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Kaboom! 2.0

Updated: May 2, 2019

The idea is simple and well known by many teachers. We take used up ice-cream sticks and write words on them in either L1 or L2. We write the word "Kaboom" on some of the sticks. We put all of the sticks in some sort of a container. One by one students pull out the sticks. If they know the word, they keep the sick; if they don't know the word, they put the stick back into the container. Each stick is one point. If they pull out one of the "Kaboom" sticks, they have to put away all the stick they've collected so far. The game lasts for a limited time (I give my kids 15/20 minutes). The person with most sticks at the end, wins.

It's easy, fast, and helps with quick vocab revisions.

Me being me, I couldn't just take the game as it was. I have to make things "mine". So this post is about how I made Kaboom into Montenglish style Kaboom.

Ice-cream sticks - no! Too thin, too short, too breakable. Fist upgrade in my Kaboom game were wooden tongue depressors. Don't be tricked into buying them in arts and crafts shops, they are way cheaper to buy at your closest pharmacy! I get mine for 5zł (£1) for 100 sticks.

Writing on the sticks - I don't know about you, but I'm a computer kid and I hate handwriting anything. My handwriting is also not the prettiest to look at. So my Kaboom sticks have printed stickers on them. I managed to put 70 words on an A4 sheet of paper. I like this idea better cause I can pick a fun font to write the words in, which makes the game more attractive for the kids. I created a table with dotted lines to make it easier to cut as well. On top of that, if you print on a sticker paper it takes close to no time to put the stickers on the sticks (if you don't have sticker paper, use double-sided tape).

Now ... little fingers like to pick at the stickers and peal them off. So I put sellotape around them as well, to be on the safe side.

Vocab sourse - if I'm making something for my students to work with, I has to somehow correspond to what we do in lessons in general. So all of the vocabulary items come from Brainy (Macmillan Publishing). So I went through the book page by page and picked what I found important.

And so my Kaboom was finished. We had the sticks. Kids were happy. The teachers was happy .... well ... not quite 😕 There was still something missing. Because, truth be told, I don't really fancy playing this game with them every single time. Even if I wanted to play I don't really have time to do it. So how am I supposed to know if they're pronouncing the words correctly or not cheating when playing with weaker students, pretending to know the words?

English teacher, if you haven't yet heard about Penpal by Mantra Lingua ... prepare to have your mind blown away!

Penpal is a device which lets you record sound onto paper. Using tiny little stickers, which we can stick onto pretty much anything, we can record the pronunciation of each word onto the Kaboom stick. When we touch the sticker again with our Penpal it will play what we recorded on it. I know! Right? 😃

Pronunciation - Kaboom went back home with me and I put a sticker on each stick. I recorder the pronunciation of all of the words. I used sellotape again to protect the stickers from the small fingers because those stickers ain't cheap!

The kids went crazy! Now Kaboom wasn't just a game. It became a vocabulary revision system for individual work.

Grouping the sticks - each Kaboom set has vocabulary from two units of the book. To make it easier for the kids to work with just one chapter I marked the sticks with another type of stickers that I got at a stationary shop.

Containers - plastic flower pots did the trick. I made labels for them to mark which unit words they have inside and which Penpal to use to hear the recording.

So this is the story of how I created a material that does not require my help to work with whatsoever. I give to to early finishers or a task for the self study period. My kids love Kaboom and are excited each time I enter the classroom carrying a new flower pot filled with tongue depressors 😅

How long did it take .... don't ask .... but I had Netflix in the background 😝

Would you like to make your own Kaboom sticks for Brainy 4? Go for it!!

Have fun creating,

Ewa :)

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