Motivating Teens Through Classroom Competitions

When teaching French at Fauquier High School in Warrenton, Virginia, Nicole Goepper incorporates games into her classes as a core element rather than an add-on. These engaging activities are integrated into daily lessons, from expanding vocabulary to mastering verb conjugations. The competitive aspect with potential prizes motivates students like 10th-grade Kiersten to excel.

At Fauquier High School, each table group adopts a team name inspired by French comic characters such as Asterix, Lucky Luke, or Caillou. Teams have the chance to earn paper euros during class, which can later be exchanged for rewards.

Throughout the school week, students at Fauquier High School enjoy various interactive games in their French classes. These include the verb conjugation Riff-Off, whiteboard relay, color game, numbers game, and body parts game, among others.

Highlighting the versatility of her teaching approach, Goepper notes that the games she uses could be adapted for subjects beyond foreign language classes, such as math, history, or science. Songs, for example, can be effective tools for teaching different concepts and topics.

11th-grade student Addie emphasizes the positive impact of interactive games in the classroom, creating a lively and engaging environment that fosters learning. She notes that the fun activities offer a welcome break from traditional learning methods and can significantly boost student motivation.

Fauquier High School

Public, Suburban
Grades 9-12
Warrenton, VA

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