Liar, Liar!

Often, coursebooks have a dictionary section in the back. I like to give my students a couple of minutes to study one page of words and definitions. I, then, tell them to close their books. On a piece of paper, I instruct them to draw two vertical lines that form three columns. At the top of the left column, I have them write the number, 100. At the top of the middle column, they write, 'YES'. Then, I have them put 'NO' at the top of the right column.

The 100 is the amount of money they have in the bank. I read a word with its definition or with a definition from another word. The students use their dollars to place bets on how sure they are of the word and definition. If the definition matches, they put the answer in the YES column. If it doesn't, it goes in the NO column. But, it gets better! They mark how much they're willing to spend on their answer. If they get the vocabulary word correct, they win twice the amount they put up for grabs.

The game is amazingly effective in getting a student to concentrate and focus on the vocabulary words. And, they have great fun playing it. In fact, they usually have so much fun playing the game, that they don't realize they're studying. What could be better?

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