Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
junior high school to adult Consolidate words, phrases, sentences or questions any (eg. to inf. + time-frame) 10-50 mins worksheets (and/ or OHP sheet)

Battleships is an adversarial activity requiring two opponents, either teams or individuals. Working the same way as grid references on a map (which is what this is) one player asks or says a target word/ phrase /sentence /question and their opponent responds with information regarding the accuracy of their 'shot'. Tell the students that their questions are English 'cruise missiles', which are aimed by targeting a point on the battle-grid and using the corresponding phrases to construct a question. For example: "Are you going to play shogi tomorrow?". Students record their ships' placement in the smaller grid, and their attempts at sinking their opponent's craft in the larger one.

(See some examples and a blank grid for you to fill in.).

This is an incredibly versatile activity, and can be adapted to the teacher's needs. Teach colours, numbers (words), difficult letters (l + r, d + b, q + p..), tense, or 'to' infinitive. Play can be one-on-one, team vs. team, teams vs. teams, or class vs. ALT and JTE, depending on ability; adapt, adapt, adapt. I find this game works best with one-on-one for junior high school second- and third- year. As Battleships can take up to an entire lesson to play, be sure that students have learnt the target grammar before the lesson. Battleships is a much better consolidation tool than it is a grammar point teacher.

After passing out the battle-grids, give a brief explanation of how to play the game in simple English, and demonstrate on the board using the JTE as an opponent. Target words, phrases, and responses are briefly practiced by the entire class in chorus. As students don't seem to have seen Battleships before, you will need to explain each step carefully. Make sure they understand that a 1-dot ship represents one intersection of lines, a 2-dot ship is two intersections, etc. Play a game with your JTE before the class commences.

Demonstrate how to play by rough drawing a battle-grid on the board. You'll need at least a five by five grid, as you need to fill in all four ships to cater to the slower learners. Next, get the JTE to commence to ask questions. For example, if your 2-dot vessel was on the grid provided, then your attack demonstration could look something like this:

JTE: "Are you going to study English tomorrow?"

ALT: "No I'm not. Miss! Are you going ...?

JTE: "No I'm not. Miss! Are you going to play shogi tomorrow?"

ALT: "(Kuso) Yes I am. Hit! Are you going..."

JTE: "No I'm not. Miss! Are you going to eat sushi tomorrow?"

ALT: "(Oh my God!) Yes I am!! Hit and sunk!!!" :(

Permit students 1 minute in which to fill-out their grids. Keep to this time limit! Alternative battle -grids can be found in the misc. section. See Rainforests for team vs. team instructions

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