I learned this game a couple of years ago at a trainer training course where I was a participant. There were teachers from lots of different countries learning together and we played the game at the end of a difficult day and it was great fun. So when last week I went to camp with my students I decided to play the game with them.

Preparation

It was an intensive language camp, so to prepare the game I had asked the students to send me some culture related questions. My colleague who accompanied me at the camp and teaches German had asked the same, so we ended up with 31 questions in English and 31 questions in German related to history, literature, films and other culture related topics about English- and German-speaking countries.

The game

The game itself needs a board, dice and counters as it is a board game.

The rules

The rules are very simple: The students are in groups, they roll the dice, land on a square, answer the question according to the number of the square they have landed on. If the answer is good they can roll the dice again and move on. The winner is the group which arrives at finish first.

The trick

What makes the game bigger fun than other board games? Here comes the trick:

The questions (the ones that the students should send in advance) are all on separate cards. The cards are placed all over the place where you play the game. That means on tree branches, bushes, building walls if you have the possibility to play the game outside. If you play it inside (we did that, as being the end of October it was getting dark quite early) you can put the cards on walls, door knobs, hangers in corridors, windowsills, banisters – anywhere you can hang or blue-tack them.

As you place them randomly, when the students roll the dice, the first task is to find their question. So the groups do a hasty search for the question card! When they find them they look at the question, agree on an answer, leave the card where they have found them (as other groups may need the card, too), run to the board, line up in single file (like geese – hence the name of the game!) and give the answer to the game master (now the teacher).

As I have written if the answer is correct they roll the dice again, land on a square with a number and rush to find the corresponding question card. What happens if the answer is incorrect? The game master gives them the correct answer but they get punishment. There was a student who was responsible for the punishment – which is a little thing, like singing a song, learning a tongue twister, bringing a glass of water, doing push-ups, or anything that lasts for 30-60 seconds. When they are ready they can roll the dice again and go on answering questions.

The benefits

Students anwer culture-related questions – they learn while playing

The questions are their own – the whole game becomes their own

Making the game kinaesthetic brings in another dimension – it is not simply a brain-teaser

Great for cooperation, team building

It is adaptable for other language aims

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