Activity

Vowel Sound dominoes

Synopsis This is a game where 2, 4 or 5 players players try to match vowel sounds of words with each other using square cards with 4 words on them on a table top like conventional dominoes.

Instructions
This is a VOWEL sound dominoes game based on the vocabulary used in Sunshine 2 (2021). The vocabulary list is on page 133 with accompanying vowel phonic identification and can be used during the game to check answers, or by the teacher to confirm mistakes. This game is best played at the end of the academic year when all the vocabulary has been covered by 2nd graders and you need an extra lesson or half-lesson in the final weeks.

First, print the pdf file below (A4). This game works best with 4 or 5 players as a full deck is 20 cards. This way, everyone has an equal number of cards. Therefore, for the average JHS class, print/ copy 7-8 sets, on different coloured paper if possible. This makes it easier to keep the decks separate and avoid duplicates in a deck.
Next, cut along the bold lines so you have 5 strips, then cut the black diamonds in half so that you have 20 square cards with 4 words on them.

*Before you get into explaining the matching element, I would briefly show what a real dominoes game looks like (draw on the blackboard or show a mid-game image from Google images or something). Most Japanese kids (and adults for that matter) aren’t aware that “dominoes” is a numbers matching game. They usually only associate dominoes with toppling them.

After drilling the correct pronunciation (listen and repeat) using the word list on page 133, make the kids aware that we are not matching vowels, we are matching vowel sounds. Show them that “dead”, “greatly” and “easy” contain the same vowel pairs but all the sounds are different. Similarly; “late”, “fail” and “break” use different vowels but have the same sound. Also, we only match a black triangle to a black triangle or a light triangle to a light triangle.

Setup
-Give one set of 20 cards to each group.
-Deal an equal number of cards among the players. Eg. 4 players would have 5 cards.
-Players put their pile face down in front of them. No looking!
-The group plays Rock-Scissors-Paper for one winner.
-The winner puts their top card face up on the table so everyone can see it. We then go “clockwise” (teach that) around the table one by one with the next player trying to connect one of their words to the “chain” that is evolving by turning their top card.

Points to be aware of:
If a player has no options, they must knock twice on the table and put their card to the bottom of their pile and miss that turn.
The role of the AET is primarily to monitor accuracy and support pronunciation, especially in the slower games. We (native speakers) can spot options almost immediately by scanning the game but your JTE may be slower on the uptake. I have underlined the target vowel phonics on the card words as they match the practice table on page 133. If a student is aware enough to use a different vowel sound in a multi-syllabic word to win, you can decide if it’s OK or not.

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Submitted by vaudeville May 17, 2022 Estimated time: 20-23 mins including instructions and pronunciation drills of the vocabulary included. Subsequent games, 10-15 mins.

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