Classroom Activity: Call My Bluff

t013694a1.jpgSkirmish (n.)

Is it:
a) an Afghan food made of sheep meat and cheese?
b) A small fight or altercation?
c) The experience you have when you can’t remember a word in your own language?
d) A small rodent?

If you chose b) you might just be a native English speaker. Though c) would come in handy for me considering the increasing frequency of this experience.

This is an example of “Call my bluff” (actually I’m having a skirmish and can’t remember if this is the common name – so if any readers skirmish it, let me know) which you can use in class in a number of ways.

A) to teach new vocabulary or revise: give pairs of students a short list of words and they have to come up with one, two or three additional definitions for these words which they then use to test the other students. Of course one of the definitions should be the correct one.

B) To teach or revise idioms, proverbs or sayings (He’s off his rocker means a) he’s extremely tired, b) he’s crazy…)

C) To practice question forms or particular structures (used to, present perfect, etc.). Each student or team comes up with four sentences, some set number of which are true. They read the sentences and the rest of the group has to ask questions to figure out which sentence are true. I generally give the speakers permission to lie in their answers…so the others have to be good body language detectives as well.