Reading Scavenger Hunt

Materials: authentic reading in the target language – article, book, etc & worksheet

Language Component: Reading

Forms & Functions: Grammar, syntax, vocabulary

To create the worksheet, select a series of sentences within the reading that utilize grammar or vocabulary the students are focusing on.  Edit the text on the worksheet to remove or alter the sentences from the reading. For example, if my focus was to teach students about past tense and the sentence I selected from the text was “amerika kara kimashita” I might alter the sentence on the worksheet to either “amerika kara kimasu or “amerika kara __________”.

Students should read through the text once without the worksheet for comprehension and meaning. Before starting a second read-through, hand out the worksheet. If your worksheet has words removed (as in the second example) students simply need to find the appropriate phrase in the text and copy it. If the sentence has been altered, students will need to take the additional step of correcting the sentence once they have found it.


Translation Relay

Materials:  whiteboard/chalkboard, overhead projector (optional)

Language Component: Writing

Forms & Functions: Grammar, syntax, vocabulary

Split the students into teams. Team size can vary from teams of 4-5 to half the class, depending on what will work best for your classroom and your goals. 

Put a sentence to translate on the overhead projector or the whiteboard. Each team will race to translate the sentence correctly using the following rules:

  • only one team member writes at a time
  • each team member must contribute
  • no telling teammates what to write

When it is a student’s turn to write they have two possible actions:

  1. Write a word/letter
  2. Edit a word/letter

Once they are done, they hand the marker to the next member of the team who will do one of the same two actions – write or edit. 

When a team believes they have correctly translated the sentence, stop the class. Check the work and if the translation is correct, the team gets a point. If it is incorrect, start the race again until a team wins.

Modifications: Students can write either by the word or by the letter. By the letter takes longer, but can be useful in character-based languages such as Japanese, Korean, Arabic etc to ensure students are able to correctly write each component. If you are teaching a character-based language and want to focus only on writing development and less on translation, you can put a romanized sentence on the board and ask students to write it instead. Then ask the students to translate the sentence verbally to win an additional point.

Marketplace activity


  • Notecards/white paper for vendors signs
  • Money/purchases tracker for buyers

Language Component: Speaking, Listening

Forms and Functions: Bargaining in a marketplace

Overview:  This activity is used for the popular topic of bargaining.  This is an important language function that is often learned in language classrooms.  First as a class brainstorm different types of stores (shoe store, jewelry store, etc.).  The teacher will write about seven of these stores on the board (depending on how many students are in the class, I had a class of approximately 30 and I wanted about seven “vendors”).  The teacher will then break the students into seven even groups.  In these groups the students need to come up with a list of items their store would sell and the prices for the items.  After the students make the lists, choose who would be the vendors and who would be the tourists/buyers.  All the tourists will start with $100 and their money/purchase tracker and will walk around to the vendors to bargain and buy items.  The vendors will also keep track of their sales.  The buyer who ends up with the most amount of items at the end of the activity was a winner, and the vendor who ends up with the most money at the end is the winner.

 Marketplace Activity

Modifications: This game is difficult to modify because it is specific to bargaining, however it can be used at many different levels with different vocabulary to suit the students abilities.



  • Battleship printouts

Language Component: Speaking, Listening

Forms and Functions: Conjugation of verbs and verbal skills

Overview: This activity takes a little bit of preparation from the teacher but is an activity that can be altered to many different topics.  The students will each get a paper with the instructions and battleship board.  I have attached the one I made for 6th grade Spanish with the instructions.  The teacher will need to explain the instructions to the students because many of them have not played battleship before.  Students will also need an explanation of how to draw their ships.  There should be five ships (one ship that is one square, one that is two, one that is three etc.) that are all straight lines.  The ships cannot be overlapped, bent, or placed diagonally.  It is also important to make sure the students are speaking in the target language during the whole activity.  This is a fun game that students love and it is great practice!

ST1 LP15 Battleship

Modifications: This game can be modified to any sort of conjugation and verbs that the students are learning.  Although it might not work perfectly for every language, it can be adapted to work for most, or the teacher could change the categories to make it more effective.

Word Splash


  • word splash print out
  • powerpoint or print out of pictures of words for document camera or projector

Language Component: listening/reading

Forms and Functions: attaching meaning to visuals, translation 

Overview: This game is a spin off of the Flyswatter/BB Bump game but instead of a whole class competition is used in pairs and can be a competition or not.  In pairs the students will have a print out of a word splash (below is an example of one I made for my Spanish class) with their vocabulary words.  The teacher will flip through the slideshow of pictures or show the pictures on the document camera/projector.  When the students see the picture they must circle the word on the paper, student can choose to keep score or can work together to find the answer.  This is a good activity for students who do not like competition in the classroom, or when the teacher needs to make sure all the students are involved (such as test review etc.)  After each picture, the teacher should allow the students time to find the answer, then review it as a class

ST1 LP22 Word SplashModifications: This game can be used at any level as a vocabulary practice game.  It can be adapted from pictures to words for translation of words for more advanced or abstract vocabulary at higher levels.

Vocabulary Dice

Materials: Dice

Language Component: Speaking

Forms and Functions: explaining words in multiple ways

Overview: This vocabulary practice game can be played in pairs, or groups of a few students.   The teacher will give each group one die and a list of vocabulary words (students can also use their vocabulary words for the unit/chapter).  The first student will roll the die to see what their task will be for the first word.

1: define the word

2: something that means the same thing

3: what does it remind you of?

4: draw it

5: act it out

6: something that means the opposite


Word List: Apple, Banana, Peach

If student 1 rolls a 5, they will act out the word ‘apple’

Next is student 2, if they roll a 3 they might say ‘bananas remind me of monkeys’

Modifications: This game can be adapted to different languages as well as different subjects such as science and social studies.

Snake Game

Materials: Game boards as shown below, scraps of paper or buttons.

Language Component: Writing

Forms and Functions: verbs, subject pronouns and vocabulary

Create simple game boards in a single path or a piece of paper as shown above. The squares could have pictures or vocabulary in the target language, subject pronouns and/or verbs. For game pieces, you can use scraps of paper; different color bingo chips or buttons. You will also need one die and one board for every two students.

Each student rolls the die, and may advance that many stops along the path.  Students should count out their moves using numbers in the target language.

When they arrive at a square, they jump forwards or back to the matching square (if they land on a picture, they jump to the name, and vice versa)

To win, they must land on Meta by exact count. They get three tries. If on the third turn, they have still not rolled an exact entry, they move back the numbers of squares on the die, then jump to the matching square.



When students hit on the head of the snake, they have to back down to the tail of the snake. Other rules can be implemented according to your needs and target language.