I don't know what gifted teacher came up with this game. I first learned about it while working in Concord, New Hampshire but all the teachers there seemed to have learned it somewhere else. It's a perfect warm-up or ten minutes to the bell activity. It's a great break in a long block class. It works equally well with AP students as it does with sixth grades. It's dynamic, instructional, requires no prep and very little monetary investment.
To play this game, you need 2-3 flyswatters, an investment that cost me $1.79 at Walgreens. They came in a 4 pack, so I had one left over to use to actually swat flies. You also need a large white or black board. Hopefully, that object has already been installed in the front of your class.
To prep for this game, you write vocabulary words all over the board in large letters. I usually put between 15-20 words. That's pretty much it.
There are three versions of flyswatter that I play. In team flyswatter, I divide the class in two teams. In my class that means the right half of the room is on one side and the left half of the class is one the other. You then call up two players, one from each team, give each student a flyswatter. Both players must face away from the board. You then say the word in English and the students turn around and attempt to "swat" the Latin word. The first student to swat the correct word gets a point for their team. You then call up two more students, one from each team and call out a different word.
In the second version, which I call "Hero Flyswatter," you call up two students to the board and the student who loses, gives the flyswatter to another student while the student who won stays up and counts how many people he or she is able to beat. I find this version works better when time is short.
In a third version, which I call "Ultimate Flyswatter", I use in the second round of team flyswatter. In this version, I go up to the board with the third flyswatter and stand in between the two players. I then ask a student from the audience to call out a word. I tell the players that if they beat me, then they get 2 points for their team. If I win, then no one gets any points. At first they are flabbergasted. Usually, one student exclaims,"This isn't fair because you know all the words!" I freely admit that I have superior knowledge of all 20 words on the board. However, I'm also uncoordinated and distracted so I tend to lose more often than I win. I'm not big on letting students win but despite my best efforts, I tend to lose more than half the time.
Tips to make all three versions of this game work smoothly:
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