Teachers have long infused their lessons with cultural trends. From Pound Puppies to Pac Man, every fad has its day. Some trends, such as Legos and Mickey Mouse, are timeless. But none is more enduring than football, America’s most popular sport since 1985. Whether you feel as though the season never ends, or you suffer withdrawal May though July, football is a high-interest topic that makes any lesson more engaging.
If you’re looking for a quick way to take the ball and run with this idea, you might want to check out the Football Figurative Language Game. You don’t have to know the difference between an incomplete pass or a field goal to score a touchdown with this activity.
First, players select from over 24 team identities such as the ones below. While this step is optional, for most students choosing a team makes the game more fun!Next, a set of 24 yellow, answer cards is distributed evenly among the individual players or teams. Then a set of 24 red cards with common expressions is placed in a central location. Students take turns picking a red card, reading the phrase, and then determining the meaning of the figurative expression. A set of green cards with yards gained or lost is also placed upside-down in a central location. Each time a match is made, students select a green card. There is also a set of cards with point values which can be used. The team/student with the most yards or points at the end of the game is the winner. My students loved this activity! It was rewarding seeing how much they enjoyed making connections and learning about figurative language. Here is one group playing the game.
After a few minutes of play, a shy student pulled the red “let the cat out of the bag” card. Everyone glanced at their yellow cards. Another player– an avid reader and creative thinker– quickly realized he didn’t have the correct answer. Impulsively, he offered the table a clue, “Imagine someone holding a bag and you don’t know what’s in it. You want to know, but he won’t tell you.” The shy student looked a little confused and asked, “Why’s it a secret?” A petite girl sitting on the end called out, “I’d grab the bag and open it.” The table was quiet for a moment. Suddenly the shy student’s face lit up and she said, “I’ve got it!” She played the correct matching answer card, “tell a secret” and completed a pass to earn ten yards!
The students’ eagerness to play the game made the experience fun and educational for everyone! If you’d like to try the game in your class, click here to get a Football Figurative Language FREEBIE. If you’d like to check out the full-length version at The TLC Shop on TpT, click here. Either way, you’re sure to push it over the goal line with this lesson!
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