Zelda (shoot, bomb or life)

Activity that students of all ages can enjoy - use with literally any grammar/vocab you want

Submitted by Nikdade

April 28, 2021

Estimated time: 30min

Zelda Activity
This activity can take up the time of any lesson very easily!
I recommend 20~30min.

  • 4~6 teams.
  • On the board, create the life boxes by drawing a 5 X 2 grid and draw hearts in the 5 top boxes only. (I've attached a visual to show how this should ideally look).
  • Draw one of these for each team - don't make them too big or you won't have room!
  • Label each box with the team’s number/name (doesn't matter where, just make it clear which box belongs to which team).
  • Tell the students which team is which (point out which life box belongs to their team… I know it’s obvious, but it doesn’t hurt to make it clear).

Demonstration and starting the game:
NOTE: This is example grammar – you can use this game with ANY grammar or vocabulary you want. I have even used this activity with a question-based quiz (if they get a question correct, they get the chance to choose a card).

“Do you ~ ?” “Yes, I do.” / “No, I don’t.” – from New Horizon 1 [2016], Unit 3.

Hold up the vocabulary cards and elicit the question grammar from the whole class – do this for 3 random vocabulary cards, E.g., “Do you like spiders?”, “Do you play baseball?”, “Do you drink coffee?”. Then, to the team who are currently answering [team 1], hold up either an X or O and have just that team say the answer, once is enough, but you can do it for each question if you prefer.
Because this is a demo – take out 3 cards from the deck: one heart, one bow, and one bomb. Once they've answered, allow one member of that team to choose one of those three cards. Whichever it is, perform the following action and then demonstrate performing the other card actions as well:
Heart = team[1] gains a life;
Bow = team[1] can take a life from another team [2~6];
Bomb = team[1] loses one of their own lives.

Whatever grammar/activity/quiz you decide to use, just make sure to demonstrate what happens with each card including the double options. For the double bow I usually demo that a team can choose to attack 1 team twice, or two teams once.

Put all the game cards back together in a deck, shuffle them, then give them to the JT (I usually refer to them as the “card master” 😊). Don't forget to correct any hearts added/erased whilst you were demonstrating.

Continue in this way for each team= 3 vocabularies to the whole class → 1 answer [at least] from the team whose turn it is → game card from the JT → perform the game card removal/changes/actions → move onto the next team.

Have some rules in place for what you're going to do if one team loses all their lives. I don’t normally say or do anything until it happens. However, you should still have a plan as to what you’re going to do!
I usually give a team with zero lives a “lifeline” on their next turn (2 cards – 1 heart and 1 bomb – so they have a 50/50 chance. If they gain a heart then they’re back in (and can be attacked again). If they get a bomb, then it’s “game over” and their life box is erased/crossed out.
Also, are you going to remove the card from the deck after it has been selected or put it back in?? This is up to you and your own interpretation and imagination.
After 1 or 2 rounds, remove all but 1 heart card [speeds up the game].
I usually allow the JT to decide how they're going to handle the cards, but request the hearts removal at some point if the game isn't progressing to a winner quickly enough.

If you prefer that the team asks the questions and then have the whole class say the answer – this works well, too. Just be aware that if a team goes out [loses all their hearts] then they'll no longer have a chance to say the question, they'll only ever be saying the answer. Not the end of the world, but as the question contains the vocabulary, and it more difficult to do, it may be better to keep it the way described in this lesson plan.

Final information:
I have used this activity so many times! I took the time and effort to print the images in colour onto thick card and then laminate them. I have been using the same set for years now. Make them well, and they’ll last ages.
Make sure the card is thick enough so that you can’t see the image through the other side though!!


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