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Language Learning Games and Activities
Note that very few of these are originally my ideas. They come from lots of sources. I just (try to) use them.

Activity Cards
Make pairs of cards:
One person wants to do one thing, while the other wants to do something else.
One person wants to buy something for one price; the other has a different price in mind.
One person wants to eat American food; the other wants to eat Chinese food.
Give the cards to the students, then have them act them out in pairs (then possibly in front of the class.).

Lineup
Have students line up in order of something they have to use language to find out - time they got up; went to bed; age (b'day); # of siblings; etc.

Treasure Hunt
Make a recording that students will listen to and have to follow the directions to find things/go places.
There should be some way to verify that they did it correctly, for example by leaving things in the places they have to go that they have to bring back.

Bingo
Create a chart/table with X number of words or pictures
Show the other (pictures or words)
Students match the two

Snap
Create a deck of words or pictures
flip the cards one by one
Student who calls it out first gets it

Listening Marathon
The idea here is to set up several areas or booths where students would have different listening assignments. One might be a radio broadcast; on a scene from a movie; one a song; one person speaking; one two people speaking, etc. At each stop, students would have a list of questions, or some other activity - as simple or complicated as you like. The students would have a fixed amount of time to cover all of the stations.

Speaking Marathon
This is similar to and, in effect, the opposite of the listening marathon. There would be various booths or stations. At each station students would have a speaking task. One might be to respond to a question, or engage in a dialogue, or make a brief speech, or to get some information. The students would have a fixed amount of time to cover all of the stations.

Survey
Give each student in the class a different survey item that they have to find out from everyone else
Set everyone loose, asking and answering the survey questions one on one.
Have each student present the results to the class

Jeopardy
This is a Powerpoint version of the TV show. Great review tool, though lots of work to set up. Here's one I did for second yearch1jeop.ppt; a blank one jeopardy.ppt; and blank one in a slightly different format.blankgame.ppt

Password
This can be done with the class watching 2 pairs for students, or in pairs.
Give each student a list of words, and her partner a different list.
Have the students take turns describing the word using only Chinese, while the partner tries to guess what it is.

Round Robin Chat
This is good at the end of a unit when students have a bunch of things they can discuss.
Split the class into groups of 4-8.
Give them a topic and have them have a discussion.
Good to give some ground rules (Chinese only; don't interrupt; respond to what each person says, etc.)

Stamp Game
Make a up a sheet with various language tasks. These can be anything - write a character in the correct stroke order; come up with 4 terms that use this character; translate a sentence correctly, how any strokes in this word, give a word where a tone change occurs, explain a character, culture questions, etc.
Photocopy the questions onto small pieces of paper - one each for each team
Break the class up into teams
Have a sheet to keep track of each team (Team #, Question #)
Separate the teams
Have one tam member come up to get a question and do it (or go back to consult if she cannot do it on her own)
Note down when a team answers a question correctly (answers must be presented to you)
First team to finish all questions correctly wins

Find Someone Who
Give students a list of 5 criteria (based on appropriate vocabulary).
Students have to question other students and find people who match the criteria
Teacher should model the questions first
Examples
Has two sisters
Owns a bicycle
Has been to China

Speed Dating
Give students a list of information they have to get from one another
Set them up in pairs to start, explaining where to go next (I line the chairs up in a row facing each other)
Set a time limit

Telephone
Divide the students into teams
Whisper a sentence to the first person in each team.
They then whisper it to the next person, etc.
See which teams end up with the same sentence as they started with, either orally or by writing it on the board.

Building Character(s)
Break down characters into components, which you write onto separate cards, a set for each team
Give each team a set and see which team can put together the most characters
Can also extend to multi character terms, which students put together once they've recreated the characters

Verb (or other word) Guessing
Use the term cha hu (any term will do) in a sentence to replace the word you want students to guess. For example,
我茶壶吃饭。(喜欢)
我每天晚上十点钟茶壶。(睡觉)
Have students repeat the entire sentence with an appropriate verb (word), not just shout out the word.
Can also be done in pairs.

