Fantasy Football Team

Sometimes the old ideas and the simplest ideas are still the best!
Many World Cups ago with a group of beginners in Year 5 I was practising numbers and how to say our names in French. It seemed a great opportunity to combine football, numbers and names. We created our own fantasy football teams and the idea has been rolled out many times and in many different ways.

All you need are templates for football shirts with the numbers printed on them. The lowest order of numbers is obviously 1-11 but you could add subs too!

The activity appealed to boys and girls because this was the creation of their own personal fantasy football team so it was amazing how many story characters, film stars, boy bands and cartoon characters made their way into these teams . However some of us took t really seriously and had to contemplate which great footballer was their goalie etc….especially when the players had to be drawn from the international pool of players taking part in the World Cup or European Cup etc that was the sporting event of the season.
So with a simple set of cards this is what we have done over the years …since 1996 to be exact!

Manager and team
A simple number sort .
The manager can’t get the numbered shirts in order!A different child holds each shirt and the scenario is a team photo 1-11- can the class help you put the shirts in order. It’s great fun misplacing the numbers in the sequence and getting the children to help you reorder the numbers and over and over again getting the order out of synch! Finally give up and let someone else be the manager and ask the class to help them count the shirts into the correct order.

Sound shirts and players from the target language country.
Who will be playing in which shirt at the match .  Introduce the children to famous players from the target language country …not necessarily playing in the specific World Cup team. Focus on key sounds in the names of the players. Add the sound as a grapheme to the reverse side of one of the numbered shirts. Blu-tac them to the board number side up .Divide your class in to two teams. Can the  children select a number, turn the card over say the sound they read on the reverse and name the correct player .Which team wins?

Colours, flags and shirts
Introduce the children to five key teams in the World Cup. Practise the names of the countries in the target language. Look at the flags for each of the countries and practise the colours in the flags. Blu-tac the flags to the board with no country names on them. In a bag or box put the names of the five countries with one of the numbers 1-11 on the cards too. Divide the class in to two teams. Can each team take it in turns to ask politely for a country. Pull out a card with that country on it and the team must then say the number and identify the correct flag. 
Can they say the colours on the flag and can one of their team members
colour in the shirt with these colours?

Fantasy Teams

Give each class member a set of smaller version team shirts with numbers on. Ask the class to decide who they would like in their fantasy team. They must create a mobile or a poster or a team layout for their fantasy team with pictures of the heads of the chosen famous people or characters attached to the shirts. The children must introduce their teams to their class mates –as if they were holding a simple greetings and question answer dialogue .

This can be done in the first and second person singular:

Hello number one. What are you called?
Hello I am called ……..

Or as third person singular question and answer dialogue

Hello ! What is player number ….called?
S/he is called …….

Or as simple presentation

In my team there are eleven players ,Number one is called ….., number two is called……. etc

Finally don’t forget to display the teams – as the children are always really proud of their own fantasy football teams ! 

Take a look at the sequence of lessons here we have already created for the World Cup celebrations