Author Topic: Apples to Apples  (Read 12992 times)

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Offline sarayannytillar

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Apples to Apples
« on: March 21, 2012, 01:49:26 PM »
I was playing Apples to Apples the other day, and it occurred to me that it would be a fantastic game for a higher level English learner to play, especially one who wants to focus on expanding their vocabulary!

For anyone who may be unfamiliar with the game – Apples to Apples is a game played with two colors of cards, red and green. On the red cards are various nouns, that run the gamut from ‘outer space’ to ‘Elvis Presley’. Each green card has an adjective, like ‘ridiculous’, ‘slimy’, or ‘terrifying’. Each person has 5-7 red cards. The ‘judge’ will pull a green card, and each player has to decide which one of their red cards matches the adjective on the green card, and then try and convince the judge of why theirs is most appropriate.

This activity would be great for a classroom, because it would not only focus on vocabulary building, but there is a reading element (each red card has a short description of the noun, that attempts to clarify who/what/where it is) as well as a speaking/communicative element (trying to convince the judge to pick your card).

The game also brings in somewhat of a cultural dimension, it would expose students to important American historical figures/landmarks, pop culture icons, etc. If it were in an ESL class, it would also be interesting to see how people of different cultures perceive the different adjectives and nouns – since part of the game relies on individual variability and playing to the judge’s inclinations!

I found a lesson plan describing a teacher who uses Apples to Apples in his English classroom in Japan, here it is: http://lessons.tfiaa.com/?p=146
 
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 01:49:51 PM by sarayannytillar »

Offline Randall Sadler

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Re: Apples to Apples
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2012, 08:57:34 AM »
Love this game!!   :marvelous

I very much agree that it could be very useful in a language class!!!
Randall Sadler, Site Owner
Asst. Prof, Linguistics, U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  www.eslweb.org
     

Offline tsong

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Re: Apples to Apples
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2012, 01:10:10 PM »
I never thought about the cultural aspect of apples to apples, but it is true that even I've learned some stuff from reading the short descriptions on the cards. Another way to use these cards is to have students randomly pick a few of noun and adjective cards, and write about them. That'd of course be a a creative type of writing. Or, if you wanted to control it a bit more, or make it not so challenging if they aren't ready for it, is to pre-pick for the students so that the vocabulary is somewhat related and can be reinforced with each other, so they can practice and learn it better.

Offline yuhuiho2

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Re: Apples to Apples
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 01:11:48 PM »
It's a cool game! I was also thinking about that maybe the teacher can do some expansions in this game, for example, making adverb cards, preposition cards.....etc, so that the students can create longer sentences, and maybe they can make stories based on these cards!

Offline Sophie

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Re: Apples to Apples
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 01:13:21 PM »
As a nonnative speaker, I never heard this activity before, but it has already attracted me so much!  Using this interesting game as an in-class activity will definitely help students get to know more vocabularies and  how to use them appropriately.  ;) ;) ;)

Offline MollyHammer8

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Re: Apples to Apples
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 12:40:42 PM »
I agree with everyone else! I love this game and it definitely has the potential for intrinsic motivation if the game gets really competitive. It also seems like the general premise of the game could be adapted to teach specific lessons, like if a teacher made their own "red" and "green" cards to fit the topic of the day.