Character Writing Race
Have two students stand at the board
Say a character or term
Students race to see who can write it first

Guess the picture
Give each student a picture
Have one student describe the picture without using the word
Have the other student guess
Reverse and repeat

Guess whether the pictures are the same
Create pairs of pictures
Create pictures which are similar but different
Have students figure out if they have the same picture or not
If not, have them find the person with the same picture

Describe and Draw
Give out simple pictures
Have one student describe the picture
Have the other student draw the picture
Compare

Put a group of sentences on the board.
Have students – alone or in pairs – put them into the correct order

Have a set of pictures that tell a story.
Give each student the set
Tell the story
Have the students put the pictures in order

Have a picture and an accompanying written description, with inaccuracies.
Have students find the inaccuracies and correct them

Give a set of pictures and descriptions to each student
Have the students match them

Picture bingo
Make bingo boards with words/characters in Chinese
Hold up pictures – an apple, a bicycle
Students match the picture to the bingo card

Make a Sentence
Put several key words on a strip of paper. Student has to use all the words in one sentence.

Vocabulary Matching
Students have to put together cards to make vocabulary.

Team Competition
Each team member gets a sheet with tasks labeled A, B, C, etc. The teams first work together helping each other, then each student with the A tasks competes, etc.

老师说。。。(Simon Says)
Same game, but in Chinese

Guess Who
Teacher (or student) describes someone. Students try to guess who it is.

Which Description
Put several similar but different pictures up, then describe one of them while students guess which one it is.

The Wind Blows/大风吹给
Students sit in a circle with one in the middle. The student in the middle says大风吹给followed by some category of person, such as 美国人 (though that would be too broad). Everyone who meets the criteria gets up and has to find another seat, leaving one person standing in the middle.

Who Meets This Criteria
For example nationality. Give out cards to the students, each with a nationality. The students then go around finding out which nationality each person is.

Draw, Describe, Determine
In pairs (or in slightly larger groups – 3, 4) each student draws a picture, then one student describes his/her picture and the other students draw it. Then check to see how close the drawings are.

Character Cards
Make words
Make sentences
Make the sentence/story the teacher reads

Talking around the Circle
B asks A a question. A answers B, then B tells C A's answer.
C then asks B the same question.

Ball Toss (Names or anything else you are learning)
Toss a ball. The person who catches it says whatever the phrase is, such as 我叫骆继。

Find Your Family
Create several different families, then hand out cards that describe them from the different members' perspectives. The students then have to go around and find the other members of their families.

Who has the same Blanks
Give out cards with certain attributes (pets, good at certain sports, etc.). Students must go around finding the people with the same attributes.

Typing
Give students a paragraph in Chinese and see who can type it into a document the quickest.

Bingo
Either create or have students randomly draw a bingo card with 9 measure words (or whatever).
Pick words that match the measure words, and have students mark their bingo card.
Can similarly use synonyms, antonyms, same radical, homonyms, etc. AND tones

Tone bingo
Create bingo cards, but instead of numbers place tone combinations
Give each student a card
Say words/terms/sentences with the tone combination. Have students write the number of the question (1 for the first one you say, etc. – easier to check) )in the square with the matching tone combination.

Password
2 teams, one member of each sitting with back to the blackboard. Write a term or phrase on the board. Each team gives their member hints to try and guess the term/phrase.

Fill in the Map
Make a map with missing labels. Use the existing labels to tell students what else is where, and have them fill in the map.
Pairs can do the same thing.

Merry-Go-Round
Write a character on the blackboard. First student must take an element of the character and write another character. Next student uses an element from the first student's character, etc.
Can also use a term, with students using one character to create another term.

Relay Race
Two (or more) teams. Say a character. First student runs to the board to write the first stroke, runs back and hands the chalk to the next student, who must write the second stroke, etc. until the character is complete.
Can also use a sentence, with each student writing one character.

