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The EFL Playhouse: A Resource for ESL/EFL Teachers of Young Learners

Alpha Toss

Skill: identifying initial sounds; combining sounds to create words
Group Size: 4 to 30
Prep Time: >1 hour
Playing Time: 5-20 minutes
Interest Level: ages 4 to 12
Ability Level: beginning to intermediate

Print each letter of the alphabet on a separate A4 sheet. In the lower right hand corner, assign a point value to each letter. (I use the letter values from Scrabble.) If at all possible, laminate these for prolonged life.

Purchase half a dozen bean bags, or create bean bags by filling old socks with dried beans, sand, etc., then tying them shut.

Place letters in four rows, six in the first, seven in the second, six in the third, and seven in the fourth. Students then stand at an assigned line and toss a bean bag onto the playing area. Beginning students must think of a word beginning with the letter upon which the bean bag landed, then use the word in a sentence. Intermediate students should toss two to three bean bags, think of words that began with all letters, then use all words in one sentence. For more advanced students, you might have them toss all six bean bags, then create a word using as many of the letters as possible. Points are assigned for each letter used.

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