Monday, December 20, 2010

Comparative Word Chat Board

Like other game chat boards that I've created and posted at this site, this one has been popular among my colleagues, so I thought I'd share it with you this holiday season. As with my Irregular Verb Chat board, this one only requires dice and coins or colored pieces of paper for markers.

NB: When you print out this game board (jpg format), you should go to 'page set up' under 'file' and enlarge about 150% to 175%. Otherwise, the board will not cover the entire page.

After teaching the comparative, you can use this board repeatedly for review of the structures. This game allows students to work independently while you assess their skills and offer individual error correction. You can make the exercise as complex or simple as you like. Students enjoy this type of board because they can focus on the form and not worry about whether they came up with an interesting set of items to compare. I usually write sentences on the board to remind students of the various comparatives or refer them to a handout that has them in a table.

Rules of the game: Students should be informed that the parts of speech used on the game board vary. If they encounter nouns, they must come up with an adjective comparative structure. If they encounter verbs, they will need to come up with an adverbial form. If the words are adjectives, they will need to supply the noun forms. In addition, if they have to compare 'hot and cold', for lower level students, they should choose only one of the two adjectives and supply the contrasting nouns. For example, summer is hotter than winter. However, if you have higher level students, they must use both adjectives in a comparative sentence. For instance, Hawaii is hotter year-round than Minnesota, whereas Massachusetts is colder year-round than California.

Finally, if you have upper intermediate to advanced level students, you can use the numbers in parentheses at the bottom of the board to encourage students to use a particular comparative. To illustrate, if a student rolls a '1', (s)he must use 'not as .... as' (contrasting baseball and soccer: For most Europeans, baseball is not as entertaining to watch as soccer) and so on. If you use the numbered structures at the bottom of the page, it helps if you put some examples up on the board or give students a handout they can use as a reference.

P.S. If you see any errors or repetitions of comparisons on this board, please let me know so that I can correct.

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