Because of this, I'm always thinking of ways to get my class's attention in new and fun ways. I have a goal that every student in class should be out of their chair at least once each hour. I want my students to be opening their mouths and producing English as much as possible too. Games are a great way to do this.
One of my favorites is the chair toss game pictured at right. I use this game every time I'm introducing the pronouns "we" and "they" (see abc English Book One, pages 46-47). To play, split your class into two teams and have each team line up behind a chair. Show the students how to throw a beanbag from one side of the room toward the chair at the opposite side of the room. Explain that teams can earn one point when the beanbag lands on the chair, and two points when the beanbag goes through the back of the chair. Each time a player scores a point, pause the game and have the point-winning student say the score out loud: "We have 9 points; They have 6 points." Have the player point to his own group and the other group to emphasize "we" and "they". Teach students that when you are talking about your own group, you use the word "we"; when you are talking another group, you use the word "they". Continue playing the game and practicing "we" and "they" until the students have a clear understanding of the two pronouns. This game is guaranteed to get everyone awake and actively using the target English words for the lesson.
This game and hundreds of others are described in the Teacher's Activity Guides. All of the activities correlate to the words, phrases, questions, and sentences that students learn in the abc English books. You can also download free samples of both the Student Books and the Teacher Activity Guides here.
What are some games that you like to use with your adult literacy learners? Please share in the comments section below!