Speaking and Listening with Barrier Games

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Why use barrier games?

Every teacher needs more tools that are authentic in nature that focus efforts on building language, both expressive and receptive.

Barrier games are usually played with two players. Two students have access to identical materials (manipulatives, Legos, magnetic scenes) and a barrier is placed between them to block the view of each other’s materials (like the game battle ship!). One student would “build” and then give directions to their partner to “build” the identical scene or structure.

Below are links to classroom examples and one longer video that outlines advantages to using barrier games, variations to the game and important steps to ensure that your students are supported in using the target language.  What I like most about barrier games is that any language can be used during the activity!

Can you create some barrier games for your students to play with their families during break?  Might you provide a word bank of terms you want students to practice using during the game to amp up academic terms?  Let us know what you create!



About Sara

Expert Consultant in Bilingual Education for Multilingual Learners
I have dedicated my time to researching and learning how best to teach reading to Spanish-speaking students. My goal as an independent consultant is to empower teachers to know better and thus to do better.