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Galapagos Islands Games & Activities

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

The Galápagos Islands are beautiful and unique. For this reason, we should teach this topic to give our students some very interesting activities and games to play while learning.

The Amazing Galápagos Islands

One of the best ways to engage your students into the topic of the Galápagos Islands is through images. You can easily find them on the Internet and present them to your students with a brief explanation.

  • A good place to start is the beaches. Point out the color of the water and the white sand. On one island, the sand is even greenish!
  • Find pictures of volcanic lakes.
  • Include the animals living in the Galápagos.
  • Finally, include some pictures by divers of the underwater life.

Make sure to tell your students why the islands are called Galápagos. Ask if someone knows what a galápago is. If no one knows, show the picture of a giant turtle to then explain that the name of this type of turtle is galápago in Spanish. Once your students have all the relevant information on these amazing islands, here are some fun activities and games.

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Activities and Games

A good approach to such an interesting topic as the Galápagos Islands is to give students an activity to enhance the knowledge you provide followed by a game to wrap up learning. The following activities and games focus on animals, geology, Lonesome George, and the Charles Darwin Foundation.

Animals

Activity: To begin with an activity, your students can research animals. Assign an animal to a group of three students so they research and present to the class on that particular animal. Here is a list of animals you can assign:

  • Galápagos tortoise
  • Blue-footed booby
  • Red-footed booby
  • Nazca booby
  • Marine iguana
  • Frigate bird
  • Flightless cormorant
  • Galápagos penguin
  • Sea lion
  • Flamingo

Your students could present through a PowerPoint to include the following aspects about each animal:

  • Description of adult and baby specimens
  • Habitat
  • Behavior for hunting and feeding
  • Current concerns for the conservation of the animal

Remembering Game: As students do their presentations, you can work on-the-spot on game preparation. Have ready a few pieces of paper and write relevant information on them. For example, if a student says that the Galápagos tortoises spend a lot of time in the sun to warm themselves, write: 'This animal spends a lot of time in the sun to feel warm.' When students are finished with their presentation, you are also finished with your pieces of paper for the game.

To integrate the class, ask students to sit in a circle. Next, put all pieces in a bag and walk around the class getting students to pick up a piece or more of paper depending on how many you have. Each student then reads aloud her/his piece of paper and tries to remember which animal the paper is describing. If the paper ends up in the hands of someone who presented on that particular animal, then the student must exchange the paper with another student. This way, students have to remember the information their peers presented.

Geology

Activity: You can print out the information available on the Galápagos geology on the Internet. Make sure each reading is up to the level of your students. Then, give different readings to different groups and give them enough time to read. Next, give students enough time to prepare a summary of what they read, explaining geology in their own words. Geology topics of the Galápagos include the following:

  • Magma generation and volcanism
  • Types of volcanoes
  • Nazca Plate and Cocos Plate
  • Galápagos Spreading Center

When students are ready, have them tell their peers their summary. It does not matter if more than a group presents on the same topic because geology can be complicated to understand.

Volcano Eruption Game: For this game, have your students make a volcano per group of three or four students. This has to be done in advance and each group must bring the volcano to class along with a secret formula to make it erupt. Instruct your students to find a good recipe to make a volcano erupt on the Internet. For safety reasons, send a note home so that parents assist their children in choosing the recipe to use in class.

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