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This game is short and simple. Write the alphabet on the board. Throw a bean bag to someone and say a word begining with the letter A. This person must catch the bean bag, say a word begining with the letter B and then throw it to another person This third person says a word begining with the leter C and so on.
Obviously the game is meant to be played fast. If played with higher level students you may not want to write the alphabet on the board. There are many ways to change the game to make it adaptable to your level of students.
Submitted by: Adam in China
I sometimes give instructions to my students written in code that they have to interpret before completing tasks. I've used this at various levels:
Here's an example: to revise alphabet and simple present verbs/vocab.
This is an activity that will make your students speak in class and be creative.
Submitted by: Luciana Pinheiro
It's an easy game and the preparation does not take too much time. You can make as many rules as you wish.
Submitted by: Sijeta Braha
This game may require students to leave the classroom depending on how you set it up.
Make a list of things students must take photos of. Then put your students into teams, each with their own camera and have them go out and take the photos. The team that comes back first with all the photos is the winner.
Some ideas for lists are:
This game is a simplified version of the board game "Taboo".
Before class, create several index cards. On each card write one word in a large font with a circle around it, and underneath write 2-4 related words in a smaller font. The goal is for students to get their teammates to guess the circled word. They can say anything they like to try to make them guess, except for the words written on the card.
Divide the class into groups of two, and write each group on the board to keep track of points. Place a desk in the front of the room facing the class, so that someone sitting it has their back to the board and can't read it. Place another desk in front of it, so the teammates are facing eachother.
Pick a team to go first, and have them choose a card. Have the teammates decide who will guess and who will talk. The guesser sits with their back to the board. On the board, making sure the guesser can't see, write the circled word as well as the other taboo words. The talker then has to try to make their partner guess the circled word without saying it, or any of the other words. After they guess it have another group come up. When all the groups have gone, do it again and have the teammates switch roles.
My students really enjoy this game, so much so that they often give the guesser clues even when it is not their team! It's a great way for students to practice forming sentences, and it forces them to use words and structures they might otherwise not use.
Submitted by: Mike Amato, Boston, MA, USA
Choose around 10 volunteers to come and stand in a line at the front of the classroom. The first student in line must begin counting from 1, and each student in turn calls out the next number. However, every 4th number must be replaced by the word "beep" (or buzz etc.). Following a "beep" the next student in line must call out the next number, and not the number that has been replaced. For example, 1, 2, 3, beep, 5, 6, 7, beep, 9 etc.
If a student hesitates too much or makes a mistake he/she must sit down, so eventually only one student remains. Whenever a student sits down, begin from 1 again. See how far you can get!
Submitted by: Caroline Berry
The teacher chooses a letter from the alphabet. Then each student must say a word that begins with that letter. If a student repeats a word that has already been said, then he/she is out of the game. The game ends when only one student remains. That student is the winner. In high level classes students lose if they say a past form of the verb. Example:see-saw. You can increase the difficulty by adding a timer. Only allow each student 5 seconds to think of a word.
This game is similar to the Alphabet Liar game except it deals with numbers and adding the "S" sound at the end of plural nouns , all you need is a deck of cards.
Divide the students into groups of 4 to 6. Deal all the cards from the deck to the students. The player who has the 2 of Spades begins. This player puts down his 2 of spades and any other 2 he has in his hand FACE DOWN in a pile and procedes to say "one 2" or "two 2'ssss" then next player procedes to put down his 3, then 4, then 5 etc...
Let's say the player doesn't have the card he is supposed to put down, for example a 3, the player must try to "lie" or fool the other players into thinking he has the card so he can play... if other students have any doubt they shout "liar" if the player was lying he then pick up the pile at the center of the table. If the player who is accused of lying was telling the truth it is the player who accused him who must pick up the pile in the center.
All players MUST put down a card when it is their turn, even if they do not have the required card. The game is over when one of the players has no more cards.
I use this game to help practice the "s" sound at the end of plural nouns cause most students have a tendancy to say "there are 2 dog" rather than "there are 2 dogssssss" this game really helps the message get through. ***For better explanations see the alphabet liar game.***
Submitted by: Jeffrey Kelso
This is a game-like activity to teach continous tense.
One student simply acts out some activity (e.g.cooking) and the other students guess what that student is doing. The student who guesses correctly acts out another acitvity...
Submitted by: Lucia Liskova
For this activity you will need a deck of cards, and an imaginative theme that could be crafted into some sort of story. For example, I choose "send the teacher on a vacation". On the board or overhead projector make a list like the following. (You could ask your student for imput.)
