Atmosphere – Official Languages Programs




    Target Language:
    Grade Level:
    Short (5-15 minutes)
    Date Submitted:
    September 29, 2021

    Practise vocabulary, of any topic.

    Preparation and materials required:

    A pizza box or some type of box that you can cut open;
    black construction paper,
    white pencil crayon and others,
    regular white paper,
    paper to make your flashcards.

    Take any pizza box and make sure one side has the flaps open (NOT both). Cut along the edges of the box on the front face of the pizza box, making sure that the sides are still intact. you’re just cutting the cover. only cut it about halfway or a bit more than halfway. Your box should look like it’s open with no front, or only a half front.

    Take a piece of black construction paper. You are drawing space, so you may draw stars, planets, the moon, whatever you please. Leave space on top for the title to put “atmosphere” on the top. You may need more than one sheet to have some for the title. Make sure the whole surface (just on the inside, not the sides) is covered, and glue this black paper onto it.

    Take a strip of white paper, or left over pizza box. cut flame like edges (this is the fire component). You are going to colour this and then glue it to the bottom half that you left (remember when it said to only cut about halfway down). Make sure that it’s not super high, because you’re going to leave space for the vocabulary to “come floating down” to the “atmosphere” which is the fire.

    Cut small pieces of paper to make your flashcards (whatever vocabulary you wish). I do recommend putting the word on one side and a photo on the other, or French on one side and English on the other, so you can do several rounds to test their comprehension and not just memorizing the cards!


    The fire is the “atmosphere” line, and the vocabulary is “floating” in space. Put your finished box on a flat surface to play- you can use sticky tack on your wall, this works best. Make sure it’s in an area where you can put your screen or laptop relatively close to, so maybe consider putting it eye level to a hard surface or desk where you can put your laptop/tablet/computer.

    Explain to your students that they must save the vocabulary from burning in the atmosphere! they have to say the vocabulary correctly before it hits the fire. if it does, they lose that point and you can just stash it in the bottom of the box. With one hand you will hold the flashcard at the top of the box near the title, then slowly drag it down towards the fire line. You can even make noise effects, as if it were a meteor strike. This makes practising vocabulary extra competitive because it is technically timed.

    Practice suggestions:

    If your students say they can’t see the vocabulary, make sure that you’ve used a thick marker or sharpie to begin with. Maybe move the laptop closer. If they still can’t see, hold up your flashcard to the camera for a few seconds before continuing on with the game.

    This is best for teams. if you have one or two students that are much more advanced in English, get each student to raise their hand when they know the answer so that everyone has a chance.

    Feel free to email me for any questions, or a photo of my own Atmosphere box if you need reference!

    This also works virtually through an online game, in which you’d share your screen – see source of inspiration for more info.

    This works best with children 9 and under.

    Source of inspiration:

    This game was inspired by the Quizlet mini game called Gravity. Simply make a set of cards, and it’s the last option under the study section. Very similar to Atmosphere except it’s virtual and you have to type the answer instead of saying the answer.

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