*This activity was chosen by a group of elementary teachers as the main activity for their English classes. It is the best way to teach and practice Conversation Skills. It can be used for meaning- or pattern-focus, and for all of the language structures. Learn how to use it well!
Materials: target sentence, negative, question, command, or word/letter/number
Students sit at desks in paired rows, facing forward.
Write or post the Rotation Pattern on the blackboard (click for print 1, print 2).
Next to the above, WRITE also the CONVERSATION PATTERN OR SKILL to be used on the blackboard (so students learn to recognize it on the ConFluency Card Game cards. See Conversation Skills for a list. Click here for a Practice Order List of the skills).
All students LISTEN AND REPEAT the target conversation from the blackboard or text poster. You might ask for volunteers to first say some optional phrases for the underlined/colored section.
All students are given time to think of a sentence or question in the given pattern.
Students, in seat pairs, play Janken (Rock-Paper-Scissors, or R-P-S). Usually, the winner (W) begins the conversation according to the posted pattern, and the pair continue until they finish the posted conversation pattern.
When the conversation pattern is finished, the student on the rotation side moves one seat forward or back (according to the posted Rotation Pattern). The new pair again plays Janken (R-P-S), and does the posted conversation, as before.
The activity continues until students return to their own seats and sit down.
Try also to use the same words/phrases every time for students’ easy recognition. Using the same names as are on the ConFluency Cards will also promote easy success when students begin to play the card game.
Varying the rotating side, and front-to-back or back-to-front will help keep students’ interest.
Depending on time, there are a variety of rotation options: seats pairs can play one time together; seat pairs play first, then once more with the student in front/behind. Rows can be split in half, or played full length. When you have enough time to repeat the activity, in classes with six rows, the 2nd and 3rd rows, and the 4th and 5th rows, can change seats. In this way, all students get new seat partners.