The Game: Same o’ Same o’ is a game where you try to match your answer with someone else’s to score a point. This game, in particular, helps students review vocabulary. Using games in the ESL classroom, in general, “[help] the students relax and have fun with learning. It helps them learn and retain new words more easily by enhancing students’ use of English in a flexible, communicative way” (Asian EFL Journal, Dec. 2003, Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen and Khuat Thi Thu Nag).
- Index cards (100 or more)
- Tablet or whiteboard/markers for scoring
- Clipboards (one per student)/paper/pen or pencil
How to Play
- The index cards are shuffled and placed face down on the table.
- Each student playing has a clipboard, paper, and pen or pencil.
- The game is best played with 4-6 players.
- Players take turns flipping an index card over.
- Each student in the group who is playing the game writes his or her best answer down using the paper and clipboard.
- The results are shared in front of the whole group.
- Students having the same answer (e.g., Same’o Same’o) each earn 1 point.
- Students can keep track of their own points or one person can be designated the score keeper.
- The first player to earn 6 points is the winner.
- There can be more than one answer that is “tied.” Everyone who has a “shared” answer receives a point.
How to Make It
- The teacher, with the help of students, can brainstorm various categories to be written on the index cards.
- Use at least 100 different categories.
- One category is written on each card.
- Superlatives work well (e.g.. the fastest ___; the tallest ___; the smallest ___, the oldest ___).
- This is a great way to incorporate a review of vocabulary and concepts.
- You can use the same superlative with many nouns (i.e. the fastest land animal; the fastest form of transportation; the fastest runner; the fastest mammal; the fastest bird, etc.)
- A timer/clock can be added, whereby the players need to write their answers down within a limited time frame.
- The game can be played with partners.
- The number of points needed to “win” the game can be increased or decreased depending on time constraints, ability of students, etc.
- The points earned for the same answers can be changed to reflect: 1 point awarded each for the same answer between two students (as usual); 2 points awarded each for the same answer among three students; 3 points awarded each for the same answer among four students, etc.