Capture the Flag in the TL

I got my students playing Capture the flag for the second half of class today. To make it relevant to Spanish class, we started by learning the vocabulary and rules in Spanish using this slide show adapted from this Wiki.

After each slide, we talked about how we’d play the game and I modeled the instructions. I also asked for what rules they wanted to add, how they thought we should divide teams, and what they wanted to use for flags.

After teams were created they took 5-10 minutes to discuss strategy (who would attack, who would be defense, who would guard the jail, etc.)

One of my classes is dedicated to staying in the Target Language no matter what I throw at them. Another one can be, but depends on the activity/day. If there is too much free time or open space (outside), I often have trouble keeping them in the TL. But, TODAY the threat of going to the “jail” for English speaking helped a lot and they were happy to be outside and seemed to understand that avoiding English would mean more outside time.

With both groups the first half of class, students were focused and excited that we were going to play, so I had their attention as we went through the words, phrases and rules. They already had an understanding of the game, so the rules were easily comprehensible in Spanish! Then once we went outside, they would talk about strategy, communicate with one another on the field and just chat in the TL.

I hadn’t remembered about having a safe zone around the flag, which is a rule they play with in their PE class. So, a few students had to communicate the rule to me and ask if it applied. They did a good job using circumlocution to give me info I didn’t have!

Tomorrow I’m thinking of telling the story of the games we played and then asking true or false questions about our game to continue the thread.

1 thought on “Capture the Flag in the TL

  1. What a great activity for the World Language class! I love how the threat of “jail” can be used to keep students in the target language! Also, I like the idea of asking follow-up question during the next day’s lesson. I love using childhood gams in the WL class. You might be interested in my blog It sounds like we like to use similar instructional activities. Thank you for this post! 🙂


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