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Game Mafia role playing game for language classes

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MAFIA
a role-play game for
language classes
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
Image CC-BY 2009 DieselDemon Flickr.com
NOTES FOR THE TEACHER
What should I do if I notice a mistake?
If you find any errors or typos in this document, please notify me immediately by
emailing [email protected] (make sure my middle initial ‘e’ is included!). I will
correct the mistake immediately and re-upload the file. Thank you!
How should I print this document?
To use less ink, consider printing out the title page on the last page of this document
instead of the red cover page. Thank you to one of my readers for the suggestion!
When should I play this game?
Anytime! Play it in the past tense or the present tense; target the past perfect and
pluperfect as well! With you at the helm as the narrator, you can bring in ANY
vocabulary that you want: if you want to target "house" vocabulary, you can describe
in which room of the victim's home each murder occurred and which household item
was used as the murder weapon. As students accuse and defend, you are the medium
by which their claims travel to their classmates: "What? Sarah, you say that you are
not the mafia because you are a nice person? You say that you think that Bobby is the
mafia because he is Italian? Class, do you think that Bobby is the mafia because he's
Italian? Bobby, how do you respond to this accusation??" Always use the key TPRS®/
CI strategies of circling and checking for comprehension while you play. Unfamiliar
with these strategies? Visit http://martinabex.com/teacher-training/essentialstrategies-for-tprsci-teachers/
Where can I find more games that provide Comprehensible Input?
There are about 40 CI games in The Comprehensible Classroom blog archives.
Browse them here: http://martinabex.com/category/games/
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
●2●
MAFIA GAME OVERVIEW
OVERVIEW:
Mafia is a role-play game in which a poor town is being tormented by the evil Mafia.
The police force is working tirelessly to identify the perpetrators of the heinous crimes
being committed while the local doctor does everything in his or her power to save
the victims of the Mafia's unconscionable attacks. The local news reporter is the only
one safe from the Mafia, and he or she bears the burden of informing the
townspeople of the Mafia's every move.
OBJECTIVES:
• Mafia: Kill everyone in the town. Doctors and Police officers are the priority.
• Police: Identify the mafia and convince the townspeople to convict them.
• Doctor: Save the victims of the mafia's attacks.
• Townspeople: Convict the mafia members.
Read more at http://martinabex.com/?p=3574
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
●3●
MAFIA SET-UP
1. Get a deck of cards. Sort out the Aces, Kings, and Queens. (Or use the cards on pp11-12)
2. Set up the game cards based on number of players. You will want to play with your entire
class, even if it's a big class, and it is not very fun to play this game with fewer than 10
students. Here are the cards that you need based on class size:
• Up to 12 students: use 2-Aces, 2-Kings, 1-Q, and enough additional cards for each
remaining student to receive 1 (I find it's easiest if you only distribute number cards--not
face cards--so that there is less potential for confusion from students). So in a class of 12
students, you would need 7 number cards because you have 5 key role cards (5+7=12
total).
• 13-18 students: use 3-Aces, 2-Kings, and 1-Q plus additional cards.
• 19-23 students: use 3-Aces, 3-Kings, and 1-Q plus additional cards.
• 24+ students, you will need 4-Aces, 4-Kings, and 2-Q.
3. Arrange chairs in a [giant] circle.
4. Post the role key on the board (Page 10).
• In the past, I have created my own deck of cards (using index cards and clipart) for
special "themed" games: for example, for Semana Santa I made the townspeople
"Penitentes", the Mafia was "El diablo", the doctor was "El sacerdote", and the police
were still the police. You could change the roles to match a novel that you are reading.
For example, if you're reading "Esperanza", which is about immigration, you could use
coyotes, immigrants, border patrol agents, and case workers. If you're reading "Vida y
muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha", which is about gangs, you could use "La pandilla"
instead of "La mafia" and "Detective" instead of "Policía". If you play the game often, it
is a good idea to change up the vocabulary so that students are learning different sets
of vocab throughout the year.
