn of events as achallenge and find ways to stay alive on a sinking island. It improves team work and speaking skills. HOW TO PLAY 1. Divide class into 3 or 4 groups of threes or fours. 2. Place on the floor a piece of paper for each group ( one that can accommodate 3 or 4 people at a time) to serve as the island. 3. Have each group stand in their island telling them it is prohibited to stand anywhere else but on the island since that means the offender has fallen into the water. 4. Show pictures of pre-learned words or sentences on a projector randomly. 5. The first group to recognize and say it out loud correctly, gets to keep their island intact. The other groups have to fold their papers in half and manage to stand on it. NB:Anyone having a foot outside the island is considered to have drowned and have to leave the group. The winning group is the one with least folds and most members on the island. From the above discussion, it only confirms the effect on games on learning. Simple actions such as stamps, cycling, jumps and skips are very useful activities which help to develop students' psychomotor skill. Further, many children acquire critical thinking and problem-solving skills by playing games. Also, they learn patience and respect in the process of playing games. Thus, they learn to take their turns and be considerate of others in competitions. In addition, they develop social skills which help them to make friends easily and support others in team work. They become more disciplined because they learn to follow rules and regulations of the games. Furthermore, games enable teachers and students to keep fit always because this period serves as a time for both to exercise. Lastly, games build on the creativity on teachers and students. For instance, many teachers and students have been able to come up with new game ideas while playing. ln a nutshell, incorporating games in teaching is essential to any productive learning. It is said that, ”All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy".