It’s funny you should say that …

A simple, rapid-fire card game for using adverbs.

PRACTICE:

  • adverbs (of frequency, manner and degree)
  • sharing anecdotes
  • listening for detail

WHO IS IT FOR?

  • Upper-Intermediate learners and higher (CEFR B2-C2)
  • Ages 12+

THE PLAYTHROUGH:

This game works best as a freer practice activity after looking at adverbs and as a review for narrative (past) tenses.  It also a useful bit of learner training as it requires students to think ahead and monitor their speech a little more carefully, as well as encouraging them to listen carefully to one-another in speaking activities.

You will need:

  • One set of cards per group of four students.
  • 20-30 minutes
  • On an IWB, flipchart or board write/display the phrases: “It’s funny you should say that …” and ” As I was saying, …” so the whole class can see them.
  1. Put students in groups of 4.  They need to sit so they can easily see and hear one another.
  2. Explain they are going to play a game using adverbs.  They will need the phrases on the board (see above).  With the whole class, drill appropriate intonation, pronunciation and linking for the two phrases.
  3. Groups shuffle the cards. Each student to takes 8 cards each.
  4. The person who last played cards starts.
  5. The object of the game is to tell a real or made-up anecdote while accurately using all the adverbs they have in their hand.  As each adverb is used they must play each card as they do so.  e.g. Interestingly, I was talking to a friend the other day and we spontaneously decided to go and see a film …
  6. There are two copies of each adverb in each deck.  The only way another player can interrupt and take over is if they have the exact same card in their hand.  If they do, they say “It’s funny you should say that …”, play the relevant card from their hand and then they take over telling their own anecdote from where they left off.  e.g. Using the example above, a different player hears “spontaneously“, plays their spontaneously card, says “It’s funny you should say that …” and starts telling their own anecdote.
  7. The player who was interrupted (and lost their turn) draws one card and the game continues.
  8. If a player who lost her turn has the necessary card to interrupt again get their turn back, they can do so the same way as in point 6 above.  But as they are continuing the same anecdote, they say “As I was saying …” and then continue their story.
  9. The game ends when one player has used their final card, and they are the winner!

BEAR IN MIND:

  • This game requires students to be a little imaginative and think on their feet a bit.  This can be a problem for some learners and regrettably, there aren’t many ways to mitigate this.  You could give students some of the ideas cards from the “Worst. Holiday. Ever.” activity. This will at least give them something to base their anecdotes on.

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