Letter Hunt is a great TEFL game which helps with spelling, vocabulary and – of course – the alphabet. It needs no preparation and can be played in a variety of ways.
Running the Game
The first time you play this, it’s better to demonstrate to the whole class. Later they can play the game in small groups.
Firstly draw a line down the middle of the board. On one side put the title IT’S IN… and on the other, the title IT’S NOT IN…
Call a good student to the front of the class and give them a small slip of paper. Ask them to write – secretly – a single letter on the piece of paper. Without looking, take the paper and put it in the middle of your desk with your cup or something on top of it so it won’t blow away and no one can see the letter.
For the purposes of this explanation, let’s assume the student has written the letter K on the paper.
Ask the student if the letter is in the word HEAVY. The student says, “No” so you write HEAVY in the IT’S NOT IN… column.
Ask the student if the letter is in the word BLOCK. The student says, “Yes” so you write BLOCK in the IT’S IN… column.
The game carries on like this with you asking the student if the letter is in various words. If it is in that word it goes in the IT’S IN… column otherwise it goes in the IT’S NOT IN… column.
Eventually the board will look something like this:
Every so often, stop and with the rest of the class try and work out the missing letter. Keep suggesting words till you find the missing letter!
Variations on a Theme
Once your class is familiar with the game you can start bringing in variations.
- rather than work as a class, divide the students into small groups who can play this amongst themselves
- draw letters randomly
- initiate a points system: the guessers have 25 points to begin with, each time they say a word they lose a point, if they guess wrongly they lose a point; but if they guess correctly they win 10 points