Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Grammar Go Fish

Below is a tutor tip submitted last year by Michelle Kramer, a former Literacy Network volunteer who is serving in Ukraine as a Peace Corps Volunteer educator. She begins by thanking me for writing a recommendation for her. Now I have to say a large, hearty thank you to her. Thanks, Michelle, for this excellent idea!

I just wanted to send you my thanks once again and let you know that my Peace Corps service is going great. I have now been in my site in Ukraine for about 5 months… I am in a village called Poroshkovo of about 8,000 in western Ukraine near the Hungarian and Slovakian borders. I am currently teaching English at the local secondary school….

Since I'm writing you, I might as well share a great game that helps my students practice grammar. They can't get enough of it. Feel free to share with all of your volunteers. There is a little prep time, but the practice and fun is totally worth it. This was taken from materials given to me by Peace Corps/Ukraine.

Grammar Go Fish:

1. First you need an old deck of cards.

2. I write the vocabulary words on the top of Post-It notes, which stick nicely to the cards. Don't forget to make two of each word.

3. Deal seven cards to yourself and your learner. The rest of the cards are spread out in a loose pile—the “pond.” If more than two people are playing, deal five cards each.

4. At the simplest level, the person simply asks someone in the group, "Do you have any (jeans, potatoes, elbows, buses, etc.) ?"

5. To make the game more interesting and to practice tenses that you are teaching, try this variation: make pairs of cards with verbs on them. In order to ask for a card, you must have that verb in your hand

6. Ask by making a sentence in a specific tense. You could practice present continuous by asking, "Are you driving?" If the person has the card, he/she responds with "Yes, I am driving.” In that case they give the person any cards marked to drive. If not, say "No, I am not driving. Go fish,” and then the asker has to draw a card from the pond.

7. If the person asked has the card, he must give it to the asker. Each person in turn asks one of the other students for a card, using the tense in question.

8. When you have a pair, you lay them down face down on the table. At the end of the game, the person with the most pairs is the winner. For those of you tutoring at people's homes with children present, they can play too!

You can practice virtually any verb tense with these cards. I wish the best of luck to the Literacy Network and hope all is going well there! Best regards, Michelle Kramer, PCV Ukraine

Those of us who need help with the rules of Go Fish may visit this website: http://www.pagat.com/quartet/gofish.html. Thanks again to Michelle and to you, as always, for being a tutor.

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