My students really enjoyed this game; it is most interesting if you personalize it and insert yourself or a student (assuming he/she wouldn't mind).
Submitted by: Rebecca
Have each student take out a piece of paper and their dictionary. Write on the board:
You are the new headmaster of this school. You have two years to make this the perfect school. You can have as much money as you want, but you must spend it all in 2 years.
Be specific. For example, don't say hire better teachers. You must say how you would find better teachers or what kind of teachers you would hire. Also, remember you must think like a headmaster, not like a student! Making school easy and letting the students do no exams or homework will not make parents happy!
- What changes would you make immediately?
- What changes must be gradual?
- What would you do to make it a better school?
- What changes would you make?
Give the students 15 minutes to work alone. Then put them in groups of 3-5 with a leader to organize their thoughts. Each group's leader will give its "report" to the other students during the following class period.
If your students have a small vocabulary you can help them out by listing on the blackboard areas of discussion: teachers, buildings, classrooms, activities, dorms, lunchrooms,curriculum, sports, playground, library, bathrooms,schedules,music, art,etc.
This is a great activity for all ages. We always run out of time!
Submitted by: Victoria Throop
Ask a volunteer to go out of the classroom. While the student is out of the room, the other students change their sweaters, shoes, coats and so on. Bring the student who went out of the classroom back inside. He/she has to guess the differences (speaking in English, of course.)
Submitted by: Raquel Fiol
This game is used to practice the alphabet. Divide students into groups and ask them to stand in line and give the students in the front of the line a piece of chalk to write on the blackboard. Then write with your finger a letter on the back of the students at the end of the line. They must do the same with the student in front of him/her and so on. The students with the chalk try to guess the letter and write any word that begins with that letter on the board.
Submitted by: Raquel Fiol
This is an old favorite. Give each student a sheet of blank paper. Write the following words on the board in a vertical line: WHO, WHAT, HOW, WHERE, WHEN, WHY. Explain that everyone will be writing a sentence story. Write an example on the board, explain, asking for suggestions.
I WENT TO SCHOOL YESTERDAY. pronoun verb preposition noun nounSubmitted by: Nguyen Nhu
A game for revision (review). It also works well for the last 5 minutes of class
The teacher prepares a list of items for revision e.g. word fields, grammar, facts. In class he/she explains the procedure. Three to five volunteers leave the classroom and wait till their turn has come. The teacher appoints a student to take the exact time and another to take down a tick for every correct answer. No repetitions! (Set up or negotiate rules on pronunciation.) Then the first player is called in.
Allow more time (30 or 40 seconds) for longer answers: What have you done so far today? / What did you do last weekend? / School rules: What do students have to do? What are they not allowed to do? / etc.
If this game is played in groups, they should be evenly balanced.
Submitted by: Gertraud Muraoka
Use this activity to review vocabulary:
Make a list of vocabulary covered in previous lessons. Have students stand. Call out a vocabulary word. The first student begins by saying the word and giving the first letter, the second student the second letter of the word, the third student the third letter, and so on until the word is spelled correctly. If somebody makes a mistake they must sit down and we start from the beginning again until the word is spelled correctly. The last student must then pronounce the word correctly and give a definition in order to stay standing. The student who is left standing is the "survivor" and wins the game. I usually give them some type of prize. If all the students remain standing we have a pizza party at the end of the week.
The students love it and it is a great way to practise vocabulary!!!
Submitted by: Josie Saieva (Canada)
One student sits in the front of the classroom (usually in the teacher's comfortable chair) with his back to the other students. The teacher then points to students in the class and asks "What's your name?" The student indicated must respond "My name is__________" with either his own name or the name of someone in the class. The student in the front cannot see who is speaking. The teacher says to him, "Is it___________?" and he must say "Yes, it is" or "No, it isn't". If the student in front is correct, he gets to stay there, but if he's mistaken, he changes place with the student who fooled him.
To make the game more interesting, the students are encouraged to disguise their voices.
I always do this with my beginners at the beginning of the year, but always at the end of the class, and for not more than 5 to 10 minutes. (My beginners are elementary age.)
Submitted by: Nancy Quebec
Have the students divide an 8.5" x 11" paper into 9 squares (two vertical lines / two horizontal lines. The middle square is the "free" space. Next, put a list of 5 questions on the board (these can vary in difficulty). For example:
It's a fun game that gets students speaking right away. It usually takes a while to complete.
Submitted by: Rachel Scheiner