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6th – 12th grade teachers’ Lesson Plan #1 using games in the classroom

March 6, 2011


SYNOPSIS: During this lesson, students will use the game “You’ve Been Sentenced!” to: 1) practice producing grammatically correct sentences, 2) orally present those sentences to a peer group, and 3) orally defend the sentence’s grammar and explain the sentence’s meaning.


APPROX TIME TO TEACH: 1-2 class periods

1 copy of “You’ve Been Sentenced!”


English and Language Arts Standard #1: Use written and oral English appropriate for various purposes and audiences.

English and Language Arts Standard #2: Construct, examine, and extend the meaning of literary, informative, and technical texts through listening, reading, and viewing.

Performance Indicators: Oral Communication
Speakers demonstrate oral language proficiency in formal and informal speech situations such as conversations, interviews, collaborative group work, oral presentations, public speaking, argumentations, and debate.

  1. formulate a message
  2. organize a message
  3. deliver a message
  4. respond to feedback

Performance Indicators: Written Communication
Writers will produce texts that exhibit the following textual features, all of which are consistent with the genre and purpose of the writing:

  1. Development: The topic, theme, stand/perspective, argument, or character is fully developed.
  2. Organization: The text exhibits a discernible progression of ideas.
  3. Style: The writer demonstrates a quality of imagination and individuality, and a distinctive voice.
  4. Word Choice: The words are precise, vivid, and economical.

Writers will produce texts that exhibit the following language conventions at all grade levels:

  1. Sentence Formation: Sentences are complete and varied in length and structure.
  2. Conventions: Appropriate grammar, mechanics, spelling, and usage enhance the meaning and readability of the text. Formal English conventions are to be followed unless otherwise called for by the purpose of the writing.


  1. To utilize printed directions to correctly follow a procedure
  2. To produce grammatically correct sentences utilizing a limited selection of words
  3. To critically analyze sentence structure and grammar
  4. To orally defend sentence structure and grammar to a peer group


Determine the number of students that will participate in each game. If the number is too unwieldy for the number of copies of YBS you have at hand, consider dividing the YBS cards sets into 2 mini-sets to decrease the number of individuals per game. 5-6 students per game is a good number.

  1. Go over the basic rules of grammar and the requirements of what constitutes a proper sentence.
  2. Discuss the use of games as a teaching tool in the classroom.
  3. Introduce YBS to the students.
  4. Divide the class into the number of playgroups you have selected.
  5. Instruct the students to read and follow the directions for the timed version of the game. Also instruct the students to write down at least one sentence they produce during the game.
  6. Allow the students to play the game, monitoring the groups and mediating any rule questions or disagreements regarding sentence acceptance. Teachers may remind students of the proper rules for grammar and sentence structure upon request from the students.
  7. Allow the game to continue as long as time will allow. You may allow the students to continue the game during the next class session if you are willing to record the current scores of the groups.
  8. For wrap-up, have the students share their favorite sentences with the class. Discuss some of the challenges the students faced in producing a proper sentence using the limited selection of words they could use.

Want to learn more about McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds’ award-winning, educational games like You’ve been Sentenced!Twisted Fish and more? Visit McNeill Designs for game rulesprintable score sheets, or even order online!

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