Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

A research-based race game.

Submitted by Beestonian

November 8, 2021

Estimated time: Whole lesson

Carmen Sandiego has made off with Kinkakuji! You must find her, but first you have to get on her trail by figuring out where she might be hiding!

You, the ALT, are the flight attendant, and as the narrator you help the students along in their quest to find the titular thief by narrating the game to them and presenting them with clues when they come to you with the correct grammar.

I open the class with an example of how the process of this game works. I showed them a picture of Stonehenge, and asked them to tell me which country it is from. Most of them don't know it off the top of their head, so I allow them to use their school chromebooks or ipads to look up the answer. I write 'stonehenge' on the board.

Once they work out which country the object is from, the next step is to go there, via the biggest international airport, which is usually in the country's capital! So for them to advance each round, they would have to say to me, "I want to go to London!"

At which point I give them the next clue. I have small classes so I split into teams of three and they tend to enjoy this activity a lot.

I print out 3 sets of the same document so that each team has it's own set of clues to follow. They should become more challenging in that there is a very specific question they have to answer, but there is often conflicting information - for example, an artifact may be from Greece, but is held in a University in Glasgow. This was a common mistake my students made, so I made sure that such answers were towards the end of the pile.

Make sure your JTE also knows the answers so that the students can either go to you or them without queening up.

I've included a sample Document you can use for clues but I'd encourage you to come up with your own unique clues to spice things up.


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