Liar! is a simple activity where students describe and answer questions about images. Students have to listen to a volunteers description of a picture and decide if they are lying or telling the truth about the image.
Before class, print out a copy of the four student cards below. In class, get 4 volunteers to come to the front of the class. Hand each of them one of the cards below in a folder (so that other students cannot see their picture).
Have each volunteer take turns giving a truthful description of their picture, except for the volunteer with the blank piece of paper. This student should invent a description to fool the class.
Encourage the class to ask questions to try to expose the ‘liar!’.
After the class votes to decide who they think the ‘liar!’ is. Then, the volunteers show their images.
Dictionary Race is a simple yet versatile ESL game that is great for developing dictionary skills with students. In this activity, the teacher gives students a list of unfamiliar words. These words may be from a text that they are going to read or from a new unit they are about to study. Students work in teams with a dictionary (traditional book dictionary, mobile phone dictionary or using a computer – as is appropriate) to find the meaning of as many words on their list as possible in a set amount of time and make some notes to help them remember. After, students must explain the meaning of their words without the use of the dictionary. The team who can successfully explain the meaning of the most words is the winner. Encourage students to explain the words in English and not simply in their native tongue.
Put students into of groups 2 – 3.
Give each group access to at least one dictionary (paper or digital as is appropriate/available.
Next, give students a list of words and explain to them that they need to find the meaning of the words and be able to report them back to the class in English. Explain that they have only 3 minutes to complete the task (you can change the time as required. Less time can make sure that students stay focused during the task).
After the time has passed, the group who can explain the most number of words is the winner. Encourage students to explain the words in English.
More Vocabulary Games
Discover more ESL vocabulary games.
Vocabulary Fortunes – This online ESL Game is a great way to practice vocabulary with teens and adults. This activity is a great way to end class.
ESL Odd One Out is an online game that is a great way to practice vocabulary and speaking with young learners. This activity is great to help students practice for the Cambridge Movers exam. In total there are 8 rounds with 3 sets of pictures in each round.
Age/Level: Young Learners (Cambridge Movers)
Time: Varies depends on needs
Players: Teams or individually
Preparation: None! Just use the prepared online game below
Aim: To practice for Movers exam Part 2. To practice vocabulary, prepositions and speaking.
Display the interactive game on your interactive whiteboard or simply using a projector.
Explain to students that you are going to show them 4 pictures and they must guess which picture is the Odd One Out or as in the Movers speaking exam, ask students to tell you “which one is different”.
The students should then select which one is different and explain why. Students should say something like “This one is different because…”.
This activity can be played with students in groups or each student getting asked one set of pictures each.
Remember: What is most important is that students give a full answer. Any answer is correct as long as the student can say why.
ESL Guess the Valentine’s Day idiom is a simple warmer/cooler for teens and adults on the topic of Valentine’s Day. In this activity, students try and guess the Valentine’s Day idiom. After, students need to think what the idiom means by looking at an example sentence. This simple no-prep activity is a great way to get students speaking about Valentine’s Day while developing their knowledge of idioms. Encourage students to compare expressions from their own language. Are they similar or different?
Age/Level: Teens and adults – upper-Intermediate and above (B2+)
Time: 10 – 15 minutes
Preparation: None! Just use the prepared online presentation below
Aim: To guess the Valentine’s Day Idioms and their meaning.
1. In pairs, students look at the different images and try and guess the idiom.
2. Above each image students will see how many words are contained in the idiom. For each word they guess correctly, they receive one point. Make sure students understand that they do not need to guess the entire idiom.
3. After they see the idiom, show students the idiom in use and ask them to guess the meaning of the idiom. Award points for correct guesses. Before moving on to the next idiom, get students to discuss whether the idiom is similar in their own language.
To make this activity easier, you can play the game as if it is hangman. Done this way, students will find it easier. Give students a number of lives and award points for correctly chosen letters.
More ESL Valentine's Day Activities
Discover more ESL Valentine’s Day Activities for teens and adults.
3 ESL Valentine’s Day Activities – In this post you will find three activities for teens and adults. In the first activity, students watch a video describing the origins of Valentines Day. Students watch the short video and find out key information about the day. The second activity uses infographics, students read and discover interesting facts about Valentine’s Day. Finally, you will find a number of speaking questions to get students speaking about Valentine’s Day.