Badger vs Baboon is a fun game for young learners which can also be adapted for older learners as well!
It helps with basic vocabulary for animals and can encourage speaking. It also is very useful indeed for practicing comparatives.
Cut out and prepare a selection of flashcards with a picture of an animal on each one. Later you can include other objects depending on how you want to expand the game.
Running the Activity
In class, introduce the lesson by talking about some animals with the students and see what they can name. Talk generally and see who can guess which is the strongest animal of all, the fastest, the tallest, etc.
Then shuffle the cards and then take out the first one. Suppose it’s a badger. Elicit from the class the name of the animal and write it up on the board and then see if you can elicit some facts about it (which can include descriptions):
- lives in the woods
- white stripes on its face
- four legs
- lives in a hole in the ground
Next choose another card and do the same:
- long nose
- climbs trees
And finally the key question: who would win a fight between a badger and a baboon? Depending on the level of the class you can encourage speculation or just have a show of hands to vote and put the winner in a special pile on your desk.
Do the same with another pair of animals and find the winner there to add to the winners pile. Once you have gone through all the cards you’ll have pile of winners on your desk. Shuffle these and go through them in pairs again to find the winners and discard the losers. And then go through the winners again and again until you whittle them down to the strongest winner of them all! Who chose that?
Higher Level Classes
With higher level classes once you have shown the process, deal out an animal to each students and then break them into pairs and let them decide between them which is the strongest animal. The loser hands back the card to you and join two pairs together to go through the same process until there’s a class winner.
Variations on a Theme
If you prefer something less angry, and if it would suit your class more, you can change the basic idea and ask
- which animal would make the best pet?
- which animal is the fastest?
- which animal would you be most afraid of?
Then of course you can move on to other themes: modes of transport, houses, people asking to find the fastest, biggest, smallest, most expensive, etc.
Comparatives – how they work in English