Super Mario as an English-Teaching Tool? Yes, Please!

Yes, you read that correctly. This game is all about those famous Super Mario Bros (and English). Here’s a little YouTube video to set the mood… 🙂

Super Mario is very well-known all over the world. Plus, in Japan some of the character names are the same as they are back home. So that makes this game a little easier to explain to the kids. With this game’s colorful characters, opportunity to work in teams, and competitive nature, your students are bound to get excited about sentence patterns! Try it out and you’ll see how fun it can be!

What youll need: a board (and markers to draw on it), magnets (at least 6-7), the color characters from this link: general Mario game on board (you will need to cut them out), and students

Step 1: Practice the sentence patterns or vocabulary that the students are working on in class. It’s important that they be able to produce answers to the questions you’ll ask them BEFORE they play this game. To drill the sentence patterns, you can use a game, basic repetition, or whatever works for you and your students.

Step 2: Once you’re satisfied with the level the students have reached, draw a course on the board (it can look like a basic road; there’s no need to get fancy). Draw a castle-like thing at the end of the road and write FINISH underneath it. Then add small dots along your road. For an example of what this could look like, see the image below.

super mario road

Step 3: Put your students into groups. There should be no more than 6-7 groups. Pull out your colorful characters to get the students excited. Assign one character to each group. If the students are calm and well-behaved enough to share popular characters, you can let them choose which Mario character they’ll be.

Step 4: Place all of the Mario characters at the beginning of the road that you drew on the board (this is where those magnets come in). Explain that when a group gets a correct answer, their character moves up to the next dot on the road. Proceed to ask questions that the students know the answer(s) to. The first group to put their hand up gets to answer. If they have the correct answer, their Mario character moves onto the next dot on the road. For example, if the class is working on fruit, you can ask: “What fruit do you like?” or “Do you like____?” If they’re working on flashcard vocabulary, you can hold up a flashcard and ask: “What’s this?” Really, this game can be used with any and all sentence patterns and vocabulary.

Step 5: Play a practice round to get the students into the game, then play it for real! It’s just amazing how a board, some markers, some magnets, and Mario character cut-outs can get students excited about English!

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