Blockbusters, the game: Lo Tech and Hi Tech!

Somewhere along the way, many, many years ago in my teaching career, I came up with the idea of a game called Blockbusters for Spanish class.  It must have been based on some game I had seen, but I don’t remember where. It’s a good game for vocabulary review, easy to create, and usually keeps the attention of the entire class.Lo Tech version:

Purpose: Review and reinforce current and prior vocabulary

Language Level:  applicable to all levels

# of Players:  entire class

Materials:  set of laminated, individual letters (doubles of some high frequency letters, such as a, p, r, e in Spanish); whiteboard/chalkboard.  I use magnetized cards that I simply put up on the board; they are easily arranged and removed.

Directions and/or Rules:  Create a database of vocabulary words for each letter in the set of laminated letters.  Create definitions for targeted words in the language (it is also very easy to spontaneously create definitions as you proceed).  Place laminated cards in rows across the board.  It does not matter how many cards go vertically or horizontally.  Use about 26 letters.  Divide the class into teams (2-5 teams depending on size of class).  Assign each team a symbol:  Team 1 will be the ♥; Team 2 will be the ☺; Team 3 will be the ♦; etc.  Instruct the class that the object of the game is to achieve 5 symbols that connect vertically, horizontally or diagonally, or any combination of those.  The team symbol replaces the letter when the team gives the correct vocabulary word to match the definition.  Any member on any team may answer, but once the student has been called upon, he may not receive help from his teammates, and must give his answer within 5 seconds of being called on.  Teacher chooses the beginning letter and reads the first definition.  The first hand up will be called upon.  If that person gives a correct answer, then the team symbol replaces the letter (draw it on the board).  If that person gives an incorrect answer, his team is eliminated from answering for that letter, and a new definition is read.  Play continues until one team has 5 symbols that connect vertically, horizontally or diagonally, or any combination of those directions.  When 5 connecting symbols are achieved, that team has won one game, and the symbols that were connected for that team are now “dead”, meaning that they can not be used to connect to any other letter..  However, play continues, as there should be many possible ways for teams to win.  When it becomes impossible for a team to win with 5 connected symbols, I count the symbols that have not won, and award a game to the team with the most symbols on the board.

Sample Database

A:  abogado, abril, abuela, abuelo, abuelos, aburrido, animales, antipático, apagar, aspiradora, ajedrez, atlético, ayudar, azul

B:  bailar, bajo, banco, bañarse, baño, baloncesto, beber, bebidas, bicicleta, bombero, bueno,

C:  Café, calor, calculadora, cama, caminar, camisa, cantar, carne, carpeta, cartero, cena, ciencia ficción, cine, ciudad, clase, cocinero, comer, comerciante, comprar, concierto, computadora, conductor, conocer, contento, cartas, cuaderno, cuarto, cumpleaños

D:  dar, decir,  decorar, dentista, deliciosos, deportes, dependiente, desayuno, descansar, dibujar, dientes, diseñar, divertido, dormir, dormitorio,

E:  edificio, educación física, empezar, enchiladas, enfermo, enfermera, ensalada, enseñar, entrar, entretenimiento, escribir, escritorio, escuela, escuchar, esquiar, estudiante, estudiar, estufa,

F:  falda, fácil, familia, fecha, feo, fiesta, flor, fin de semana, foto, francés, fregadero, frío, fruta, fútbol

G:  garaje, gato, garganta, gente, gimnasio, gordo, gracias, grande, gris, guapo, guitarra, gustar

H:  habitación, hablar, hace…tiempo, hacer, hambre, hamburguesa, hasta, helado, hermano, hija, historia, hospital,

I:  idiomas, iglesia, incendio, inglés, inodoro, inteligente, intelectual, interesante, invierno, invitar, italiano

J:  jamón, jardín, joven, juego, juego de mesa, jugador, jugar, jugo, julio, junio

Sample definitions:

A:  Es la madre de mi madre:  abuela

Los gatos y los perros:  animales

Limpia la sala, tienes que pasar la ____:  aspiradora

Un juego de mesa:  ajedrez

Los bomberos con el incendio:  apagar

Hi Tech Version:

Somewhere along the line, I found this PowerPoint for blockbusters.  You can easily edit it to create a game specific to your own vocabulary.  The PowerPoint that I have here is mainly used as a review after the huge music unit I do each year in March, although for some letters it will be a review of miscellaneous vocabulary.  The great thing about this version is that it actually contains 9 different versions of the game.  You simply have to remember which version you are playing, and use the questions from that number only.  blockbusters as powerpoint primarily music

Special thanks to the person who created the original PowerPoint that I have now modified for my classes!

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4 thoughts on “Blockbusters, the game: Lo Tech and Hi Tech!

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