We’ve all seen the different kinds of students that come into our classes. Some students are confident, some students are talkative and some students are reluctant to participate.
There is no one reason why a student is reluctant to participate in class. It may be that they are shy, it may be that they have some anxiety about speaking English or it may be they are not particularly interested in English.
I created Nomination Cards to give all students a chance to speak in a discussion. Each card has an instruction written on it to indicate which student is to speak next. This activity is less structured than nomination cards and many students enjoy the tactile and competitive nature of this kind of game.
Download the Dice Cards pdf
Print out the cards and cut them up.
Tip: Choose the Borderless setting when you print and you won’t have to cut the border off. Press Ctrl+P and click on Properties, on the layout tab click on Advanced and select Print Borderless.
For a class of 30 students you will need 6 packs of Dice Cards. Print out 5 copies of the Dice Card pdf so that each pack has enough cards for 5 students. This will mean that each pack will have a total of 30 cards.
I printed my cards on different colored paper, so that it was easier to separate each player’s cards. If you have color blind students, you may also consider writing the name of the color on the cards.
This is what one of my sets look like.
There are five sets of colored cards and each card is marked with one of the faces of a dice.
There is a dice.
A bag to hold all the cards and the dice.
How to Play
Write 6 questions on the board and label them 1 – 6. Alternatively, identify 6 questions from the textbook and ask the students to label them 1 – 6.
Divide the class into groups of 3-5 students.
Each student chooses a set of cards and lays them out on the table in front of them.
Choose which player is going to go first.
Tip: There are two ways to determine who will go first. The first way is for everyone in the group to roll the dice. The highest number goes first. In the event of a tie, re-roll. The second way is to ask the students to play Rock, Paper, Scissors and the group winner goes first.
The first player rolls the dice and then all the players try to move the same numbered card to the middle of the table.
The fastest player can ask the question.
For example: If the first player rolls a 1, all the players try to be the first person to move the number 1 card to the middle of the table. The fastest player then asks the question that you labelled as question 1 to a person in their group.
The player that asks the question then loses their card. The other players keep their cards. The next player then rolls the dice.
The first player to lose all their cards is the winner.
After a player has been declared the winner, the other players can keep playing until they have used all of their cards. This means that all the students in a group have to participate in the speaking activity. or the players can start a new game.
An alternative options include allowing the players to start a new game after the winner is declared or setting a time limit for the game, and declaring the person with the lowest number of cards at the end the winner.
The Benefits of Dice Cards
One of the biggest benefits of Dice Cards is that you can clearly see who is actively participating in conversations.
It also encourages students to chorus target language several times in their own groups while the teacher monitors and listens for pronunciation errors.
The activity is quite simple, so it is easy for the students to learn and it can also be adapted to different types of lessons and different target language.
Finally, I think the game is fun and hopefully those students who are less interested in English will still enjoy the class.
How would you use these Dice Cards in your class? Please leave a comment if you have any ideas or suggestions.
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Thanks for reading and take care!
Nomination Cards can be used in discussion activities as a way to give all students a chance to speak. The cards are fairly simple and easy to read because you don’t want to spend a lot of time explaining all the different cards. Download the cards, print them out and you’re ready to play!
The Dice Cards were created in Microsoft® Word® 2016, the images were created in Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2016. The file was then converted to pdf.
Many thanks to Owen Kozlowski for the idea as this activity was adapted from a similar game that used color cards.
3 thoughts on “Dice Cards – An Activity to Encourage Participation”
It is a wonderful activity which I use definitely in my class to ask questions with in the group
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These cards are great. I’ve used them a lot with reluctant KET students and they’ve worked wonderfully to get everybody speaking. Thanks for the useful resources!
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