Ways to Entertain a class of 10 year olds?

I have this delightful class of (roughly) 10 year olds that I teach on Thursday afternoons.

By delightful, I mean that there are actually two or three kids in there who I actively dislike. There’s a few who are obviously bullies, one little girl who thinks saying the most mean and spiteful things to everybody is the cleverest thing in the world, and a boy who just gives smart-mouthed answers no matter what you try.

They used to be hell to control, then one week they all of a sudden got much better and I was able to actually teach them something. Now, on the scale of heaven to hell, they’re sitting at around ‘Taichung in good weather’.

Our lesson material is basically: The CT (who doesn’t understand a word of my English O.o; ) shoves me the textbook, tells me to ‘review’ whichever lesson, and runs for the hills. I then get 50 minutes with them @.@;

The textbooks are TERRIBLE. Absolutely shocking. There’s a ‘grammar’ textbook where no new grammar is introduced at all, and the sentences just keep getting longer and longer throughout the book (words like ‘and’, ‘then’ and ‘so’ are introduced, but that’s it). Then there’s a ‘Conversation’ book, which is a 12-line conversation about anything and everything, with no regard for the grammar, vocabulary or anything else used. I’ve seen some bad textbooks but this takes the cake.

I’ve figured out and accepted (finally) that I am there to entertain and not to teach. This is a bit of a shock to me, as I mainly do tutoring one-on-one or one-to-two, some exam prep etc., and obviously you need to TEACH in those. My other cram school (anqinban) is great to teach and I love them to bits.

Are there any ideas to be entertaining, that semi use English? Apparently the teacher before me played Uno (I’d love a word with him about his class of ‘really good kids’ that he sold me on = =" UNCLEJAMIE!) but that seems a little bit too… not work-y to me. I’m not brave enough to do it (though to be honest, the boss’ll never know). The kids all know I speak Chinese, so explaining to them any rules isn’t a problem (which is great, because their English is really non-existant). I’ve been playing ‘hangman’ and ‘bingo’ with them, but it’s getting a bit boring (and their English isn’t good enough for Simon Says O.O; )

And before you ask why I haven’t quit… Everytime I go to work there, I think about it, but it’s actually really good pay.

OK, actually I have quite a few offers for privates which I could probably put on that day and would work out paying more. So what’s a good way to quit? When the last teacher quit, he had to help her search forEVER to find a new teacher, just as a favour. And I’ve never really quit a job here before >.< I’d still like to ask for ideas to make my life easier until that point, however! :bow:

What you need:

  • 6+ players
  • some A4 paper
    (I make photocopies of paper with lines on it. Per side, alternate one small space for a sentence/one larger space for a picture x 3.)
  • pencils
  • 6-15 minutes per round

I’m not the most entertaining teacher, but I play this game with a lot of my classes. It’s like Telephone, but on paper. I don’t know if it has a name or if it’s a common thing to play. I learned it from some art school kids who used it for concept development or something. However, it tricks my students into writing and helps me address what grammar issues they have without having to constantly red ink their work. For my weaker students, I’ve found that it’s really helpful to model heavily on the board. For example, I’ll give them a few sentence patterns to choose from, like these:

The (adj.) (n. - plural) are (v.-ing) (prep.) the (adj.) (pl.).
The (adj.) (n.) is (v. -ing) (adv.) with the (adj.) (n.).

If I have the time, I’ll elicit some examples and introduce new vocabulary if they ask for it. It’s a game that’s gotten better with time for them, because they know it’s better if they write kooky things or make it especially difficult to illustrate.

Everyone has a piece of paper and writes one sentence in the first space. They may not tell anyone what their sentence is. When everyone has finished, they pass their paper to the next person. Then, that person has to draw a picture based on the sentence. Next, everyone has to fold the sentence away before they pass their paper to the next person. That person then draws a picture based on the new sentence, which had been based on the first picture. Fold, pass, write, fold, pass, draw…. My classes are small, so I usually stop after three sentences and three pictures. Eventually, everyone gets their original paper back and has a laugh. Inevitably, they also want to see what everyone else’s original sentences were, which gets them reading and talking some more.

Sometimes, as a warm up, I’ll write some of the grammatically incorrect sentences that they’ve written on the board (anonymously, but one per student so no one feels singled out if they start asking each other who wrote them). Then, we’ll proofread them together. They seem to pay way more attention to this than any corrections I make on their ‘real’ written work.

Have you had a look here? viewtopic.php?f=35&t=31834&start=70