Swimming With Sharks

Download Swimming With Sharks and try it out in class!

On the lookout for games…

In my kids classes I am always looking for ways to anchor the question and answer dialogues they are learning with ‘real world’ application. Of course, there’s only so much that the ‘real world’ actually enters the classroom to allow repeated practice of such basic dialogues as What’s your name?, How old are you?, Where do you live?, Do you like…?. Do you have…?, What’s this?, and What’s that?  So I’m always on the lookout for games that can serve this purpose. Swimming with Sharks is one that I regularly use, and that the students really love to play.

Swimming With Sharks is a game that is introduced in Phonics & Spelling, Book 2, and is designed to get the students to practice reading and speaking the three-letter words they are learning. The game is very simple. Students place a game piece (an erasure, or some other small personal object) on Start. Then, each student takes turns rolling a die and moving their game piece that many places on the board. They have to then say the word they land on out loud.  If they land on “net”, they can climb over the net to the next space, thereby getting further along on the board to the goal of reaching the safe space of the ship. If they land on “red”, they must go back to the previous “red”, or back to start. And if they land on the “shark’s nose”, they must go back to start.

To use the same game to practice dialogues, I use a separate Swimming With Sharks game board that has blank spaces along the board instead of words. When students land on a blank space, they must ask another player a question. If the student cannot think of a question to ask, he or she must go back the same number rolled on the die. Likewise, if the student who is asked cannot answer the question, he or she must move their game piece back that many spots on the board. The same rules apply for landing on “net”, the color “red,” and “shark’s nose” as in the game in Phonics & Spelling, Book 2.

What games do you use to get your kids talking?

This “blank” version of Swimming With Sharks can be used with any set of questions-and-answer dialogues you want your students to practice. Download it!  It’s on us.   Let us know what games you use to get your students talking!

If you like to play board games in your classes, take a look at this Blank Game Boards Bundle from Donald’s English Classroom.  It includes Swimming With Sharks and a whole lot more!

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