EFL Advent Calendar – 6th December

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Have you ever wanted to have a big old snowball fight with your students? Now you can! (Albeit a warm, non-messy, indoor version). Today’s activity is really just a bit of fun, ideal for the last lesson before the Christmas holidays. Be warned, if you’re doing this with kids they will get very hyper, so put boundaries in place before playing rather than during! It’s also best to use this activity at the end of a class, or before some kind of calming sit-down activity 😉

December 6th – Snowball Fight!

For: Older children/teens/young-at-heart adults!

Level: pre-int + (with my questions, potentially any level if yougallery_a20gal write your own)

Time: 10 mins

 

First of all, you’ll need a snowball. Don’t worry if you’re teaching in a country where it rarely snows (or where December isn’t even winter!) – these kind of snowballs can be made anywhere.

These are the ‘trivia questions’ I used with my Grade 5 class last year (pre-intermediate 10-11 year olds) – christmas-trivia-questions-snowball-fight. Feel free to use these, or write your own (if you’re teaching very low-level students you might want them to simply identify an object in a picture instead of asking actual questions. You’ll notice that they’re very spread out, roughly one question per half page of A4. This is deliberate! (This activity is terrible for the environment, so use scrap paper for your questions, or at least make sure you recycle the paper afterwards.snowman-8-clipart-snowman-8-clip-art-xtcqwi-clipart It is however great fun!)

Cut the question papers in half, and choose one to be the centre layer of the snowball. Scrunch it up into the tightest, smallest ball you can. Then wrap the next paper around it, again as tightly as possible. You see where this is going. Wrap the layers until you’ve formed a multiple layer snowball.
The actual game itself is similar to ‘Pass the Parcel’. Play some Christmassy music, and get your students to throw the snowball between them.

When the music stops, whoever is holding the snowball (or the last person to touch it if it’s on the floor) takes off a layer and reads the question aloud. Whoever gets the right answer first gets a sweet (or other small prize).

Images from www.clipartkid.com
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2 thoughts on “EFL Advent Calendar – 6th December

  1. Oh this is a different ‘snowball fight’ activity to the one I know. It’s similar with questions (or more often facts for a Find Someone Who) on pieces of paper, but then the students have 30s to let off steam and use the paper for a mini snowball fight (with rules set beforehand like you say) before each picking up a paper and trying to find the author as a FSW activity. When they find the author they pick up another piece of paper until all the papers have been matched.

    I seldom use it – only when I know a class well enough to decide that they won’t get too hyper and only really if things are heavy, like they’ve been going through a stressful period with school exams.

    I like the multiple layer snowball though. It’s a different interaction pattern, but I’ll have a think trying it sometime.

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    1. Hi Elisabeth, yes, I think there are lots of different versions of it! I find it particularly helpful to use music during this one (or the version you mentioned – I’ve done that one too!) from a classroom management perspective. Making it clear that they MUST stop throwing when the music stops makes it easier to manage than just bellowing ‘stop!’ at the end of the 30 secs 🙂 I also make it very clear to students that if anyone throws anything after the cut-off time, we stop playing and everyone sits down, which acts as a pretty good deterrent as they’re normally so anxious to avoid it! I do agree, though, this probably isn’t an activity to do with a brand new class 🙂 Elly

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