New Game: I wanna …… but I gotta……

Yes, it’s another great game from the ACET teachers.    Originally this was for shapes,…  but of course we can jazz it up!


1.  Put the cut out of the shapes in a bag and put the outline on the board.    The aim is to fill all your shapes!

2.  One kid from each team comes to the front and does Rock, Paper, Scissors.

3.  The winner gets to pick a shape from the bag.  If it is one of their own they can fill in that shape.  If it’s not they put it back!

4.  The next kid from each team comes to the front and repeat from step 2.

The magic comes with step 3 and the English the kids use when they pick the shape.

Originally the teachers were saying to have the kids just say the shapes,


But of course sentences are always better, so it’s a really easy step to make it “I got a …” i.e.

“I got a …… square/triangle etc.”

And of course if the kids can say “I got a ” then they can always say “I want a …” and say one of the shapes they need before dipping in the bag.

And then of course if the kids can say “I got a …” and they can say “I want a ….”   then it’s a really easy step (with lots of encouragement from you!) to move to….

“I want a ………  and  I got a …….”

And because rule number 2 is “Losing just means try again!” then if they lose they can say.

“I want a ………  and  I got a ……. but it’s OK!”

It’s all simple, just built up in simple baby steps.

Now, compare the school down the street where the kids are just saying “square” or just “circle.”

Then when the parents hear your kids come out with things like:

“I want a square and  I got a circle but it’s OK!”

Now which school do you think they tell all their friends about! 🙂


Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. When I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. Now I help teachers just like you teach amazing lessons and double your incomes!

4 Responses to “New Game: I wanna …… but I gotta……”

  1. Margit

    I really like this idea. It makes such a difference, practicing in sentences and linked contents.

    It would be great to have more ideas, here.

    Actually I am just working on winter topics again, and I linked quite a bit of conversation into a game.
    Here is my Japanese blog with the video of the kids playing and the sentences they say are written in English.
    If you don’t get the rules from the video, I can write it out in English again:

  2. Thanhtruc

    That’s a awesome idea. I applied this game. It works. Students can remember vocabularies. They also can say a full simple sentence. Biside, this game makes them enjoy the lesson well.

  3. Kim Dammers

    I am a bit unclear. Do the kids choose blindly, or do they get to look into the bag and pick what they want — if they can say the word? Also, what if they can’t say the (right) name of the shape?

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