5. Post the game flow sign from Page 9.
6. Post additional useful vocabulary. You may want to use the “Expressing Opinions” poster
from this blog post http://martinabex.com/2012/08/09/posters/, and you may wish to use
the vocabulary on Pages 13-20 of this document (you could paste them on construction
paper and laminate them as individual cards, or just post them as-is).
7. Determine who will be the narrator, or news reporter. The teacher will almost always play
the role of the narrator; in upper level classes, you may choose to allow a student to take
on this role. Just remember that if the goal is COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT (which it is!!), you
need the narrator to speak correctly and comprehensibly. If you have a native speaker that
is skilled in the art of speaking comprehensibly to his or her classmates, this is a great role
for that student.
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
●4●
MAFIA GAME PLAY [page 1]
1. Shuffle the cards that you've selected to use for your class size.
2. Distribute the cards to students, FACE DOWN. Remind students that it is
essential that no one else know which card they were dealt. It is recommended to
sit on top of your card once you've looked at it so that no one sees it in your hand
as you hold it.
3. The narrator tells the entire town to go to sleep. You could say this as a
command if you want to practice commands; however, in the traditional game, the
narrator is really just narrating the entire thing, so he or she says "The town goes
to sleep" versus "Go to sleep, town!". So the narrator says, "El pueblo se
duerme". You could also say "Everyone goes to sleep" to get in reps of different
vocabulary.
4. The town goes to sleep (all students close their eyes). You will find that students
really do close their eyes because the game is much more fun when you're not
cheating.
5. The narrator tells the mafia to wake up. "¡La mafia se despierta!
6. The mafia opens their eyes and searches the room to identify the other mafia
members by making eye contact with them. Remember, anyone that was given an
"Ace" is a mafia member. The narrator makes a mental note of who is in the mafia.
This is important!
7. The narrator tells the mafia to attack. Use discretion based on your school's
policies and personal convictions for violence and role-play!! You might say "The
mafia attacks its victim" or "The mafia kills someone" or "The mafia strikes".
8. Using eye contact and very, very, VERY subtle gesturing (pointing, nodding, etc.),
the mafia members identify a victim. They must come to agreement on the one
person in the class to attack; if they have an idea as to the identity of the police
officers and/or doctor(s), those people should be their priority. It is essential that
the mafia not make any sound so as not to give away their identity.
9. Once a victim has been identified, the narrator tells the mafia to go to sleep. "La
mafia se duerme".
10.The mafia close their eyes.
11.The narrator tells the police to wake up.
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
●5●
MAFIA GAME PLAY [page 2]
12. The police officers open their eyes and use subtle gesturing to identify
someone in the class that they think might be in the mafia. The narrator can ask
questions during this time to clarify (pointing and asking "him? her?"), but he or
she should be careful to not give away any identities or make hints as to how
many police officers remain.
13. Once all police officers have come to an agreement on an accusation, the
narrator either confirms or denies their accusation with a nod or a head shake.
Only the police officers should know whether a mafia member was correctly
identified or not, so it is important that the narrator not respond to the accusation
with a verbal "yes" or "no". The police officers remember the information with
which the narrator provides them.
14. The narrator tells the police offers to go to sleep.
15. The police officers close their eyes.
16. The narrator tells the doctor(s) to wake up.
17. The doctor opens his or her eyes and use subtle gesturing to identify someone
to attempt to save. Again, if there are two doctors, they must silently come to an
agreement.
18. If the person that the doctor(s) attempted to save was the same person that the
mafia had selected as a victim, the narrator gives the doctor(s) a thumbs up.
Hooray! They saved the victim. If the person that the doctor(s) attempted to save
was not the same person that the mafia had selected as a victim, the narrator
gives the doctor(s) a thumbs down--they were unable to save the victim.
