Star Groups – Can you sort the language?

Star Groups is game inspired by a TV game show called Wipeout. The activity encourages students to categorize or show greater awareness of the target language.

Back in October 2015, ELTplanning.com wrote an article entitled 30 activities inspired by game shows. One of the game shows the author mentions is called Wipeout. Wipeout presented answers on a screen and the players had to determine if they fit within a specific category or not. The author of the post says that this kind of activity is…

Good for… introducing topic (activating schemata), reviewing vocabulary – eltplanning.com

So, I decided to create a PowerPoint template inspired from this TV show that could be adapted to any topic or theme and hopefully raise students’ awareness of language and help them categorize it. This template could be useful if you are reviewing vocabulary sets, working with context or associations or presenting examples of tenses and other grammar structures.

Watch the demo to see what I came up with.

Watch the Star Groups demo to see how to edit and use the template.
The video run-time is 3 minutes and thirty-eight seconds long.

Star Groups - Featured Image

Click on the image or follow the link below to download the PowerPoint template.

Download the Star Groups PowerPoint template

Star Groups - Question SlideThe template contains a title slide and one question slide.

The slide is divided into 12 squares. Each square can contain a word, phrase or grammar structure, all of which belong to a category.

Click on a square to see if it belongs to the category.

Star Groups - Markers.png

If an X is revealed, the answer is incorrect. If a star is revealed, the answer is correct.

The slide contains 5 stars and 7 X’s.

Editing the Star Groups template

  • Download and open the Star Groups template
  • Click on Slide 2.
  • Click on the home ribbon.
  • Go to the editing section and click on select.
  • Click on selection pane and the selection pane will open on the right-hand side of the screen.
  • Click on the hide all button. The slide will appear blank.
  • Click on the star and cross objects and they will appear on the slide.

Opening the selection pane.png

Screenshot of the hidden star and cross markers.
  • Move the objects into new positions.
  • If necessary, go the format ribbon and align the objects (left).
  • Return to the selection pane and click on show all. The markers should now be covered.
  • Add your words, phrases, or grammar structures.
  • Write your question.

Star Groups - Example Slide.png

Screenshot of a ‘Star Groups’ question slide.
  • Copy the slide and repeat the above steps for new questions.

Playing Star Groups

  • Before the class, write your questions and prepare the PowerPoint template.
  • For a large class, you may need to create several question slides.
  • Create an easy question that will allow you to model the activity effectively.
  • Before the activity, divide your class into groups of 4-5 students.
  • Ask each group to think of a team name.
  • Show the first question slide and read out the question to the class.
  • The groups should raise their hands, press a buzzer or make a gesture to indicate they wish to answer the question.
  • The first group that chooses to answer, allow them to choose a square.
    • Students shouldn’t answer in single word responses.
    • Students should answer in sentences. e.g. ‘You can find milk in a refrigerator.’
    • If necessary, provide students with examples.
  • Click on the square to determine whether the answer is correct.
    • If an X is revealed, the answer is incorrect.
    • If a star is revealed, the answer is correct.
    • If the team answered correctly, they can guess again.
    • If the team answers incorrectly, the question passes to a new team.
  • Up to 5 points can be earned for each slide.
  • Award one point to each team that provide one correct answer.

Do you have any suggestions for playing Star Groups?

Please leave a comment if you have any ideas you would like to share or if you have any questions about the template.

Alternatively you can send me a message on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and take care!


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There are several benefits to using PowerPoint games in the classroom. They provide an opportunity to model an activity or a game (especially with large classes), they can be fun to play, they are easy to create or edit and they don’t require an internet connection.

Click on the image or follow the link to go to the article.

Word Links - An Example SlideVocabulary is easier to learn when it is relevant and when you can make associations or mental links to it. Word links is a great activity to build these connections.

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The Star Groups template was designed with Microsoft PowerPoint 2016. Animations and sounds may differ when opened in other presentation software.

Star Groups was inspired by the TV quiz Wipeout.

The sound effect used in the template is from http://www.soundbible.com.
Click on sound effect recorded by Mike Koenig and available from http://soundbible.com/1280-Click-On.html under a Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license.

Microsoft® Office® is a copyrighted product of the Microsoft® corporation.

All media that accompanies the Grammar Auction is for educational purposes only.

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