Mastermind

This is a great activity for those logical-mathematical thinkers. The teacher thinks of a word in the target language (best to start with a four letter word) and tells the students to try to guess the word. To avoid too many guesses at the same time, the students must raise their hands and be called on before answering.

As the students guess words containing four letter, the teacher writes them up on the board. The key for telling students how close they are to the target word is a number code telling how many letters are correct and how many are in the correct position. These numbers are written after each new word guessed.

To give an example, you are thinking of the word HOME and a student guesses the word HELP. Since the H and E are contained within the word and the H is in the correct position, you would write 2/1 on the board after the word HELP. The 2 indicates that 2 of the letters are correct and the 1 indicates that one of them is in the correct position. The students keep guessing until they figure out the pattern and guess the whole word. You can set a limit on the number of guesses or set a time limit. This keeps students focused and works well if there happen to be a few minutes left in the class period.