ESL WORD ASSOCIATION GAME (THE TALKING BALL)
This is an effective and enjoyable activity which encourages the active participation of learners. The aim of the game is to help learners practice words associated with a particular topic or category. For example, you could ask the learners to use only names of animals, countries, verbs etc.
Activity time: 30 minutes
Materials required: Ball (Any type of soft ball will do)
Skills practiced: Word association (word on a category)
- Ask the students to stand up and form a circle.
- Pick up the ball and explain the rules of the game to the students
- Begin the game by saying the first word and then bounce the ball or you can throw the ball to a student randomly and ask the student to say a word belonging to that same category.
- After the first student says their word, he/she has to bounce or throw the ball randomly to another student, and this continues with each receiver saying a new word until a student can’t think of any new word to say.
- When it gets to the point where a student can’t think of a new word, the student will be asked to make a simple and complete sentence using the word said by the last person. After the sentence has been made, the ball will be passed to the next students and the game continues.
CATEGORY GAME (MONKEY IN THE MIDDLE)
This is a fun and interesting group activity which helps students to practice and check vocabulary of different categories.
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials required: Ball
Skills practiced: Vocabulary (relating to different categories)
Level: All level
- Prepare a list of categories of vocabulary you want the students to review and practice.
- Ask the students to form a large circle.
- Select a student who will be the monkey in the game, ask the monkey (the selected student) to stand in the middle of the circle.
- Give the other students a category from the list you have. Example: Food
- The students then tosses the ball among themselves making sure that the monkey does not get it.
- The student tossing the ball must say a word that belongs to the selected category.
- If the monkey catches the ball, the student who tossed the ball becomes the new monkey.
- If any student cannot say a word that belongs to the category, they become the new monkey.
- Ensure you change the category whenever there is a new monkey.
- Enjoy and have fun.
Note: The list of vocabulary depends on the level your students.