Higher Than/Lower Than Brain Break

Here’s an extended brain break that you can use starting from the first week of a level-one class. It’s perfect for getting reps on the first-person form of the verb “I believe that…” or “I think that…”, making comparisons (higher than/lower than), and reviewing numbers 1-10. There are plenty of times where you can naturally insert rejoinders when someone gets eliminated, such as “¡Qué lástima!” (What a shame!) or “¡Pobrecito!” (Poor little thing!). You can also tell each student that it’s their turn when they’re up.

Change the order of the slides to “shuffle” the deck to make multiple versions of the game so your students don’t start remembering the order of the cards.

How to Play

  • All the students stand up and form a line facing the whiteboard. I tell them to “snake it around” so that everyone can see.
  • Explain the rules of the game. The objective is to still be “in” when the teacher reaches the end of the deck. The student at the head of the line reads one of the two predictions from the screen. The teacher advances the slide after the student makes their prediction (I highly recommend this high-speed, low-drag green laser point/presenter by Logitech). If they predict correctly that the next card in the deck is either lower or higher than the current card, then they stay in the game and go to the back of the line. If they predict incorrectly, they’re “out” and sit down. The ace is the lowest card. If they get a joker, they’re automatically out and have to sit down and listen to the sad music. If the next card is the same as the prior card, they’re safe and go to the end of the line.
  • Anyone left standing when the teacher gets to the last card wins.

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  • Hi, Thank you so much…I will be using your French version and will need to make an Italian version for my other classes. Would you like to host the Italian version or would you like me to post it on my blog?

    • I’m glad you like the activity. I would love to host the Italian version. Nice job on L’isola italiana, by the way! I took one quarter of Italian in college and enjoyed it. I’ve been to Italy twice and would love to return with more command of the language.