If you love Flyswatter but have had a hard time justifying its use with your new acquisition mindset, have no fear: Sentence Flyswatter is here!
Keith Toda recently shared this excellent game on his blog with attribution to Jason Fritze for the original idea. The game takes a good bit of preparation, but you can re-use your prepared games for years to come. Worth it!!
The Original Flyswatter Game
The original Flyswatter Game is simple to set up and simple to play!
- Fill a slide with vocabulary words– either all in the target language or all in English. Scatter them all around the slide.
- Split your students into two teams and have each team form a line, front to back, facing the board.
- Call out words in the opposite language as the slide: for example, if the words on the slide are in English; call the words in Spanish. If the words are in Spanish, call them out in English.
- The students at the front of the line race to slap the word that you called FIRST. If they do, their team gets a point! If they slap the wrong word, their team loses a point.
- The two players pass their flyswatters to the next student in line and rejoin their team at the END of the line, ready for their next turn.
The Flyswatter Game… in context!
Instead of spending precious class minutes trying to help students memorize vocabulary words, why not play the game in context? After all, we know that language acquisition is a subconscious process that is actually undermined by conscious attempts at language learning (like memorization)!
How to play Sentence Flyswatter
You play Sentence Flyswatter in the same way that you play the Original Flyswatter Game. The only difference is the slides!
Instead of words, project 2-4 images on a slide. Prepare about 20 slides per game– to do this, you’d want at least 10 different images that can mix and match in different combinations on the slides. It is okay if the sentences are repeated across slides. We know that language acquisition happens through repeated exposure to linguistic items and patterns, so ‘Repeat away!’.
Here is an example of a Sentence Flyswatter slide from SOMOS 1 Unit 2, El encierro de toros:
If I wanted to, I could use this same slide up to four times, even without repeating the same sentence!
Find a full, FREE Sentence Flyswatter game for a beginning Spanish lesson linked in this post.
How else have you used Matamoscas (The Flyswatter Game) in class to make it more acquisition-friendly?
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