Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Only Connect and MFL.

Only Connect is a BBC Four quiz programme (we don't do "shows" in the UK, we do" programmes"!) where two teams have to find connections between apparently unconnected things. The game isn't just about knowledge but also, to quote the BBC, "patience and lateral thinking".

So, a TV programme with no prizes where teams (with captains who always seem to lisp!) have to answer questions using thinking skills. I thought I was the only person who watched it, but after a quick google, I discovered that it gets a weekly audience of 700000 viewers.

I mentioned on twitter this evening that I was watching it on iplayer and I've now discovered that many of my twitter friends watch it, too.

@bonjour_miss commented that it might be an idea to adapt some of the games for students to use in class. I've had a think and come up with some ideas:

1) The connections round

The students are given up to 4 clues and have to decide on the link between the clues. They are shown each clue separately and earn 5 points if they guess the connection after one clue, 3 point after 2 clues, 2 points after 1, and 1 point for guessing after receiving all 4 clues.

It could be something like this:

Clue 1 Clue 2 Clue 3 Clue 4
aller tomber partir entrer

Obviously, the answer would be that each of the verbs takes être as its auxiliary verb.

2) In this round, students have to guess what the 4th word is. Scoring is on a similar basis.

It might look like this:

Clue 1 Clue 2 Clue 3 Answer
chat chien oiseau

The clues are all animals kept as pets. Each clue has one more letter than the preceding clue, so the answer would have to be a pet with seven letters. In this case, it could be "hamster", "serpent" or any pet with 7 letters in its name.

3) The 3rd round is the connecting wall. It consists of a 4 X 4 grid containing 4 sets groups of 4 words with some connection.

It could look like this and can be made easier or harder depending on the ability of the group:

un chaise grand chat
super deux table crayon
stylo nul trousse cinq
trois chien petit tortue

To solve the grid the students have to identify the 4 groups and explain what the connections are. In this grid we have: 4 numbers, 4 masculine nouns, 4 feminine nouns and 4 adjectives.

4) The final round is the missing vowels round. Teams are given a category, for example numbers, and are shown words with the vowels removed.
For example:


would be "vingt-huit".

It would take quite a while to set up the questions but they could be used on many occasions and you needn't do all the activities in one go.

I haven't tried any of these, but it looks like it might be fun.

Thanks for the idea, Trina.


Clare Seccombe said...

Interesting! It's kind of like odd-ones-out and classification exercises, slightly different but using the same skills. I will have to make the effort to catch this show sorry programme.

My 8 year old is obsessed with BBC1's "Pointless" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointless_(TV_series), which could also be adapted for use in the classroom perhaps.

Steve Smith said...

Thanks for posting. Looks OK. Only trouble with these word games is that they do not represent language in real use, as it were, so I always have slight reservations about doing this sort of thing too often when time is limited. Tend to do this kind of thing at the end of term e.g. baccalaureat vocab game.

Dom said...

Thanks Clare and Steve for your comments. I think you could be right, Steve about using the tasks as end of term activities. I certainly wouldn't do all of the games in one lesson during normal term time. I think I may use some of the tasks for starter activities. It would make a nice change from the usual "odd one out" tasks.