The Balloon Game is a quiz that encourages students to use their English to stop the balloons from floating away!
This game is a classroom adaptation of a popular Japanese TV quiz segment.
Around four celebrities or comedians stand within a basket with a screen of balloons in front of them. The host or MC asks a question and the contestants have to guess a percentage.
What percentage of people have travelled to more than 20 countries?
The contestants discuss together and one person guesses the percentage. The difference between the guess and the answer determines how many balloons are lost. So, if the guess is a lot more or a lot less than the answer, a lot of balloons are lost. If the guess is close to the answer, only a few balloons are lost.
The idea is to keep the basking floating the air!
I took the idea of this game and I adapted it to a PowerPoint version that can be played in the classroom.
- The number of balloons was reduced to 10.
- Each slide contains 10 question boxes.
- There are five yellow question boxes. An incorrect answer loses 1 balloon.
- There are five green question boxes. An incorrect answer loses 2 balloons.
- The basket drops when the final balloon is clicked. (The yellow balloon with the black arrow)
- The buttons on the left-hand side of the slide can be used to select the questions.
Click on the image or follow the link below to download the Balloon Game.
Download The Balloon Game PowerPoint
Note: Before playing the balloon game in class, please decide whether it is an appropriate game for your students age, level or cultural background.
Please watch the video demo to see how to edit and use the template.
The video run-time is 1 minute and 51 seconds
Using the template
- Download and open the Balloon Game template.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the slide.
- Add your own questions.
- Go to the slideshow ribbon.
- Start the presentation.
- Click on a number of the left-hand side of the slide to choose a question.
- If the students answer correctly, all the balloons remain.
- If the students answer incorrectly, they lose 1 balloon for a yellow question or 2 balloons for a green question.
- Click on the balloons and they will float away.
- Click on the last balloon (the yellow balloon with the black arrow) and the basket will fall out of the sky.
Note: If you want more than 10 questions, copy the slide a write another set of 10 questions. Questions will always have to be in groups of 10. For a group of less than 10 questions, delete the remaining question boxes and the associated buttons.
If you use information questions for the template that require an open answer from the students, you will need to make sure you have the answers written down either on a piece of paper or within the notes area of the PowerPoint slide.
If you use survey questions for the template that require the students to guess a number or percentage, you will need to conduct a survey in class before playing this game. The advantage is that is more personalized to your students, but the disadvantage is that you need to spread it across two lessons. You will still need to make sure you have the answers written down either on a piece of paper or within the notes area of the PowerPoint slide.
Established Fact-based questions
As an alternative to survey questions, you can play the game using pre-existing survey information and/or facts that are available on the internet. One of my favorite resources is the Guinness World Records website. The students can still make guesses with facts and figures and the game can be set up and played within one lesson. If the facts are interesting enough, they will engage the students and keep them motivated.
When creating this kind of game, choose the questions carefully and make sure they are appropriate for the classroom.
Playing the Game
If you use information questions or established fact-based questions, the game can be created by the teacher and played within one lesson.
If you use survey questions, the game will have to be set up in the first lesson and played in the second lesson.
The First Lesson (Survey Questions only)
During the first lesson you will need to conduct a class survey. The class survey can be based on questions created by the teacher or questions created by the student.
A few things to consider:
- The questions will eventually be typed into the template for the second class.
- The number of questions has to equal the number of question you will use in the template.
- You will need to provide the students with a handout with the pre-written questions or space to write their own questions.
- Students may work in groups to write down their 10 questions.
This example encourages the students to practice frequency adverbs.
- All the surveys need to be collected by the end of the class so that they can be used to create the game.
- You will have as many questions as you did groups multiplied by 10. So, for example, if you had two groups, then you will have 20 questions. This allows you to be selective of the questions you will use in the final version
The Second Lesson (All Question Types)
Before the second lesson, the PowerPoint template needs to be edited and the questions added. Make sure you have the answers written down or typed into the notes section of the PowerPoint slide.
- Allow yourself time to prepare the PowerPoint.
- Divide the class into groups of 4-6 students.
- Although this is played as a team game to keep all the students engaged, it is important to understand the students are working together as a class. If one team wins, the whole class wins.
- Select one group at random to choose the first question.
- The question is open and any team can choose to answer it.
- If the answer is correct, no balloons are lost.
- If the answer is incorrect, click on one or two balloons and they will float away.
- The team who answers correctly may choose the next question.
- The students may win a reward of the teacher’s choosing if there are balloons remaining at the end of the game,
Do you have any suggestions for playing the Balloon Game?
Please leave a comment if you have any ideas you would like to share or if you have any questions about the template.
Thanks for reading and take care!
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Can your students guess the mystery word before the spaceship flies away?
The Balloon Game was designed with Microsoft PowerPoint 2016. Animations and sounds may differ when opened in other presentation software.
Microsoft® Office® is a copyrighted product of the Microsoft® corporation.
All media that accompanies the Balloon Game is for educational purposes only.