I know I don’t often post teaching related things here, but I love this lesson too much not to post it. Last year I stumbled upon a free lesson by “Patrick-sensei” posted on his website. Though the lesson he posted was actually a Christmas lesson based on one of the Die Hard movies, I really liked the concept and decided to tweak it for my own purposes.
The lesson is simple enough, but requires a lot of prep-work. The whole this is a race. Students are broken into teams of 4 and each student receives a worksheet. Everyone in the team must have their worksheet completely correct before the team can progress to the next challenge. This leads to the team leader running back and forth between the ALT (me) and their team quite a bit if someone keeps making a mistake.
Meanwhile, I stand at the teacher’s desk at the front of the room, checking worksheets and handing out the next mission. Each team should also write on the board when the complete a mission so that other teams (and the teachers) can see how everyone is progressing. This is really important because once the teams progress past the first worksheet, the ALT really can’t leave their spot.
Last year I did this lesson with all of my students and it worked just as well with the low level students as the high level ones. (That being said, I work at a low level high school. So even my highest level students are still well below the average academic high school student.)
This year I have had made one new set of the race and I’ll be making another one soon, that way each grade has a different set and I don’t have to worry about anyone doing the same set two years in a row.
On the back of the second worksheet I write “Kenji’s favorite part of Halloween was wearing a costume.” Or eating candy. Or trick or treating. Really, whatever I’m feeling at the time. Then I cut up the steps and make neat piles for each team ahead of time. The students normally realize there is something written on the back of the papers and put the clues together pretty quickly.
The prize is also normally something like a ridiculous amount of stickers for their sticker charts. 1st place was 5 stickers, 2nd was 3, and 3rd was 1st, I believe. Though I may have had an actual prize like keychains or something for the 1st prize last year. This year I may have candy or I might make something.
Here are the challenges for the 2nd Years. I haven’t done this one yet, so I’m not sure how it will go, but I’m hoping the final challenge doesn’t end up being too challenging for them. I put hints in the corners to help them. (And I just notice that I have Y=15 twice, so I’ll fix that.)