Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
elementary school to junior high school second year To teach asking for, and giving, directions. Giving directions 20 mins A blindfold, and misc. books, cushions, and/or chairs.

To begin, gather the students at one end of a cleared area and establish a goal at the other end. Then strew the books, cushions, and/or chairs between the students and the goal. Each obstacle represents a land mine that will explode if touched by a student. The teacher then blindfolds a student and spins him/her around about 10 times. The other students must then verbally guide the blindfolded student through the minefield to the goal with appropriate commands. E.g.: Turn right/left, walk 2 (or...) steps, STOP, walk back 1 step, go straight etc..

This can be made into a contest between two teams if the instructor so desires. The time required will vary with the size of the class. This activity is particularly suited to elementary students.

A variant of the above activity is 'MAZE'. For this the students move to two sides of the room, while the teacher(s) arrange the desks into a maze which snakes across it. Be imaginative and include a cross-roads, or a least an alternative route or two. A student is selected and blindfolded. The other students, selected randomly, give directions. The object of the game is to navigate the blindfolded student across the top of the maze without mishap. As many school desks are unstable, it is a good idea to have one teacher walk beside the blindfolded student and lend a supporting hand if their balance is threatened. If your JTE is confident, have a boy (directed by boys) and a girl (directed by girls) walk the maze from opposing sides.

Students enjoy this game, because they get the chance to walk on their desks. The direction givers also enjoy giving commands (occasionally one will command "Jump!", but the blindfolded students rarely do). The ALT should be prepared to take a turn blindfolded as a demonstration. If you get on well with your students there should be no problem here, otherwise maybe the JTE should call directions for you.

Teaching Tip

Use lower case letters when writing on the board (or on students worksheets etc.), unless a capital is always used. That is, for proper nouns, I, and the first word of a sentence. Writing in block capitals only makes things more confusing for students, who already aren't sure of when capitals should be used. Likewise, always write 'an apple', 'an orange', rather than just the noun. This helps lock into visual as well as cognitive memory what is, to students, a trivial rule.

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