Grade: Middle
Subject: Language

#1575. The Block Game

Language, level: Middle
Posted Tue Feb 15 04:58:20 PST 2000 by Thad Schmenk (
Matsuyama Board of Education, Japan
Materials Required: worksheet
Activity Time: 15 minutes
Concepts Taught: Following verbal directions and answering simple questions

The Block Game

Here is a game I was taught by a Japanese teacher of English. I love this game.

1. The students will write the answer to a simple question asked in the target language in each box on the worksheet.
2. The students will locate the box in which to write each answer by following a series of short commands given by the teacher in the target language.

1. First, you will have to create the worksheet. This is very easy. Using a ruler or your computer, create a graph 4 blocks by 4 blocks. Really, you can make the grid as big as you would like. Your grid should look like an oversized enclosed tic-tac-toe graph so to speak. In the upper left-hand corner box, write the word "Start" in the target language.

2. You will need to copy enough sheets so that you have one sheet per student.

3. Next, you will need to create an answer sheet. On each box, write a question you would like the students to answer. You can make them as hard or as difficult as you would like. Try to keep the questions simple so that the students may be able to answer with a yes/no, one word, or by drawing a simple picture or character. For beginners, I like to ask questions like "What is your name?" "How old are you" and "Draw a picture of a dog." For more advanced students, I ask them questions such as "When is your mother's birthday?" "What time did you go to sleep last night?" and "What is your favorite ice cream flavor?" You should only write the questions on your sheet. The students should receive a worksheet with only the block grid on it.

4. Before handing out the worksheet, review the basic directions. e.g. right, left, up, down. Having the students stand and do a TPR activity is the best way. Have them stand and point to the left, look up, raise their right hand, look down, etc.

5. Pass out the worksheet and explain the directions.

The Directions: Listen to your teacher's short series of commands and follow along with your pen or pencil on your worksheet. Locate the block your teacher gives you directions to. In the block or square that your teacher gave you directions to, please write or draw the answer to the question that he/she will ask you.

6. Make sure the students are ready, and begin!

7. At the end, you can go over the answers and have the students check their work by themselves, or collect the worksheets and correct them by yourself.

Tip: For younger students, it helps to do one or two examples. First, give them the directions and demonstrate how you follow the directions. Then ask a question and demonstrate where and how to write the answer.