When/If Dynamite

Students use when and if to describe as many situations as they can before the time runs out.

Submitted by GengaJupite

July 8, 2022

Estimated time: 20 minutes

I usually start by going through a few examples of the grammar point with the students and then demonstrating how to play the game with the JTE using big versions of the cards on the blackboard.

• In pairs/small groups, shuffle the cards and deal them out. Set a timer for 30s~1m.

• Janken to determine who goes first. The winner places a card in the middle so that everyone can see.

• Start the timer when the winner starts (“When I’m hot, I eat ice cream”). The next person has to say something different for that same card (“When I’m hot, I go swimming”).

• Keep going back and forth/around until the timer goes off. Make sure that students know they can’t repeat something that has already been said so that they really monitor each other. The person whose turn it is to speak when the timer goes off takes the card.
• This can be played with the card going back into play in the loser’s hand or into a dump pile that they can’t pull from. The dump pile variation means the game can keep going even if one person gets rid of all their cards (because they can still receive them if they lose a round).
• If in pairs, a dump pile is preferable so that the game doesn’t go on forever.
• It’s a good idea to hide the timer so that students can’t purposely stall to make sure the next person takes the card.

• Continue with the next person starting (and going in sequence). The first person to get rid of all their cards (or person with the least cards at the end) is the winner.

Depending on how familiar your students are with dynamite games, you might have to demo a few rounds with the JTE. My students tend to take a couple of rounds on their own to get a full grasp of how the game works, but once they get the idea they can get pretty excited.

I've only ever played this for about 15-20 minutes, but my students usually get more into the game as it goes on, so you could probably play for even longer if time allows.

Again, I recommend hiding the timer, as this forces them to think faster to try and pass the card since they don't know when it'll go off. I also like adding in a punishment game for the loser at the end, typically just getting them to stand up and say "When/If I see the person I like…"

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  • When cards.pdf (1.51 MB)
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