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.
Preposition construction is an exciting game that is very effective for teaching prepositions. If properly carried out, it is very rewarding due to a high level of involvement from the learners in the learning process.
Activity time: 30 minutes
Materials required: Desk, barrier (a large piece of cardboard paper or a light board that can act as a barrier), identical sets of objects (Examples: two plastic cups, two animals, two dolls, two pots, two plastic knives, two plastic stoves or any objects that the learners know the name of in the target language.)
Skills practiced: prepositions, new vocabulary and quick thinking.
Level: All levels
- On completion of a lesson on prepositions (in, on, beside, under, next to, etc.), organize the students into two teams; TEAM A and TEAM B (with a maximum of four students per team).
- Place each group on the opposite sides of the desk. Erect a barrier with the aid of a piece of cardboard or light board in the centre of the desk. This barrier should be high enough to prevent one team from seeing the other team on the other side of the desk.
- Ask the members of each team to be seated on each side of the barrier, then place half the objects in front of each team.
- Ask team A to construct any structure of their choice (note that the barrier should prevent team B from seeing what their mates are constructing)
- When team A completes their construction, then they will give team B instructions that will enable them to replicate same structure constructed by team A.
The doll is IN the pot
The pot is ON the stove
The cup is BESIDE the hammer
The hammer is NEXT TO the knife etc.
Questions can be asked by Team B to assist them to understand the nature of the structure, once they feel they have completely replicated it, the teacher removes the barrier and the structures will be compared.
Discover more games for young learners here
ESL Listen Carefully
“Listen Carefully” is a simple game for young learners. This game is a great way to practice sentence forming in a way that is not boring for your students! Its also a great way to practice ESL listening skills.
1. First do an example and then choose one student that will give instructions to the other students.
e.g The student says “Stand up” and then all the other students must stand up.
2. The student gives more instructions to the class but does a different action.
e.g student says “Walk to the window” but the student who says the action walks to the door.
Students who don’t do the correct action are eliminated.
After, change the student who is giving the instructions.
After some practice, students will love this activity and its a great way to practice revision and sentence formation.