Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Domination Game by @teflgeek

I learned about this fantastic game accidentally while visiting the teflgeek's blog. Great blog with a lot of useful ideas!
I immediately saw how I could use it with my students for revising certain grammar or vocabulary items.

The game is played in teams, four to be precise, and the goal is to win as many squares as possible.

I made a grid of 30 squares with numbers for the questions and some additional "home" and "centre" squares. I prepared a list of questions 1-30 which had to be answered by looking for answers in the course book.
The teams picked a colour and took turns in choosing a square and providing the correct answer. If the answer was right, the square took the team's colour. If the answer was wrong, the team lost the move and the square remained blank.

To make the game a little more challenging, the teams could get an additional point if they won 3 squares in a row (see squares 2, 11 and base) or 3 squares touching with their sides in a different configuration. They could also win one of the central squares if they surrounded it "by their colour" (see squares 9, 3, 15 + the central square). They could also surround the opponent's square on 3 sides and then the square was won over and changed its colour.
The original game was slightly different but I easily adapted it to the level of my 14 year old students.

To tell the truth, counting the points for me was the trickiest part as I was sitting at the computer and using Paint to change the colour of the squares right away plus checking if the answers given by the students were correct. In the end students helped me to count the points and made sure I did not overlook anything.
This is how the grid looked at the end of the game.

My biggest thanks to David Petrie whose idea I took, adapted and used very successfully. My students loved the game and, as usual in such cases, asked for more. I am thinking about it.

Just one question to @teflgeek. Why "domination"?


David Petrie said...

Hi there,
well, to answer your question - in the original game, it was possible for teams to "flip" an opponent's square by surrounding it on two sides, thus teams could win more squares than just by answering questions and introducing a tactical element. The team with the most squares was the winner, so the aim of the game was to "dominate" the board!
I'm glad you like it and I like your adaptation!
All the best,

Clix said...

So if 9, 3, 15 makes that central square green, why does 10, 30, 16 not make 18 red? Or 5, 12, 14 not make 1 blue?

Baiba Svenca said...

Haha Clix, you got it! That was what nearly caused me headache. If you start re-colouring the squares at the end, you never stop until all the board is one colour. (I tried!) Besides, 18 was "won" AFTER the reds on 10,16,30. I agreed with my students that the team gets additional points (if possible) immediately after their move, not later.
Thanks for stopping by :)

Clix said...

It might be interesting to see how it would affect the game if to change a square's color you had to have three SIDES - corner-touching doesn't count. That would mean that external squares would have a higher tactical value as they couldn't be changed...

Intriguing! :D

Baiba Svenca said...

Great suggestion! But it IS possible to surround the outer square (except the corner one) on 3 sides! I need to think of a way how/when to give additional points.
I'm almost sure I am going to play the game with a different class (have to prepare a new question list) to try a different scoring system.

Brad Patterson said...

Oh... I'm a fan and will have to give it a try for my next review before an exam ! Cheers, brad

Carla Arena said...

Lovely, Baiba. Will test it when the school year begins. Thanks for sharing it.

Cheers from Brazil.

Baiba Svenca said...

Thanks Brad and Carla! I'd appreciate a tip or a suggestion regarding the scoring system :)

Ann said...

Hi Baiba,

Like the idea for the game a lot. Have just posted a link to this on the TeachingEnglish facebook page if you'd like to check there for comments.

Please feel free to post on the page whenever you have anything you'd like to share.