True or False Guessing Game (AKA "Rope of Death")
ESL Level: Beginner (elementary school children)
Game Strengths: Fun, Communicative, Unconventional
Game Materials: Rope (optional)
This is a strange but fun game I adapted from an activity I saw while teaching elementary school in Japan. Basically, the teacher says a statement that could be either true or false. The students are then given a few seconds to decide whether they think it is true or false, and move to the according area (the 'true' or 'false' side). Winners get a point.
Game Execution (with rope option)
1) Say an example sentence to the class such as "I am 20 years old" or "I am from China." Ask the students to raise their hands if they think its true and keep them down if they think it is false. Once they've gotten the idea of true or false, tell them you're going to play a True or False game.
2) Tie a rope to a table or something sturdy. Lay it slack across the room and hold the other end, as professionally illustrated below. Get your students to straddle the rope (stand with one leg on both sides). Like this:
3) Explain that you will say a sentence, and if they think it is true, they should move to the right side (the "true" side) and the students who think is false should move to the other. (To designate sides, I wrote 'True' and 'False' on opposite sides of the blackboard that was directly behind me).
4) Say "My favorite color is (insert your favorite color here). 1-2-3" and then gently pull the rope taut (tight). Announce that the answer is 'True'. The students caught in the middle or on the wrong side either do not get a point or lose a point (you decide). The students who moved to the correct side get a point. The first student to get 3 points replaces you as the speaker.
Game Notes & Warnings:
- If you are concerned about safety or don't have a rope, the entire rope concept can be eliminated. You could simply have them move to one side of the classroom (or touch a wall) that is designated as the true or false side. Having them move around though is what makes it a game; it would not be as fun if they merely raised their hands.
- I added the "1-2-3" to give them time to think.
- To awards points, I used small lima beans.
- If you choose to use a rope, don't pull it so hard (or high) that it hurts the students.
I have played this game three times at my school, and it has been fun each time.
– Matthew Barton / Englishcurrent.com