When we feel that students are bored, we tend to change the pace and move to a more energising activity. This one is something like that. However, I use it as a gap filler or an fun activity after I introduce the new topic. It sounds a bit childish, though it always works with older students too. My students are grade 10 and grade 11 and every year at least once I use it in my class. Last week before the holiday as a whole class we played our snowball game and we really enjoyed while doing it and after the activity they all sat comfortably and did the post writing activity.
Here is how and when I do it:
- Hand each student a blank sheet of paper.
- Ask them to write a wish for present, an ability that they want to have, a regret, an annoying habit of sb that they are irritated. For example: I want a motorbike. My sister keeps reading my diary, etc
- Then have them crumple the paper into a ball.
- Have all of them stand up and begin throwing the “snowballs” at each other. If you like you can even play a song which will help them to feel motivated.
- When you think it is enough, you can stop the fight.
- Then have each student pick up a snowball close to them, open it, and say what their friends’ wishes and regrets are.
And some variations:
You can ask them to write questions and the one who opens the paper answers the question. For reported speech you can ask them to gossip about sb and the one who opens the snowball should turn the direct statement to reported speech or you can tell them to write a suggestion, promise, offer, request and then tell them to report using the reporting verbs.
A friend teaching at primary school suggested doing it for descriptions. Ask students to draw a picture on what you are teaching, for example a classroom, and then the one who opens the ball can describe the picture or even write the description.
The variations are endless. If you trust your kids, it will be a great activity.