Introduce a little controlled chaos into your class with Shout the Wrong Name!, a fun warmer to use when you want to surprise your EBs (emergent bilinguals) with something new.


Introduce the activity with a quick sentence telling students that they’re going to play a game where they point at things and shout the wrong name. Then demonstrate with something simple, like a pencil. (FYI, the fun of the game is in the spontaneity… and that goes for the teacher too! When demonstrating, don’t prepare. Just say whatever word comes into your head.) Next do a practice round with something else that’s simple so the students can get their feet wet.

Now it’s off to the races! Students have 1 minute to point at every picture on the page and say the wrong word. (Note, I’ve only ever done this online, but I think it would be really fun to do in person. You could have them run around the classroom, or the school even, pointing at things and shouting the wrong name.)

Watch the video below to see it in action:


The usefulness of this activity is it gets your EBs out of their head, thereby reducing their anxiety to speak. There is no way to get the game wrong (unless they say the right name), so there’s no reason to have fear. And since everyone is doing it at the same time, nobody can really hear what anyone else is saying. Once the students realize this, they can just have fun and say whatever they think. And that is a priceless lesson, because if they start doing this enough, they will train their brain to stop worrying so much when they speak, thereby reducing their anxiety to speak English.

Click below for a pdf of the activity. Enjoy!

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