Positive to Negative
Two teams. First person makes a positive statement. Member from other team has to change the statement to negative. Could also do this with grammatical forms, like ba.

Similarities and Differences
Prepare two similar pictures, but with important differences (i.e. that the students can express in the TL). Either in pairs or small groups, students find the similarities and differences it the pictures.
http://images.google.com /images?hl=en&q=spot+the +difference+pictures&oe=UTF-8 &um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi&oi =property_suggestions&resnum=0 &ct=property-revision&cd=1

Finish the Sentence
Student from one team starts a sentence using a specific pattern, like yin1wei4. Student from other team has to complete the sentence appropriately.

More Information, Please
Make a general statement: I have book(s). Students must then ask good questions in order to elicit more information.
Pairs – give one students a piece of paper with the information on and the general statement. Other students must elicit the remaining information through questions.

Draw the Picture
Describe a picture and have students draw it.
Pairs – give one student a picture and have the other draw it according to the partner's description.

Ask for Cards
Create a 'deck' of cards with each character twice. Deal the cards to 4 students and have them try to gather pairs of characters by asking others for the card they want. The dialogue to ask for and get or not get the card must be complete.

Building Sentences
Two (or more) teams. Start by putting a character on the board. One by one, students from each team must create a sentence by each adding one character.

Tone Slap
Make a (big) chart of all 20 tone combinations.
Each group gets one chart
Teacher says a word and students see who slaps the correct box first

Rap
Have students take set of vocabulary and make a rap
Give students a rap using certain vocabulary and do.

Pattern Drill Game
Teacher asks student A a question. A answers. B repeats A's answer and gives his own. C repeats A and Bs answers and gives her own, etc.

Write and Draw Sentences
Each group writes 5 sentences onto 5 cards.
Another group chooses one. One member then draws on the board and group members have to guess the sentence.

Single-Topic Jeopardy
For example, time. $100 questions are easy, like 'January' (一月). $500 questions are the hardest, like, 'Yesterday was Monday, June 10th, 1998.'

Measure Word Memory Game
Make pictures with different quantities of different objects that have different measure words. Student A shows student B the picture for 30 seconds. Student B has to say what and how many he saw using the correct measure words.

Colors (prepared in advance)
Report on the colors of your teachers' clothes.

Fashion Show (prepared in advance)
Student A does the catwalk while student B describes what student A is wearing.

How many/How much (prepared in advance)
Go home and look at all of your clothes. Make a list in Chinese and figure out how much they cost. Report to the class. (Teacher can then convert into RMB and make a comparison.)

Verb Charades
Play charades to practice verbs.

Draw the Action
Choose 6 actions; draw a picture to describe each one.

Build a Paragraph
Choose a subject.
First student says a sentence.
Second student repeats, then ads a sentence, etc.

Dialogue
Do a dialogue. Then have pairs replace things in the dialogue and make their own ending.

Guess Who (can be prepared in advance) or What or Where
Each student thinks of a famous person (or someone they all know). Student gives clues and other students have to guess.

Eternal Mingle
Each student writes down one question.
Students then they get up and mingle, asking their questions and each time exchanging questions, so they are constantly asking different people different questions.

Ambassador
One student is assigned the task of telling the class how great something or person or place is.
The other students have to disagree, while that student has to defend the person/place/thing.

Talking in a circle
Students form two circles, one inside facing out and one outside facing in.
Set of information to ask the student facing you.
Outside circle rotates.
Switch roles.

Charades
Leader prepares a list of vocabulary words. One student or a group of students acts out vocabulary words while the rest of the class tries to guess which word is being acted out.

Fact or Fiction
Student makes 3 statements about herself; two are true and one is false. Other students guess which is false.

Human Bingo
Teacher makes a list of attributes one of which is true for each student. Student have to find the right person for each attribute.

Round Robin interview
Students walk around interviewing each other, then one at a time each student stands up and other students have to say something accurate about him.

Toss the Fact
One student says something; "I like basketball." The next student says, I like tennis; he likes basketball." Continue around the room.