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Mood Swings

How are you? Today I want to talk to you about the card game Mood Swings, which was published in 2013. The reason I created the game was because one teacher complained that some of her young students could not answer the question “How are you?” They probably could but some students just hate to be put on the spot and they freeze up. Another reason came from recalling a JALT presentation where a S.H.S. ALT  said, over a 45 minute period, that all many of his students could say after 6 years of studying English was “I’m fine thank you. And you?” Well I wanted them to be able to say a little more than that, even “I’m not so good. And you?”   


Late Monday afternoon I have a small class of students who are studying NFO 1 and I decided to play, for the first time, “Mood Swings” as we were to review units 1-4 because this class has a new student who is trying to catch up, anyway only one student, a 7-year-old girl, turned up, but not to worry I decided to give it a try anyway. First we sang the days of the week song “It’s Sunday”, found on page 27, going through the entire song (without the phonics) about 3 times, alternatively asking each other the question “How are you?” and identifying the feelings and emotions, which are in picture format, found in the game with “I’m happy.”, “I’m sleepy.” etc. Then I set up the table to practice “How is the (teacher)?” “The (teacher) is angry.” Here is a similar picture of the set up on the carpet, though not in a column. 




Roll the die, get a six and ask “How is the cook?” for the answer “The cook is sick (food poisoning).” I use “the cook” instead of he/she because it is the structure used in the game and my students use “the” before learning “he” and “she”. The cards come in two packs with sentences (default set) and without sentences and the game plays out similar to Switchit. Here are the basic rules to the game:


 Mood Swings Rules
1. Deal 7 cards to each player.
2. Place the pack facedown, turn the top card & place it by the pack.
3. Each player in turn plays a card, which must match the mood or job of the previous card, speaking a sentence related to the card i. e. “The teacher is terrific.” or similar.
4. The “Mood Swing” card changes the mood of the card to be played (say “mood swing” as you play the card).
5. If a player cannot play then a card is taken from the pack.
6. Remove the pack when a player finishes and play out the game.

I usually include a large sized  “mood swing” card, which carries the target moods, with the set to help you and the students.


mood swing card


BTW my young student did just fine with the game, though I’ll have to play it again next week, when I expect the other students to return.



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