Language Resident/Assistant Name:
Class theme/topics discussed:
Goal of the class:
Learn about German music from the last ~25 years
Discuss music by elaborating on what you dis/like about it
How did you structure the class?
The class started of with an Introduction, explaining the rules of the game which focuses on German music. It doesn’t necessarily matter how many different artists you take and which one you focus on – I took 8 artists and tried to have a diverse range of artists (from Herbert Grönemeyer to Nena to Helene Fischer to Rammstein [the latter being rather well known in the U.S., though maybe not so much for their criticism, which can be talked about in class]).
The game works somewhat similar to “The Voice” – the students hear an artist for a maximum of 1 minute (they have the chance to raise their arms when they already know what they want to vote – if every student raises their hand, the song will be stopped before the minute is over – which happened when Rammstein was playing for example) and think about whether they like it and want to give it a vote to get to the next round or whether they dislike and want the artist to be “disqualified”. Then, they have 2 minutes to discuss the artist in the group and then vote on whether they want them to be in the next round or not.
In the first round there are 8 artists, in the second round 5, in the third 3 and then you can go for a winner. In my class I had 7 students, and when one artist had 4 upvotes they got into the next round. But that also means that when the students have already voted 5 artists in the next round before having heard the last ones, they won’t get a chance to go in to the next round (vice versa: if the students have already disqualified 3 artists in the first round before having heard the remaining artists then the remaining ones make it to the next round nevertheless the actual vote).
BUT there is one more rule to make it a bit more interesting: every student gets the name of one artist who bribed them. They get one point by having their candidate win “The Voice” (thereby you have students arguing for one artist who most dislike). Also, to give them something to “do” when “their” artist should have been disqualified in the first round – every student also writes down the name of one artist who they don’t want to win. If that candidate doesn’t win, they also get a point.
Rules for 2 students: For 2 students (in my conversation class intermediate) I slightly changed the rules. The students get 8, 7, 6, 5… points for the first round and can give each point-number to any artist. They listen to the song – they discuss it (which is a point where they can deceive or trick the other student, by saying they really like that artist but then giving only little points) and then they give points: for example student A gives 7 points, student B gives 4 points: artist has 11 points and depending on how many points the other artists get will make it to the next round or not. Student A cannot give 7 points to any other artist in this round, student B cannot give 4 points to any artist in this round.
What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.)
Computer with music + music box
Whiteboard to write down names of songs, voting results and rules
What worked well in this class? What did not work (and how could it be improved)?
Generally, the class worked really well. The students learned about different German singers/bands (which they specifically asked) for and I incorporated that into a game which forced them to discuss and engage with each other, while trying to convince the others from their point of view and being somewhat embedded in the structure of a show that most of them know (“The Voice”).
I did not tell them the names of the singers before they were disqualified to make it more of a challenge for them to decipher which candidate is actually the one that they support (e.g. if their singer-name seems like a female, and there are 3 female singers, they know that one of them has to be their candidate, but they do not really know which one exactly is their candidate) – I’m not sure if this was necessary though and if it might not have been even more engaging when they would know the names right out of the gate.
Other than that I wouldn’t really change anything. The introduction took about 10 minutes, which was fine, because the timing of the rest worked out really well.
Intermediate: The rule change for the intermediate class (with 2 students) worked really well. They were very engaged and tried to deceive each other a lot – which was particularly fun for me, as I always knew why they would say or do something (because I knew who they supported). Great class here as well!