Teaching ESL

Months & days
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Author:  kep [ Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Months & days

I have been searching for a fun and effective game for teaching months and days...for two years!

Does anyone have any ideas? This topic seems exceptionally boring to students with every method I've tried. I will be eternally grateful to anyone who can provide me with a good activity!

Author:  mesmark [ Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:40 am ]
Post subject: 

I'm very hesitant to ask now after reading that you haven't found anything that isn't boring but...
Did you see the game I had posted in the months flashcard page?

The students enjoy it and it's pretty useful for practicing use. By actually using the months in various questions it's not only helpful in that they get to practice various questions, but they also remember them better.

There's also the game called 'Bluff' where students are dealt all the cards. Play starts and the first person must lay down a January card. Next person February... They must continue in order. If you think the person is bluffing you can challenge them.
'You're bluffing!"

If the person is bluffing they must pick up all the cards in the pile and add them to their hand.

If they were telling the truth, then the challenger has to take all the cards.

The goal of the game is to get rid of all your cards.

They can lay down more than one card at a time but they are inferring that they are all the same card, 3 Novembers for example.

For days of the week... I got nothing.

Author:  kep [ Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:20 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Mark,
I think the bluff game you're referring to is just BS in disguise, no? :wink:
I have tried this game before with JHS students, and they did enjoy it. Unfortunately, it failed on the effectiveness test. The game is great, but it's too easy not to use the English. Those crazy month names are so hard... :x

Wonder if it would work as a full class activity...I'll give that a think.

I haven't tried the game you've listed with your flash cards. I'll have a look at those too.

Thanks as always. :D

Author:  mesmark [ Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:34 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yeah it is just BS, but the Japanese kids know it as 'doubt.' I like bluff better.

If they're actually saying the names of the months, it's as effective as pretty much anything else for remembering. Concentration would also do the trick, but as you said... :smt015

I like the game on the months page www.mes-english.com/flashcards/months.php The students have to say the months and not in order. Also, again by using them in some sort of context, I think they remember them better. It may be a little difficult to orchestrate and manage with large classes.

I've also just played Bombs Away with months and dates as the variables for large classes.

Author:  kep [ Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:58 am ]
Post subject: 

Just wanted to report back on this lesson.
I ended up using the BS game, but had the whole class play as one group. Thw teacher and I played as well. I was lucky to have a class with fewer than 20 students this time; I'm not sure how it's going to work with my big classes. We spent nearly twenty minutes playing and the students really started to get into it...

The months are hard to remember and pronounce, so I think a class game like this is the best way to reinforce the words.

Thanks for your help Mark!

Author:  lenakorea1 [ Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:25 am ]
Post subject:  numbered months

i don't know how the months are said in Japanese, but in Korean the months are just numbers: 1month, 2month, etc. so young kids tend to have a hard time realizing that in English the months have NAMES! In my younger classes I've started by teaching them the months in order, in a song perhaps, then play some games where they have to match the English name for the month with the number. For example, I've had all the months' names on the board and when i call a number (1-12 obviously!) 2 students race to the board and the first one to find that month gets a point.
I've also done a sort of concentration/war game where the kids are in groups of 2-4 and they each have a few cards with numbers 1-12 on them. They take turns laying down one card and the first person to say the corresponding month gets to take that card. The one with all the cards, or the most cards when time runs out is the winner.
I haven't actually had to teach months to older students, so i don't know what would work well for them...

Author:  marcella [ Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:50 am ]
Post subject: 

Bip - Fizz

I read about this game somewhere in the internet:

have the student STAND!!!!!!!! on their chairs. Then, one by one, they have to say the months in the correct order.

St. 1 January
St. 2 February
St. 3 March

And so on, but with a twist: Before begining the game, write this on the board:



With the students designate one month for each of the words. For example:

Bip: March

Fizz: October

So, as the students call the months, they have to remembrer to replace March and October for Bip and Fizz. This would go like this:

St. 1 January
St. 2 February
St. 3 Bip
St. 4 April
St. 5 May
St. 6 June
St. 7 July
St. 8 August
St. 9 September
St. 10 Fizz
St. 11 November
St. 12 December

Students have to concentrate and replace the months correctly. If they make a mistake they have to sit back on the chair.

