Okay I admit, I have so many great games in my piano closet that sometimes I forget to play my games with my students! So when I was doing the lesson plan for my summer and end of year group lessons, I decided to pull out the game that is popular with ALL my students: schoolage kids, pre-teens, and even teens! No, I am not exaggerating. This game is popular with everyone.
The concept is simple: students are given a stack of Affirm-a-term cards. One student from a team stands in front of their teammates and describes the term without using any form of the word. They go through as many cards a possible in 1 minute (I love my one minute timer for this) and then the team gets to keep the cards that they guessed correctly. If they have to pass on any cards, the other team gets a chance to answer and keep the card.
So this year, I introduced a different “spin” on this game and used my new giant, magnetic spinners. I drew a circle on the board and divided into 5 categories: draw, say, say and play, act, wild card. Before each team’s turn, a member of the team would spin to see what technique they had to use in helping their team members guess the term. If they spun “draw” then they would draw the concept. If they spun “say” then they would use the traditional means of describing the term with words. If they spun “say and play” they could talk and also use the piano. If they spun “act” then they would have to act out the term (sometimes I would let them use the keyboard, just not play it). If they spun “wild card” then they got to use whatever technique they wanted.
The only thing I had to do was take out the names of composers in the deck as well as some of the very hard terms in the more advanced set of cards (have I mentioned that I’ve played this with my local association members? It’s great for very educated piano teachers too!). And of course, if one of the teams ended up with a set of tough cards, I’d throw in a hint now and then to keep it fun.
When I asked my students at the end of group lessons what their favorite game was, this was one of them!
Here’s a quick link if you want to order the Affirm-a-term game:
Or visit the store to see other games like Stinky Sox and Fishy Flashcards!