Bean Boozled in ESL Classroom: A Funny Way to Warm Up, Engage And Motivate Your Students.

Who doesn’t like jelly beans? Most kids love them. Why not use that love for them in your classroom?

I’m sure most of you know the naughty version of Jelly Beans- Bean Boozled. It is a game which features a spin wheel and 14 different flavours of the jelly beans. 7 of the flavours are weird and wild and quite disgusting, especially rotten egg or dog food, others are more or less harmless, like toothpaste and lawn clippings. The other 7 flavours are regular jelly beans: peach, coconut, lime, etc.

The fun thing is, the seven regular flavour look identical to the other seven disgusting flavours. Can you tell them apart? You spin the wheel, which shows you what colour you have to eat. Will it be tasty lime or lawn clippings?

So far, it sounds fun, but what can you do with this game at your ESL/EFL lessons?

Plenty of things. I used it for the first time as an icebreaker in September, during that first lesson when everyone feels awkward and uncomfortable. I prepared a set of quiz questions, mine was general knowledge but you can make it anything you want: tenses, vocabulary, spelling, etc.

I asked a student a question and when they didn’t answer correctly they had to spin the wheel and eat a jelly bean. It was exciting because they didn’t know what flavour they would get, so they tried to answer correctly as the game progressed, hence the motivation.

You can use it as an energizer when your students seem in need of a little excitement and fun. It can be used at the end of the lesson as a filler, or as a form of a reward after a difficult test. You can also hack the spin wheel and add different questions to each section. If the student answers correctly, they don’t have to eat the jelly (or they can, if they want to risk it). If they can’t answer the question correctly, they have to eat the jelly.

My favourite way how to use it is to let them write the questions, and I mostly use it for vocabulary revision. I prepare vocabulary cards on certain topic and each of the cards contains the word which they need to explain and colour of the jelly bean.

They spin the wheel, and if they can’t explain the word they have to eat the bean of the matching colour. Which can be delicious or quite sickening. Just make sure the kids are ok with this kind of game and have some tissues ready, some spitting may occur!

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