If you want to make it more difficult, don't write the words on the board and have students remember them.

This game also works well with the days of the week, numbers, etc.

Author:  Irynka [ Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

marcella, as I understand after December is called out the next person says January again and the game continues?

Author:  Aquila [ Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:18 pm ]
Post subject: 

For my five year olds, we played Duck, Duck, Goose, but said days of the week instead of duck and goose. They really liked it.

Author:  Brett.tesol [ Wed May 04, 2011 1:47 pm ]
Post subject: 

Scattering the cards and racing to re-order them works well.

However, the 'I would like a.......' game works well. You just print lots of vocab slips. Students start with a mix and have to get rid of all there cards. You could say they need a full set or a set of 3/4 of the same day. Then they 'rock, paper, scissors' with the winner saying 'I like .....days' The loser gives all of that card to the winner. If the winner completes a set, he/she gives the loser that set, if not, they change and repeat.

Author:  kiwiinkorea [ Wed May 04, 2011 9:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have just played a game which worked really well for practicing the months of the year.

I set a few different timers using an online stopwatch in advance of the game. All the students stand up.

Starting at one side of the room the students take it in turns to say the months in order (January, February, March etc.) with each student saying one month. I start one of the timers at the same time and the students can't see how long is left. They go through the months until the timer goes off. Then the last person to speak (or the next person who hasn't spoken if you prefer) when the timer goes off is out and they sit down. The next student starts again from January until the next timer goes off.

I am not sure if that is explained clearly but it worked really well as a speaking game and if the students didn't know the months well I helped them with prompts. All the kids were into it (even the low level ones).

Author:  smy2brazil [ Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:28 am ]
Post subject: 

For small groups I just get a calendar and put it on the table. I usually use 4 months at a time. Each student uses a coin as a marker and there are a pair of dices. Set a target date to be the goal.

Roll the dice advance the number of spaces. If you roll doubles, double the total of the dice, if you land on someone's spot, go again.

When you land on a square say the full date. "Tuesday, March 14th", for example. You drill months, days of the week and ordinal numbers.

Author:  TokyoEagle [ Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:38 am ]
Post subject: 

smy2brazil wrote:
For small groups I just get a calendar and put it on the table. I usually use 4 months at a time. Each student uses a coin as a marker and there are a pair of dices. Set a target date to be the goal.

Roll the dice advance the number of spaces. If you roll doubles, double the total of the dice, if you land on someone's spot, go again.

When you land on a square say the full date. "Tuesday, March 14th", for example. You drill months, days of the week and ordinal numbers.

Love the idea of the calendar. I was thinking that you could even make it into a snakes and ladder board, print out some calendar templates, laminate and draw on snakes and ladders with a marker.

I was also thinking that you could use this to practice the time expressions ( 2 months ago, last week, in 2 days, next month etc.). Same idea as the original game but the students have to draw an action card. They would then use the TL e.g. " 2 months ago i played soccer, or even, On March 15th i played soccer.

Thanks for all the great ideas in this thread

Author:  alislaura [ Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:17 am ]
Post subject:  Days of the week

Well, back when I was summer camp counselor we had a song, "Mrs. Shady" that would work well to drill the days of the week.

In fact, you don't need the song and you could use the basic the idea to drill anything.

But the song is fun if you can find the melody online somehwere. Here's the text and the idea. Everyone stands up and sings :

Oh Mrs. Shady
she was a lady
she had a daughter
that I adored.
Each day I'd court her
I mean her daughter
Every [all students take a big breath]:

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday Monday (etc.)

And they just keep going until they run out of breath and then they have to sit down. Whoever can keep saying it the longest without running out of breath wins.

It worked at camp! Ages 8 - 15.

Author:  Teacher Georgina [ Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Months & days

I will have to try out this BS game.... Thanks for all your hard wrk Mark.

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