If you’re looking for a fun review game for children, teenagers, university students, or adults, then consider using Typhoon! It’s heavy on the listening and speaking skills and it’s the game I usually play at least once a semester in the review class before a midterm or final exam. It’s so fun that students keep asking to play the typhoon game again!
Typhoon ESL Game
Time: 30 minutes
Level: Beginner to Advanced
Materials: Whiteboard and questions
Typhoon is a fun review game that any age group of students will love that requires a little preparation but no materials. Every single time I play it, my students always want to play again and talk about it for the rest of the semester. It’s better with smaller classes of less than 20 so that everyone gets a chance to participate.
Draw a grid on the board, marking one row with numbers and one with letters. 5×5 works well for a 30-minute game. Put in two or three of each of the special letters (T/H/V), secretly on your master paper, but not the board. On the board will just be a blank grid.
T = typhoon: lose all your points
H = hurricane: pick 1 team for minus 5 points
V = vacation: get 5 points for free
E = easy question: 1 point
M = medium question: 3 points
D = difficult question: 5 points
Fill in the rest of your grid with these easy, medium and difficult questions. Then depending on how big your class is, make 4-5 teams. They pick a square, (B-6 for example), then you write the letter in the box and ask them the question or reveal the “special square” that corresponds to it.
It’s certainly possible to focus on almost any grammar point or vocabulary. One thing that it works well for is a gerund and infinitive activity.
Have a list of easy/medium/hard questions prepared beforehand. If they get the question correct, give them the points and if not, erase the letter in the box and another team can pick that square if they want and get the same question. Here is what an example grid would look like (not for the students to see-only you!).
Teaching Tips for the Typhoon Game
If one team is running away with certain victory, you can adjust it on the fly by switching some squares around but don’t be obvious about it. For example, if the team who is in the lead gets a vacation or hurricane, you can easily switch it with an easy question. Then later in the game, hopefully, one of the last-place teams will get the vacation or hurricane instead (remember a hurricane is where that team can choose another team to lose points, therefore reducing the gap).
If you want to make it more fun, you can be kind of dramatic when writing the letter up in the grid on the board. For example, just do the single line-stroke to start off T, H, E, etc. and students will be anxious to know what it is (because the horizontal strokes of each letter are missing).
I also often say things, “Ooooohhhh, bad weather is coming.” Or, “Hmmmm . . . the sky is getting very dark.”
Make sure that all the students get a chance to participate by saying that once a student on a certain team has answered a question, they can’t answer again until all the other team members have. However, their teammates can help them by giving some hints if necessary so that the lower-level students won’t feel embarrassed or like they’re letting down their teams.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 148 Pages - 03/09/2016 (Publication Date)
In order to ensure that everyone is paying attention, I make a point of including at least a few questions directly from the exam that students will have in the next class. And I explicitly tell them this and mention that taking notes during the game wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Procedure for Typhoon Games
- Prepare review questions beforehand, as well as a “grid” with the appropriate letters marked on it (T, H, V, E, M, D).
- Write the corresponding grid on the whiteboard, but be sure not to reveal the letters. It should just be blank at this point.
- Put the students into 4-5 teams. They can rock-scissor-paper to decide who goes first. The first team chooses a square and then you reveal which letter it contains. If a special square, perform that action and if a question, ask the appropriate level of question. If the answer is correct, they get the points and that square is finished. Finally, if incorrect, nothing happens and that square remains in the game.
- The next team chooses a square, performs the action, and so on it goes with the next team.
- Keep track of the total points and continue the game until all squares are revealed.
Did you like this ESL Game?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Smith, Jennifer Booker (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 133 Pages - 03/31/2016 (Publication Date)
Yes? Then you’re going to love this book you can find on Amazon: 101 ESL Activities for Kids. The key to better TEFL classes with children is a wide variety of interesting and engaging games and activities. This book will help you get through an entire semester in style!
You can find the book in a variety of formats. Pick up a copy to keep on the bookshelf in your office to use as a handy reference guide. Or, take the digital version with you to your favourite coffee shop for some lesson planning on the go. Finally, you can listen to the audio version when commuting to work for a bit of teaching inspiration.
Whatever the case, get ready for some ESL teaching awesome in your life! Head over to Amazon to find out more:
Have your say about this typhoon game
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Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API