What a great game! Like most games you played as a child, the werewolf game can be used in the classroom.
You can buy this deck of cards at pretty much any store that sells board games, but if, like me, you love crafts and a little challenge you can make your own!
Here is what mine looks like.
I know the wolves look weird…wanted to try something different but it didn’t really work out as I wanted it to.
What you need:
- pens, markers, pencils…
- OPTIONAL-tracing paper
How to make it:
I didn’t make the simplest set of cards but this is the general idea of what you can do if you want something of a similar design.
The first thing you want to do is figure out how many cards you want to create. I decided to create 11 cards (plenty for my groups of students). I have 2 wolves, a cupid, a little girl, a witch and 6 villagers. You need to cut 11 cards, out of cardboard, of exactly the same size and shape. It is important that they are the same otherwise your students will be able to recognise what card is what. I used a stationery guillotine I got in the US because it has a cutter and ruler included.
Once that’s done, cut 11 pieces of paper (I chose white) of the same shape but a little bit smaller. That’s where you will draw your characters. I decided to do mine faceless ‘cos it’s cool (but mostly about a million times easier). I also cut the corners to make it look a little bit more…refined? But that is totally optional (I also realised that the cards get less damaged if the corners are not so pointy).
Glue the drawings the the cards, add the name of each character on each card and you are pretty much done.
There is an optional step as well. On the back of the cards I wrote the word werewolf. Since this is the only side of the card the other players will see you must be extremely careful how you do that. This is when the construction paper comes into place. Draw or write whatever design you like on a piece of paper. Put the construction paper on top. Then go over the design with a pencil. Now if you flip the construction paper and outline the design (on the other side of the paper) you can transfer that design anywhere you want. It is a long and tedious process (you gotta do all the cards if you do one) but it looks so nice at the end. Do the finishing touches with a ticker marker and the set of cards is finished.
How to play:
First you need to inform the students what all the roles are.
- the werewolves want to kill all the villagers
- cupid forces 2 players (could be wolves, witch, villagers…doesn’t matter) to “fall in love” with each other and they MUST both remain alive until the end.
- The little girl gets to peek and see who the wolves are. She wakes up with the wolves and pretends to be one of them.
- the witch has 2 magic potions…one to save and one to kill.
- the villagers roles are to debate who the wolves are and kill them before they get killed. You can give special abilities to some of the villagers as well. I created a “drunk” who is not allowed to defend himself when accused of being a wolf or the mayor whose vote count double.
Now the game is basically a story with little debate like interruptions.
Here is the story I tell my students:
“We are living in a beautiful little town. The birds sing all the time, people are friendly and the sun is always shining. Unfortunately, a plague has arrived. A hoard of hungry werewolves lives here disguised as villagers. And when the night comes…they must eat!
The night falls and everybody goes to sleep (tell your students to all close their eyes).
- The werewolves, and the little girl awake (make sure they do open their eyes, if not circulate and have the werewolves open their eyes). They must agree upon who they will eat tonight (they must point at who their prey is). Now that the wolves have chosen their prey, they go to sleep again.
- Cupid awakes (only during the first round) and designates who the two lovers are. Cupid goes back to the land of dreams.
- I will now touch the two lovers on the shoulder and on the count of 3 they wake up and see the object of their undying love (make sure they wake up). The lovers go back to sleep.
- The witch wakes up. She can now decide to use her magic and protect somebody, do nothing or execute anybody (use the thumb up or down like the Roman emperors did with gladiators).
- The village awakes (everybody opens their eyes).
Somebody/Nobody died tonight (depending on who the witch saved or killed, you might have 2 dead sometimes). Villagers, you now have to possibility to kill the person you think is a werewolf (everybody debates). I see the village has made a decision. One by one the villagers vote (remember if, you have a mayor, you will have to count his vote as double, but only say the result once everybody has voted). Mr X, you have been voted guilty and you shall now be killed (the student can now reveal his card. He becomes a listener for the rest of the game. What I like to do is give the student that was just killed the role of story teller, that way the student gets to participate in the game a little longer).
And the night fall on the village again…”
Repeat the process until all the wolves or all the villagers are dead.
Make sure that every student participate in the debates. This is really good to review suggestions, modal verbs and also conditionals (eg. If I was the wolf, why did I…).
Print the story on a paper so that the students that become the story teller know what to say. Once you have played this game a few times and that they have a better idea of what the story is, remove the sheet and have them improvise.
This is a great speaking activity that involves a lot of listening and even reading. Your students will work on improving all those skills while enjoying themselves.