So I set to work and made a pretty cool PowerPoint that showed pictures of what a battleship and other boats were, explained the rules, and gave a game board. I began using it with some winter classes one year, and I quickly became inundated with requests to play it again and again.
All you need to play is a simple Battleship Game Board handout, and some questions. I break the game up into three rounds of questions. Teams that answer the questions correctly will get one point, or shot. They can use that shot to shoot at the other team’s ships, wherever they are. This is what a Battleship Game Board looks like:
Explain to students that they can put 3 ships on their grid. They can put them horizontally, vertically, but not diagonally.
The 3 ships are a battleship, a sub, and a fishing boat. The battleship is 3 squares long; the sub, 2; and the fishing boat is only 1 square. I also say that each ship can fire as many shots as its size. So a battleship can fire 3 times, a fishing boat 1. That give each team 6 shots each round.
The rounds break down into three levels: Listening, Writing, and Speaking.
- Listening Round: In the listening round I have a reading already prepared that I read to the students. This is usually something taken from the book, or something that I wrote up with the vocabulary or grammar that is in the book. I’ll make up about 20 questions based on that reading. Student listen, then answer, and can get up to 6 points, or more if you prefer.
- Writing Round: In this round I’ll have a series of 3 to 6 questions typed of up on in a handout that I give to students. They have to talk together, and each student has to write one sentence. I sit and wait until they’re finished, then look for grammar and spelling mistakes. Students start with 6 points in this round, but are docked points for each mistake they make. This is what a typical handout looks like:
- Speaking Round: In this round I ask each student a question. If they can answer satisfactorily, and without a lot of mistakes, I’ll give them a point. This is a good round when there’s only 1 ship left and you need to give the teams more points to shoot with.
My students love this game. I’ll often have classes where each is down to their fishing boat and every shot could be the last. When the three rounds are over we’ll go to sudden death and just shoot once per team until the last ship goes under. By that time students are up out of their desks, shouting with excitement, and everyone’s having a good time.
This game will take you about 30 to 60 minutes, so it’s a great game for the entire class, and it can be adapted for most levels. Try incorporating your vocabulary and grammar today, and start sinking some ships!