I love throwing a game into a lesson plan to liven it up a little. I created one inspired by “Connect Four” using symptoms and body parts; however, this could be modified for any topic. Many of my students did not play strategy games when they were young, so this helps develop that skill too.


1. Put the vocabulary on the grid. It would be cool to make it circles next time so it looks more like the original game. I have also asked them to create their own, but that seemed to lower the excitement of the game.

2. Put students in pairs. A group of three can work if you have no other choice.

3. Each person needs a different color of chips or cubes. Shout out to Ms. Kurtz, math teacher, for sharing these colored cubes with me.

4. The object of the game is to get four in a row in any direction.

5. Just like the real game, they have to build from the bottom before they can play one above it.

6. The first person points to a square and acts it out (so for fever, fan yourself and touch forehead). They could also translate or put pictures instead of words so they say it in the target language.

7. Their partner checks them. If they are correct, they put their cube. If wrong, their turn is up. This adds a new competitive edge to the game!

8. The first to get four in a row, wins! I usually give the winner a homework stamp (see Real World Homework post for more info about this).

9. I tell them to rotate the board when they play the next time so different words are used.