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My pirate ate gummy bears for dinner last night!”

As an introduction to past tense irregular verbs we played a hilarious game which I have titled What did your Pirate eat for Dinner last Night. When I say “hilarious” what I actually mean is that my little students (age 6 and 8) were laughing hysterically, but it’s kids humour, I just have to warn you ahead of time.

What you’ll need:

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 21.15.41
Pirate Waters Board Game
  1. The free printable game board from ESL Games + called Pirate Waters Board Game.
  2.  Some food flash cards plus another set of non food items to mix in (this is the humorous part ;- ).
  3. A dice and some game pieces (Pirates). If you’re feeling extra creative you could print the image above and cut out the little Pirates and attach them to game pieces.

How to play:

Set your “Pirates” at the start line. The youngest player begins. Before the child can roll he must feed his pirate.  Draw a vocabulary card and whatever is on the card is what the Pirate ate for dinner last night. English has a lot of irregular verbs, like “eat”, “ate” and “have eaten”. The child can choose to use either form of the past tense, but it must be in the past. “My pirate ate ______ for dinner last night” or “My pirate has eaten _____ for dinner last night”. Whenever a funny word is drawn, the player must say it, for example, “My pirate ate tooth paste for dinner last night”. The first pirate to reach the buried treasure is the winner.

Some tips:

I chose to play with vocabulary cards that my students were already familiar with, so that they didn’t have to focus on remembering the words, but could focus on using the past tense correctly.

Every time a non-food item was drawn the children burst into laughter. While it wasn’t particularly funny to me, the kids couldn’t get enough of the silly sentences. The outbreaks of laughter mixed with the competition of the game was a win.

Kids pirate ship sailing in the sea with flag

If you need vocabulary cards, let me recommend the Ravenburg Memory games. They are so divers, sturdy and colourful, I use the game cards for many different lessons. They are honestly my most used sets of vocabulary cards. The third set is my favourite (junior memory) because of the variety in words.

Happy Sailing, and my the best pirate win!

photo credit -Designed by Brgfx

photo credit -Designed by Iconicbestiary

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