Pig – Goat is a traditional game which is easily adapted for your TEFL classroom.
Sometimes it’s boringly called the “last letter word game” or “word chains” but whatever the name, it’s ideal as a filler activity at the end of the class.
Playing the Game
If the class don’t know the game then it’s best to play it all together with you leading. Later they can play it in small groups and elements of competition can be brought in.
Explain to the class they are going to make chains of words, but each word must begin with the last letter of the previous word. For example:
PIG > GOAT > TABLE > EASY > YESTERDAY > YELLOW > WIDE…
To begin, write the first word up, then the second and explain that each word must begin with the last letter of the previous word. Write up a couple more words in the chain and then invite the students to suggest their own words.
Do this until the class have understood the principle. Then continue but without writing up the words on the board, either going round the class in sequence or – better still – choosing a student at random so the whole class is kept on their toes in case they are asked next.
And then it’s simply a matter of carrying on till the students can’t find a word to say!
Variations on a Theme
Of course the basic game is pretty simple but once the class are familiar with the basic idea, you can start to introduce all kinds of variations.
- Semantic Fields – all the words must follow a certain theme, e.g. animals or verbs or objects in the house or adjectives or objects bigger than a cat, etc.
- Groups – get the class into groups to play the game. Who can make the longest list of words?
- Include a middle and a stop word. For example, with groups set a competition for the first group to make a word list which begins with PIG, includes the word KING and ends with APPLE.
- With advanced classes you can play it with sentences:
I went home early on Thursday.
Thursday is an enjoyable day.
Day after day I work hard.
Hardly a day goes by when I don’t miss you.
Smelling is one of the senses we have.
And so on and so on!
The name comes from the first two words traditionally used to start this game. Of course you can always change these if you like.