Tower Tumble

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Name of Teacher: Alan Donald Murray

Class/Grade/Language level: All Grades

Textbook/Lesson: Any lesson.

Goal: Reinforcement of vocabulary or grammar points.

Preparation: Picture cards for vocabulary / written sentence fragments on blackboard for grammar, dominoes/colored plastic blocks (can be bought at 100Y store)

Class time: Approx. 20mins (Can be extended)

Stage of lesson: Confirmation or review

Roles: ALT – lead JTE/HRT – Any translation required + discipline!


Tower Tumble

This is a really fun and flexible scoring framework for a game, rather than a game itself. It can be used with any game that requires the class to split into teams and compete against each other for points.

Instead of a point / tally scoring system, a team member who wins a point is allowed to add dominoes or blocks to build their team’s tower. A time limit should be set e.g. 3 seconds. Within that time limit, they can place as many blocks as they can onto their team’s tower. This time limit increases the excitement level – if a student gets too ambitious they may knock over their team’s tower!

I have found this game to be a good motivator for all grades of ES. I also find it better to explain this game to the class BEFORE vocabulary or grammar has even been taught. It just seems to help the students’ motivation for them to have a reason for memorizing/learning what you are about to teach them. In this case, they know what game is coming up, they like it, and they want to win. So, even some of the naughty students will pay closer attention to your lesson, just to be able to compete in the game afterwards.

Tips: This may be specific to my students but this scoring system can make the students extremely competitive. Take care with discipline and make sure the JTE/HRT is on standby.