The problem with Chinese Whispers, especially in China where I teach English, is that children often try to get an advantage by shouting what the message is down to the front of the line, rather than whispering the message from person to person, missing out half the line. The children will 'win' the game, without practicing their English skills. 'Hot Marker' aims to stop this happening.
Get your students into two lines facing the board. If you have lots of students, then you can make three lines. Usually in Chinese Whispers, the message is passed down the line and the kids at the front of the line have a board marker and will write down the message. In this version, the teacher gives a board marker to the last students at the back of the line, along with a short sentence or word.
As a student whispers the message from the teacher into the ear of the student in front, only then, can the board marker be passed on to the student receiving the message. Keep the message and the board marker moving forward to the front of the line.
When the message and board marker eventually reaches the front of the line, the front student can write the message on the board.
The first team to write the message correctly wins a point. If there is any cheating, the board marker moves to the back of the line! This punishes any cheating!
Want to see two more awesome ESL Games for Kids?
Running dictation has been a staple ESL activity for English teachers for many years, passed down from veteran teacher to TEFL teaching newbie since the dawn of time. This ESL game for kids practices all four main English language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. This is one of the better ESL activities for kids out there.
An amazing ESL game for kids! Balloons going bang! Sentence strips flying everywhere and kids scrambling on the floor to make sense of what's come out of the balloon...sounds like a recipe for a lot of fun in your ESL classroom!
During the week, pop into your local supermarket and grab a bag of regular balloons and bring them into your school.