Vegas Vegas – What to do for a 50 minute self-intro

"Vegas Vegas" is a fake gambling type game that you can use to lengthen your self-intro and make it memorable and fun. photo credit: tumblr

Updated

Today’s post is about what to do if you are given a whole class period to give a self-introduction. When confronted with this situation, it can be a little intimidating at first. A solid 5-10 minute regular self-introduction, paired with this game I call “Vegas Vegas”, should not only make your self-introduction fun, but also memorable.

Name of the Game: Vegas Vegas

Materials: chalk, chalk board, small stickers or other prizes

Level: I have done this game with middle school students to eikaiwas with students over 60 years old. They all enjoyed it.

Time: 20 minutes to an hour

How to play:

  • Break the class into groups of about 6 for a class of 30 students. If you say “make lunch groups” the students should be able to do this pretty quickly.
  • In this example, however, I am going to use just 3 teams for the sake of simplicity.
  • Draw this table on the black board and tell them they are going to play a fun game:

Star

Heart

Square

$500

$500

$500

  • Give each team a name and write the name in the top row of each column. In this example the teams are Star, Heart and Square. But you can assign any names you like. Also write $500 in each column. This is a betting game and every team starts with that amount of money.
  • Now you need to explain to the students how the game works by giving them an example.
  • Select something about yourself that you haven’t yet told the students. For example,  your dog’s name, your sister’s age, your favorite Japanese food. Write A, B and C on the board and fill in two false answers and one correct answer. If the question is “what is my sister’s age?” and the correct answer is actually 26, I would write these answers on the board:

A. 28

B. 26

C. 35

  • Now, return to the table and show the students what happens next. Go to the table and tell the students that they are going to choose an answer and “bet” some money (from Zero to $500) that their answer is correct, like this:

Star

Heart

Square

$500

$500

$500

A $200

C $400

B $300

  • Show the students that if the correct answer is B, then the teams that got the answer right win money, while the teams that got the answer wrong lose money, so that the table will look like this:

Star

Heart

Square

$500

$500

$500

A $200

C $400

B $300

$300

$100

$800

  • As you can see, Star and Heart teams got the answer wrong, so they lost the money that they bet. Square guessed the correct answer, so they increase their money from $500 to $800.
  • Now that the students understand the concept of the game, it is time to play for real. Erase the previous marks and start with the original board and a new question. You canplay three or more rounds and the team with the most money at the end of the game wins. Each round requires another question with two fake answers and one real answer. If you or your JTE can translate the questions for the students, the sky is the limit as far as questions go. 
  • After you ask a question and write the three answers, give the groups time to choose and answer and a bet. Then go group by group and fill in the table according to each group’s answer and bet. Repeat until you finish 3 rounds or until time’s up. Again, the team that has the most money at the end of the game wins.

That’s it. Enjoy!

Tips to make this game more fun:

  • If a group goes bankrupt give them $50 bonus dollars so that they can still participate. Make the last round worth double or triple the money so that teams trailing in money can still win if they get the answer right.
  • Tell the students to say “LET IT RIDE!” if they bet all of their money. They really enjoy saying this.
  • When you tell the kids the answer to the question, build some tension by crossing off one wrong answer first and then telling them the right answer. If, for example, the right answer is “A” and most students picked “A” or “B”, cross off “C” first and build some drama into the game.
  • Have a prize of some sort for the winning team(s)


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