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How to play Conkers

Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

What’s this? Is it an alien from a distant planet coming out of its space-suit?

Don’t worry, it’s not here to attack earth. It’s the seed from a tree called the horse chestnut tree coming out of its capsule. The seed is called a conker. In autumn in the UK people use conkers to play a game called..... conkers.

How to play conkers

Read the text below which explains how to play conkers. When you come to a choice of words / phrases choose the one that fits best. Use a dictionary to check any words you are not sure of.

Take your conker and carefully make a hole all the way through it using something like a little _1_. Then push a piece of string about 20 cm long through the hole and make a _2_. at one end of the string which is big enough to stop the conker _3_ off the string.

Find a friend who has done the same thing with with their own conker and _4_ a coin to decide who goes on the offensive first.

If your friend is on the attack you must hold the top of your string with the conker _5_ below. Now your friend has three chances to _6_ his or her conker through the air to try to bash yours. If your conker survives it’s time for your friend to hold up his or her conker and hope for the best whilst you have three chances to smash it to _7_. Keep taking turns to attack. The winner is the person whose conker does not get broken. Usually the hanging conker is the one that cracks, but sometimes when the conkers crash together the attacking conker can be _8_.

Some people try to give their conker an _9_ by making it tougher. Techniques include baking the conker in the oven, leaving it to _10_ in vinegar overnight or painting it with varnish.

 

Discussion topics

1. Do you have any traditional games like conkers in your country?

2. Some people say "all’s fair in love and war"’, but do you think it’s right for people to take steps to toughen up their conker before playing?

3.What’s more fun - a simple game like conkers or a complex video game?

Lesson by Jimi, EC London English School

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