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1 Become 2

A cognitive game. Students make 1 sentence into 2.


What is learnt?
Varied syntax and grammar, strong focus on punctuation , including stress and intonation.

How the game is played:

  1. Tell the students you want them to expand a short sentence into two utterances by adding one or two words,
    e.g. It happened a week ago.
    might become:
    It happened. They knew a week ago.

  2. Explain the rules to the students:

    1. The original sequence of words must not be altered except by the addition of one or two words; not more than two.
    2. The first of the two new sentences must end with a colon, full stop, question mark or exclamation mark. Students are free to change punctuation.

  3. Tell the students to make as many two-sentence pairs as they can from the head sentence 'It happened a week ago'. Go round and check that everybody has understood the rules. Help students with grammatically 'illegal' sentences.

  4. Ask the students to work in small groups and compare their sentences and the contexts in which they would make sense.

  5. Ask each small group to pick the sentence pairs they most like and to put these up on the board to share with the rest of the class. Students are often amazed at other people's creativity.

One upper intermediate group came up with these sentences:

It happened. Yes, actually, a week ago.

It happened a week ago? Not likely!

It happened twice a week. Years ago.

It happened to me. A week ago.

It never happened. Just a week ago?

Did it? Really happened a week ago?

It happened. A week ago last Thursday.

It was found. Happened a week ago.

It only happened once. A week ago.

Yes, it happened. A terrible week ago.

It happened once a week. Long ago.

I saw: It happened a week ago.

'It happened', she said. 'A week ago'.

It happened? What happened a week ago?


Acknowledgments: Thanks to Graham.J.B. for submitting this game to us.

02.01.2007. 06:35


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