Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Sex Game

Update - there is now a Sex Game 2.0 version  (7/14/22)

This activity is a lot more innocent than the title states. The Latin word for "six" is sex - yep, Latin students love this fact. It is actually based on a Spanish activity called Seis (one of my Latin colleagues calles it Surrender on Six), and I learned it both from a Spanish teacher at my school and from Miriam Patrick, who is a fellow CI Latin teacher in my district. It is a high activity game involving rolling of dice.

Let me give you the basic directions of the game and then my CI twist on it:
  1. Make a list of vocabulary words. Around 75 words is good.
  2. Divide the class into groups of 4. Groups of 3 work well too, but groups of 5 can get a bit big.
  3. Students will need to arrange their desks so that there is one common workspace, with all desks touching with no spaces in between them.
  4. Every student will receive a list of vocabulary words.
  5. Every group will receive one writing utensil and one die.
  6. At the beginning, each group will place the one writing utensil in the middle of its workspace.
  7. Have students establish an order of rolling the die.
  8. Each student will take a turn rolling the die. The goal is to roll a six. If a student does not roll a six, then the die passes to the next person.
  9. The first student who rolls a six does two things: yells SEX (indicating "I rolled a six!"), grabs the writing utensil, and starts to write as many English definitions as he/she can. It is not required to go in order of the list; students can begin anywhere on the list.
  10. Meanwhile, the rest of the group continues to roll the die until someone rolls a six.
  11. At this point, that student will yell SEX, grab the writing utensil from the person who has it, and will now start writing as many English definitions as he/she can.
  12. The activity ends when someone has completed the page or after a set amount of time.
  13. Tell students to switch papers and to count up the number of correct answers. Only complete words count - if a word is halfway written, it does not count.
  14. There are two winners: the individual with the most number of correct answers, and the group with the biggest overall total.
My CI twist
  1. Although this is a fun vocabulary review game, vocabulary itself is not isolated in language and does not exist outside of a context. As a result, I use this as a post-reading activity. Instead of vocabulary words, I have sentences from the story which we have been going over. 
  2. When a student rolls a six and yells SEX, then he/she begins to translate the sentence into English. Again, it is not required for students to start at the beginning.
  3. At the end when going over the sentences, students receive one point for every correctly translated word.
  1. This is a very HIGH energy and loud game! Students LOVE yelling out SEX when they roll a six - when I told the Spanish teacher from whom I learned this activity that the Latin word for six was sex, she said, "Oh, even better!"
  2. Because students are translating sentences from the story which we have been going over, it is another way for them to see and to review comprehensible messages and to get in more repetitions of forms/vocabulary.
  3. Because of their familiarity with the sentences, it is quite easy for them to translate the sentences into English.
  4. This is a great student-centered, teacher-faciliator activity, as all you do as the teacher is walk around and monitor what is going on.
  5. The student who wins is not necessarily the fastest processor but the one who had the most time to write while the rest of the group tries to roll a six.
  6. It is so much fun hearing students yell SEX and then grab the writing utensil from the student who has it and who probably is mid-word when it is taken.
  7. I love it when I hear teachers afterwards asking me what we were doing since all they hear is the word SEX being yelled out.


  1. Played today in my 9-student Latin II to review all of my myths so far. GOLD...just GOLD.

  2. My class is playing this game while I type this. I'm pretty sure I could leave for 15 minutes and they would still be playing. What a great game.

    I added an element - colored pens and dice. Each group (5-6 students) has two dice going, with a matching colored pen. It keeps the game moving with less down time, more writing, and more "SEX." The paper looks good with the different colors, too!

  3. Sounds very interesting! Questions: Are students allowed to finish uncompleted words/sentences? If so, are they allowed to finish OTHER students' unfinished words/sentences. Also, it seems that 1 paper circulating per group limits the items available for each student.

    Have you tried this with 1 paper for each student (and maybe limiting the time of the game)? The advantages I see in this is that students will have more words/phrases to work with; students could then keep the paper as notes to study from; limiting the time allowed. The smaller timed games could allow for different rounds. I could see the latter being useful to maybe review a story chapter by chapter (each round being 1 chapter). Do you think this would be effective?

  4. wooow, will definitely try this one out!

  5. You mentioned 75 vocabulary words as being a good amount, but how many sentences do you typically use? If you set a time limit, is there a time that you have found works well? Thanks!

  6. How many sentences do you find is a good number for the game? Or, what time limit do you usually set? Thanks for sharing!