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The Sleeping game is a fun group game for sentence construction and word ordering that works well for Junior High and maybe for Senior High too. It can be used to review sentences using any grammar point and is therefore quite versatile.

Materials required[]

  • One blank piece of paper per group
  • Some pre-prepared sentences you wish to review


  • Split the class into their lunch groups and have them put their desks together. Give each group a piece of paper to write memos on. Mark out a section of blackboard for each group to write in.
  • Within their groups, have the students assign themselves an order from 1 to the number of words in your longest sentence. So if your longest sentence was "Please show me your passport." get them to assign an order from 1 to 5.
  • Tell the class to go to sleep with their heads on their desks. Make sure nobody is peeking!
  • Write one word from your chosen sentence on the board (e.g. "passport").
  • Tell student 1 from each group to wake up and memorise the word written on the board.
  • Tell student 1 to go to sleep, erase the word and write up the next (e.g. "show").
  • Wake up student 2 from each group, memorise and sleep again.
  • Repeat until all words from the sentence have been memorised.
  • Wake up the whole class and in their groups have them write down the words they memorised and shuffle them around into a correctly structured sentence. Once they are happy, one student from the group writes their completed sentence on their area of the board.
  • Emphasize speed, but also accuracy. I write down the order in which they finish and assign points once all teams have written up their sentences. I give out 6 points per round. I start by checking the sentence of the group who finished quickest. If they wrote the sentence correctly, they get 3 points. If they made a mistake, they get 0 and the group which finished second quickest gets the chance to earn the 3 points. The next group with a correct sentence gets 2 points, and the next 1 point.