Word Order Game
This activity is used to help students understand how to order sentences in English and this in turn will help them compose correct structures and paragraphs; learning the S.V.O pattern. So, basically, I start with writing some sentences which differ in terms of complexity on a colored paper and I cut the words and put them in different order. Then students are divided into group of four to five. Each group will be given an example to work on. I ask students first to spot the subject then the other elements will be easy to find. After students finish ordering the sentences they will individually repeat it to master the pattern.
Purpose: The activity is used to make learners identify the kind of grammar mistakes they make in writing and speaking. Most of the time my learners tend to use the noun before the adjective like “car big” instead of” big car” or use the wrong preposition: “in” instead of “on” for instance or the wrong article. This word order game make them practice this order of words in English in a fun way.
Time: Time in this activity will differ according to the lesson’s objectives. If you are preparing students for a particular writing assignment like writing a short paragraph, this may take 30 to 35 minutes. In case you are just willing to break the ice, you can use one or two sentences in the first 10 minutes as a warm up or leave it to then end as a time filler.
Materials: Teacher will use colored papers, scissor, markers, and whiteboard
Procedure and Possible instructions
-Today we are going to play a word order game
-The class will be divided into groups and each group will work on a sentence. I will show an example here:
goes /his/ to/ James/ little /private/ brother/ Tom/ school/with/a
-Ask students first to identify the subject, then the verb and the other elements. This example will be done as whole class as a teaching model
The teacher can use complex or simple sentences. This depends on the level of his/her learners and what he/she wants to achieve or gain by teaching this word order game. In this regard, I would recommend starting with less complex sentences even with advanced levels and avoiding long ones where there is a lot of adverbs , relative pronouns and verbs because this latter will absolutely demotivate students and decrease their retention.
The teacher can ask students after completing the order of sentences to try to put them into a paragraph or some kind of story. So, here students are required to use linking words like: and/but/so/First/second/finally etc. Also, students will need to use some punctuation and capitalization correctly. When students finish all this , they will exchange their production , use peer feedback and assessment and read it out in front of the class.