This is another game that can be played with levels 1-3. It will get your students moving around the room but it is not as intense as flyswatter or the Verb Olympics. This is a team game. It works best when you have teams of not more than 3-4 students. It requires very little set-up and the whole game takes about 30 minutes.
The instructional goal is to get students to look closely at a text and parse the different cases, parts of speech, tenses of verbs or whatever you happen to be studying.
To play this game, you need:
Before the Game:
Write at the top of each piece of paper, one grammatical component that can be found frequently in the text you have selected. For example, plural nouns, accusative words, verbs in the imperfect tense, feminine nouns are things that might be written on the top of pieces of these pieces of paper since they are plentiful in many of the stories that we read. Then hang these pieces of paper up around the room where there is space for students to be gathered in front of it.
Thoughtfully pre-divide your class into teams. This works best when the teams are about even in ability.
To Play the Game:
Announce the teams to the class. Now give each team a different color marker (this will be important later) and tell them to appoint a writer for the team. This team member should have the most legible handwriting of the group. Tell all the students to bring their copy of the text and assign each team to stand in front of a different piece of paper. When you give the signal, each team is to look for the grammatical items in the text as indicated by the label on the paper. For example, let's suppose one team is standing in front of a piece of paper labeled "Feminine Nouns". Looking at the text, the team directs the writer to write as many feminine nouns as they can find in the text. After about 30 seconds, yell "switch" and direct everyone to move clockwise to the next piece of paper where they must find the next thing. Perhaps this paper says "Words in the Ablative." The group scours the text again and the team's writer lists as many words in the ablative as they can find. Teams cannot repeat words that have been already been written unless that word is repeated in the text.
Part II: The Competition Begins
Once each team has been to each piece of paper, (all around the room) tell the students to bring all the pieces of paper to the front of the room and tape them to the board where the class can see all of them. Appoint one student to be scorekeeper and have them list all the teams, as indicated by the color marker that you gave them. Read through all the entries on each piece of paper and ask the class if they think they are correct. If however, someone finds one of the team's answers incorrect, they can challenge it and get a point for their team. If however, the challenger is wrong, then they lose a point for their team. I find that students during this phase of the game really do study their competition's list of words. Suddenly students really do want to hotly debate if a noun is ablative or accusative. In class, this question usually provokes a bored silence.
The winning team is the one that has the most points. Usually I have the student in charge of keeping score announce third, second and first place. Afterwards there is lots of cheering. The entire game takes about 30 minutes. Here again, I must credit the amazing Linda Kordas for this idea. It's another winner - one that works well with Latin 1-3. The scoring system was my own addition. I came up with it on the fly when I realized I had too much time left in class after the initial "Around the World" In teaching, desperation rather than necessity is more often the mother of invention.
Tips to make this game work: