This activity provides engaging reading practice in a communicative setting. Each student receives a card describing an action they are to perform and the action they will observe that triggers their response. To start the activity the teacher says something like: “Let’s begin.” One student will have a card that tells what action to do or what to say when the teacher says “Let’s Begin.” All the other actions follow in a sequence from the first one. The object of the game is to proceed through the entire series without making mistakes and breaking the chain.
Create the action chain:
- Write commands on three-by-five-inch note cards, one command on the bottom half of each card. Be sure to make enough cards so that there is one card for each member of the class.
- Place the cards in an interesting sequence, including a beginning, an end, and surprises.
- Then write the first half of each card in the form of a subordinate clause referring to the card just preceding it (see example).
- Type / write a list of the card instructions in the correct order for teacher reference during the game and for future use.
Shuffle the cards and distribute to students.
Carry out the action chain:
- Give each student a card describing an action they are to perform and the action they will observe that triggers their response. (See example.)
- Instruct students not to show their card to anyone else, to listen and watch very carefully, and to wait to start their action until at least two seconds after the preceding action has been completed.
- Individual cards for each student in the class. Master list of actions for the teacher.
You need to have a list of the actions in the correct order so that if the chain is broken, you will know what went wrong. If the chain breaks, the entire sequence starts over from the beginning, and the suspense grows.
You can make the game more complicated and longer if you make two cards for each student in the class.
Students can work in groups to create their own action chains.