ESL

Dice …Why I can’t live without them!

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I am constantly seeing posts in my social media groups about what is one thing in your classroom you can’t live without.  For years I have pondered this question and answered it a million different ways. There has never been one thing I LOVE so much I can’t teach without…until this school year.  I have discovered dice and so many ways to use them to get students signing and using the language. I can go on and on but it is getting close to the end of the school year so instead of me rambling on about my love of dice let me get right down to why you will love them too.  

Top 5 reasons to use dice in your World Language classroom:

  1. Student engagement
  2. Getting students talking
  3. Creating a fun environment
  4. Detour from the mundane
  5. Giving options and variety

ICEBREAKER

Give each group member a dice and have them roll.  Based on what number they roll, students will tell something about themselves.

1 Something about your family
2 Silly human trick
3 Embarrassing story

4

What you love to do when you have time
5 What you are going to do this weekend
6 Pets you have or had

KABOOM!

This activity is based on the game Kaboom and was shown to me by my dear friends Jennifer and Shea.  Students are placed in groups of four.  Students take turn signing pre-created sentences or questions.  After the sentence or question is signed, they ask the group if it is correct.  If the other players agree the construction of the sentence was accurate, player will roll the dice and earn the points shown on the dice EXCEPT if they roll the Kaboom number.  The Kaboom number changes each round.  For example, in the first round if you roll a 1,  you lose all your points and then round 2, if you roll a 2, you would lose all your points. If the student signs the sentence incorrect they lose their turn and give the dice to the next student in their group. Rounds can be played for any duration of time you want.  I play for about 5 – 7 minutes.  Example of game

VOCABULARY REVIEW

Creating a grid with images of vocabulary you want students to know is a great way to incorporate repetition and FUN into a class period.  In this activity students would need 2 dice and a partner or group.  Students roll one dice to represent the number on the vertical row and roll the second dice to determine the number on the horizontal row. Students then sign the word in the box on the grid.  

Extension activity: Students can use the word to create a sentence and reverse the numbers to use a different word to ask a question to the group.  This all depends on the vocabulary being used.  Visit my TpT store to see examples of this idea.  

LET’S TALK

This activity has endless possibilities.  It is similar to the above activity where students will need two dice and a partner or small group.  Topics can be given on numerous subjects like weather, shopping, travel, holidays or daily routines.  You can find activities like the example below at All Things Topics and A LOT of other conservation activities.

lets talk

OPTIONS

Give students a list of in-class assignments or homework options and have students roll the dice to determine which activity they will complete.  This will pique student interest in the assignment and hopefully add intrigue and allure to the process.  Students can complete all assignments or you can assign a specific number to be done like 3 out of six determined by the dice numbers.  

1 Watch a video
2 Create a dialogue with a partner
3 Write a synopsis
4 Compare the differences and similarities
5 Debate the topic
6 Narrate the event

I asked parents for dice donations and I ended up with 50 pairs.  It is a cheap and easy way for parents to help out and a lot of families have extras around their homes.  If you can’t get any in your classroom, have students make some of their own. Learn how here.  

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