Castle Game Pokeball Edition!
Name of Teacher: Elliot Yashayev
Class/Grade/Language Level: JHS ALL GRADES
Textbook and specific lesson: Review Activity
Goal: To review grammar points and test speaking and comprehension in the form of answering questions, all while having fun.
Preparation: Laminated castles and characters, around 10 pokeballs, a cardboard box, smiley faces, bombs, list of questions prepared beforehand. Prep time is dependent on how long it takes to acquire / make all materials, but after the first time, prep time is mainly about 40 questions for students to answer (20 minutes or more depending on the complexity of the questions / how far they have gotten in their studies etc…)
Class time: Full period (45 / 50 minutes)
This is a variant of the typhoon / castle game. You print out and laminate an x amount of real life castles (I’d suggest at least 6 in order to have at least 6 teams). Print out and laminate characters as well. This could be characters you like, but preferable both characters you know and like and the kids know, like Mario, Luigi, Maruko-chan, etc… (even spongebob works here). Then, have around 10 pokeballs ready (you’d have to buy them) and a box to put them in (any cardboard box would work). Print out smiley faces and bombs (or any other pictures to signify a loss and a gain). Put an x amount of smiley faces and bombs in most or all of the pokeballs. Then, put the pokeballs in the box.
When you get to class, put the 6 (or however many teams you’d like for this activity – I’d suggest 4 or 5 to a team for maximum fun) castles up to signify each team, and have the students go into groups. Then, have them decide an order for which they will answer questions. As they decide the order, put up the characters on the board, making sure each team has an equal amount of characters (the actual amount doesn’t matter much). Draw three lines around each castle to signify walls and explain to the kids that these walls are protecting each teams’ characters. Then, have the first person from Team A answer a question from a prepared list of review questions specific to that class. If correct (within a lax time limit – I usually hint a bit for them to have the right answer as it is more fun this way and can enhance their confidence), have them ‘attack’ or ‘defend’, in which they can erase a wall from another team or create another for their own team.
This is where it is a bit different from the typical explanation of the typhoon / castle game. Have the student pick a random pokeball, and ‘gain’ or ‘lose’ based off the contents. For example, one smiley would equate an additional ‘attack’ (erasing another wall of another team) or an additional ‘defend’ (giving your team another wall) dependent on which action you took before opening the pokeball. Honestly, explaining this game in words can be difficult in English or Japanese, so I’d suggest gestures and an example round to get the kids to understand. After the first person of the first team has finished, move on to the second person of the second team, and so on… I’d say that this activity has a bit of comprehension and speaking practice, but is primarily used to review material they have already learned and have fun doing it. In a 45 / 50 minute period, one game would have almost everyone if not everyone answer a question, so be prepared to have around 40 questions available. I also count points by having each character worth 2 points and each wall 1 point. Stickers to first place.