Thursday, July 14, 2022

The Sex Game 2.0

I am currently at IFLT at the moment, and literally 30 minutes ago, I had a conversation with one of my absolutely favorite people in the world, Annabelle Williamson! Annabelle teaches a Spanish language lab for elementary school students at IFLT, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE watching her with those students, because I learn so much from observing her (as well as some Spanish). Anyhow, I told her that I had stopped by her lab briefly to see what she was doing. She then asked, "Did you see [the students] play your Seis game? I do something different with it." (The Seis Game is the Sex Game in Spanish. Again, in Latin, the word "sex" means "six"!!!). Immediately that got my attention, and Annabelle then showed me what she does with the game - I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS IDEA, AND I AM NOW GOING TO DO IT THIS WAY!! I just had to blog about it immediately!!

So the set up of the game is still the same involving dice and a text. The rules themselves have not changed, i.e., students will roll a dice and if they roll a six, they begin writing. However, the difference now is in the worksheet given to students. The way I learned it was to give students sentences in the target language from a known/seen reading, and the goal was to translate the sentences into English as quickly as possible. Annabelle has turned the activity into a reading game instead of one based on translation - she has the story written out for students but now it consists of a cloze sentences with a word bank at the top! So now when students roll a six, they have to pick the missing word from the word bank to complete the sentence and will continue to do this with other sentences until another student rolls a six and relinquishes control of the pen/pencil. Annabelle said to me, "Now it is a reading activity, because students have to read the sentences to know what word is missing."

My example of a Sex Game 2.0 sheet (added 8/12/22)

I am loving this change to the Sex Game, because:

  1. like Annabelle says, the focus for students is on reading and not on translation itself. Thus, Annabelle's modification has transformed this activity into one based on purposeful communication.
  2. it keeps the activity in the target language.
  3. due to the cloze sentence aspect, it requires some higher order thinking for students.
  4. students are receiving repetitions of understandable messages in re-reading the sentences from the story.
So consider using the Sex Game 2.0 version with your students - there is nothing wrong with the original version, and I will still continue to use it. I would love to hear how version 2.0 goes with your students. Thanks, Annabelle!!


  1. Hi Keith! This is a great idea. Questions: Did Annabelle use it for a story she had done already with the Ss or a totally new one? (Depending on the level, I could see it for both.) When you choose the “cloze” words, are you making a point not to have words that could be interchangeable? (I can’t read your Latin story so I can’t tell.) On one hand, it could come out like a mad-lib story- ie more than one infinitive (or adjective) listed in the word bank - my sister likes …to sing…(but “to run” was the correct answer… and the “to sing” should have been used in another spot). I do like the “seis” game and am looking forward to using it for reading too. Becky M. :)

    1. Becky, that is a great question. I believe that Annabelle was doing this with a Senor Wooly video/song which the kids had been learning during the week, so it was used as a post-reading activity By that point, the students were very familiar with it. Same for how I used it - it was the last day of doing a reading, and I wanted students to interact with the Latin in a known passage. Because students were very familiar with the reading (hopefully), finding the missing word from the word bank should have not been too difficult, but they had to read the sentence first to see what the missing word was - that's the part I liked the most. I suppose words could be interchanged (but grammatically it would not work, nor would the sentence make sense vocabulary-wise when read), but if students read the sentence carefully and knew the story, then if they chose the wrong word for one sentence, then they would realize it later when they needed that word but it was already used. The dice/six aspect just put a time limit on how long a student could write/look at the reading. Like you say, I do think a "mad-libs" sight version would be great too! Thanks for asking!