“What educational resource can make learning verbs and grammar effective, fun and engaging for students plus double as a high energy-packed game that has become a national tournament?
Enter Verbathon®, created by Emmanuel Escueta, a French Immersion teacher in the Coquitlam School District. Verbathon® uses sports-style games where students are timed on how fast they can conjugate verbs as well as use those conjugation skills in context to form sentences in additional activities. The strategies in Verbathon® are adaptable to a wide range of levels. These learning activities are included in the detailed teacher’s guide with easy-to follow instructions. The Verbathon® kit contains the guide, a customized wall chart, hundreds of colour-coded cards consisting of pronouns, verbs in different tenses, adjectives, negations, and more.
The success of Verbathon® is attributed to what Escueta refers to as the INFINITE Principle. INFINITE is an acronym for INclusive Fun, INteractive, Integrative, Team-oriented, and Empowerment:
- INclusve – Everyone can participate regardless of initial skill.
- Fun – The learning takes place through fun, active games.
- INteractive – Many activities are kinesthetic, requiring movement. Songs to chant and rap are included.
- Integrative – Subject areas like Math and Social Studies are integrated.
- Team-oriented – Students are grouped into balanced teams.
- Empowerment – Leadership and peer tutoring encourage students to take ownership over their learning.
Here is why Verbathon is so incredibly successful
Students Love to Play
Verbathon works because students at any age love to play games. Research shows playing games has a huge impact on learning.
Verbathon Includes Activities
Verbathon includes a series of activities like a race-against-the-clock game in which students learn to conjugate verbs quickly and accurately.
Framework & Instructions
Verbathon provides the framework and instructions for holding fun classroom grammar games and the platform for a National tournament held every two years.
Local & National Competitions
Students get excited about playing Verbathon® with their peers! They can compete locally and nationally to win bronze, silver and gold medals.
J’adore ce jeu!!!À chaque concours du Verbathon, il permet à des élèves faibles de faire fureur et d'exceller!!! Le sourire et la fierté sur leurs visages vaux un million.
Verbathon - Secret SauceVerbathon is like the secret ingredient or sauce to a great French classroom. I don't know where I'd be if I didn't have it.
Changing Attitudes & BehaviorWhen other French teachers mention that they have a tough behavioral class…I immediately mention Verbathon. My favorite success story is about a little boy who gave so much attitude and behavior that he would destroy my classroom. Closer to the end of the year…he tried Verbathon for the first time and got the fastest time in the class.
Most Successful Teaching ToolVerbathon has been one of the most successful teaching tools I've ever used. The other day we were practicing Verbathon and I told the class that we need to take a bit of a break to work on some other work and a student yelled out..." That sucks! Can't we just do verbs all day?" I just about died laughing. How often do you hear that in a core French classroom?
RÉQUEST- Cela s'est avéré être un outil très pratique.Pour ce qui est de RÉQUEST, je faisais un thème sur les 5 sens avec une classe combinée de 5/6. Cela s'est avéré être un outil très pratique. Les enfants ont fait leurs propres questions et ils ne voulaient plus arrêter de jouer. J'en suis venue à voir des possibilités multiples de jouer à RÉQUEST.
Students Study Verbs(My child) has displayed an excitement about going to school this year. He looked forward to many of the events and challenges that you had given the class. It is very encouraging for parents to see their child(ren) looking forward to class and being interested in the outcome of their latest challenge. The latest example of this was the VERBATHON your class held.
L'atelier était formidable!Ce jeu (Verbathon) est un atout pour chaque classe de français langue seconde ou d'immersion. L'atelier était formidable! Emmanuel Escueta a créé un jeu extraordinaire pour maîtriser les verbes de façon amusante. L'atelier était vivant, intéressant, stimulant et drôle. Bravo!
Principal's ViewpointI would walk the hallways during the day and students are totally engaged practicing for the school tournament......all are having a great deal of fun and, of course, learning!!
The game evolved into a national tournament that has been held every two years since 1999. The National Verbathon® Tournament attracted registrants from schools across Canada. Teams ranged from Grades 2-7 French Immersion/ Francophone/Intensive French, and Grades 6-8 French as a Second Language. Some districts even held tournaments to determine finalists, for example, in the Coquitlam School District in BC, organized by CPF (Canadian Parents for French) Tri-Cites. Some examples of sponsors include ACPI (The National Association of French Immersion Teachers), Canadian Parents for French, Staples (Bureau en Gros), Escutech Ltd. and P&L Speed Print.
Teachers across Canada have expressed how Verbathon® improved the learning of their students. Powerful comments like, “I’ve seen such an increase in their confidence” or “My students are even wanting to practice during recess” are a testimony to how Verbathon® can enhance a school’s language program. Some CPF Chapters even use Verbathon® for their homework club.