Trading Up

This game will take you two days to play. It is designed to practice the structures “I/you have” and “is worth more than”.

Trading up: a discussion based game to play in language classesDay One – Explain rules and give out paperclips:

Give each student a paper clip (or some other small, meaningless object). Tell them that their homework is to “Trade Up”. They need to trade their paperclip for something else (maybe someone will give them a pencil, for example). Then, they take their new object, and see what they can trade it for (ex: pencil traded for headband), and so on and so forth until they have the most awesome thing possible. When my church’s youth group did this on one afternoon in the neighborhood around the church, one group of kids came back with a CAMPER!! I think they started with toothpicks. Make sure that students know that all trades are permanent, so don’t come back with your friend’s XBOX unless your friend knows that s/he won’t be getting it back.

Day Two – Debrief

  1. Tell each student to make sure that s/he knows how to say their final ‘trade up’ object in the target language before you begin this activity. Then, start asking «¿Qué tienes?» (What do you have?) They should respond «Tengo…» (I have…).
  2. With each new object that is shared, ask whether or not it is worth more than the previously shared object. If Bob comes in with a candy bar and Mary comes in with a stuffed animal, ask (in Spanish), “Is a candy bar worth more than a stuffed animal? Or is a stuffed animal worth more than a candy bar?” Keep going until you determine what is the most valuable object that someone was able to procure.
  3. For ideas about additional PQA, see my Tengo tu love post (the very bottom of it).

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