ESL Games - Secret Code
This activity is useful at the beginning of the year after a long term holiday, such as those in Argentina (3 months in all). This will break the ice in new groups as they will introduce each other and talk about themselves.
Stage I: Welcome your students to the class and invite them to pick a lollipop or sweet. They will find a rolled piece of paper wrapped around their sweet or lollipop. It will contained a hidden message that they will have to solve individually first.
Stage II: Tell them the aim of the game, but make it clear that they will need to remember the letters of the alphabet to work out their hidden message. So make a quick revision by brainstorming the letters and writing them on the board. Next, tell students that each letter contained in their coded message uses the next letter in the alphabet. That is to say that if they have for example: 'TBZ ZPVS OBNF' this will mean ' Say your name'. Pick up one sweet for you and demonstrate the activity by writing the solution of your code on the board. Solve one or two clues as a demonstration, and once they know what they have to do, give them five minutes to solve the rest of the message.
Stage III: In turns then they carry out the instructions found in their hidden messages.
Duration: The whole activity takes up to 15 minutes. Not only can it be used as a socializing activity but a warmer activity as well whenever you need to revise structures or vocabulary previously taught.
Optional: If you have advanced levels you may adapt this activity in order to make them talk for about a minute on any topic they are familiar with, such as, 'favourite pop music, videogames pros and cons etc'. So this activity may be adapted to be used throughout the year.
Contributor: Ana Maria