Apples to Apples Junior (board game review for EFL teachers)

I received a copy of this game from a friend a few weeks back, and just got around to trying it with a class of junior high school students yesterday.

Basically the game consists of one player laying down an adjective card, like ‘scary’, and then the other players laying down nouns, like ‘car accident’, ‘octopus’, or ‘tree house’. The original player then chooses which of the nouns they feel is closest in meaning to the adjective or most appropriate. Players can also choose ridiculous or illogical cards if they want. The player that laid down the card that was chosen gets a point, and another player gets to decide the next adjective.

This game worked extremely well, as students had to understand all the words in order to play. There was a lot of asking and dictionary use, and students really seemed to enjoy the game. Being the junior version, the language used was appropriate for my keen junior high school students. I would estimate that they knew about half the words involved. We played for about fifteen minutes, but it would be just as easy to have shorter games once the students are used to the rules and start learning the language.

One thing I really like is that the adjective cards list two or three synonyms, and the noun cards have some simple facts or jokes printed on them, so there is a lot of potential for students to move beyond the basic vocabulary.

The game contains almost 600 word cards, so should be a useful resource for the long term. I thoroughly recommend this game, with the caveat being that it does not seem to be available in Japan, and will only ship it to a US address. Still, if you can get hold of a copy, I think you’ll like it!





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