19. The narrator tells the doctors to go to sleep.
20. The narrator tells the town to wake up.
21. Everyone opens their eyes.
22. The narrator tells everyone what happened in the night. The narrator begins
by making up a story about the mafia's attack. This is a great time to get creative
and keep it comprehensible. You can mix in a few new words, but really limit your
vocabulary so that the input remains comprehensible. Build suspense by not
revealing the name of the victim until you have already described the crime. After
you reveal the name of the victim, say whether or not the doctor(s) were able to
save the victim--but don't reveal the identity of the doctors!
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
●6●
MAFIA GAME PLAY [page 3]
23. The deceased victim steps out of the circle. If the victim was saved by the
doctor, he or she can remain in the game. All deceased victims are "flys on the
wall": they can keep their eyes open at all times, but they must not speak. This is
okay because they are still receiving input, and I think you will find that they
remain engaged because the game is so fun to watch unfold.
24. The narrator tells the town to make an accusation. The narrator might
ask, "Who do you think did it?", or "Make an accusation!"...or anything, really!
25. The town discusses. Students can tell the truth or lie to achieve the objectives for
their role that are listed toward the top of this post. The townspeople try to
identify the mafia, the mafia tries to cast suspicion on others, the police officers
may choose to reveal their identity if their accusation was confirmed (although the
town might not believe them!), the doctor attempts to remain anonymous. The
townspeople mention anything that they heard "in the night" (movements, for
example, that would lead them to believe that the person sitting next to them was
the mafia), and they share their thoughts and suspicions about their classmates as
the game goes on, based on what people say and do. The first few discussions go
very quickly, and toward the end of the game the discussions take quite a long
time.
26. Once discussion dwindles, the narrator asks if the town wants to make an
accusation. A vote may be needed to determine this.
27. If the town does not want to make an accusation (common in early rounds), skip to
step 30.
28. If the town wants to make an accusation, a vote might first be needed to
determine who to accuse (only one official accusation may be made per round).
Then, the narrator calls for a conviction vote.
29. All students (including special roles because they are supposed to be secret!) vote
whether or not to convict the accused. If the accused person is convicted, he or
she is eliminated from the game yet still keeps his or her role a secret! That
student joins the victims outside the circle as silent observers. If the accused
person is not convicted, that student remains in the game; safe for now.
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
●7●
MAFIA GAME PLAY [page 4]
30. The town goes to sleep and the process repeats. The mafia wake up, attack
someone based on what was said in the last town hall meeting, the police try to
identify the mafia, and the doctor attempts to save someone. As the
game continues, the people with these roles will die off as they are killed by the
mafia or accused by the townspeople.
31. The game ends when one of these two things happens:
(a) all mafia have been convicted
(b) it becomes impossible for the townspeople to win because there are more
mafia than other living townspeople.
The game can take a very, very long time if you have a large class, but don't be
afraid to suspend game play until the next time that you have spare time at the
end of a class period or Preferred Activity Time (PAT)--just make sure that YOU
write down who has which role and who is still alive in the game, and that no one
sees the cards as you collect them from students.
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
●8●
MAFIA
EL ASESINATO
LA DISCUSIÓN
LA ACUSASIÓN
LA CONDENA
Copyright © 2015 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom ● 9
LA
MAFIA
LA
POLICÍA
EL
MÉDICO
EL
PUEBLO
Copyright © 2015 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom ● 10
LA POLICÍA
LA MAFIA
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
LA MAFIA
EL MÉDICO
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
CIUDADANO
DEL PUEBLO
CIUDADANO
DEL PUEBLO
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
CIUDADANO
DEL PUEBLO
CIUDADANO
DEL PUEBLO
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
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Copyright © 2015 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom ● 13
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Copyright © 2015 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom ● 14
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Copyright © 2015 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom ● 15
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Copyright © 2015 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom ● 16
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Copyright © 2015 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom ● 17
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Copyright © 2015 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom ● 18
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Copyright © 2015 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom ● 19
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Copyright © 2015 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom ● 20
The Comprehensible Classroom’s
MAFIA
a language game from
Martina Bex
Copyright © 2014 Martina Bex ● www.martinabex.com ● The Comprehensible Classroom
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