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ESL Prepositions Game

“Preposition Practice” is a great simple ESL game to practice prepositions of place with young learners. It’s a fun and interactive way to study prepositions of place that’s sure to be enjoyed by the whole class. 
Activity Time: 10 mins +
Materials required: flashcards.
Skills practiced: Vocabulary, writing and prepositions of place.
Level: Young learners
1. Choose a number of flashcards you want your students to revise. Hide them in different locations around the classroom.
2. Tell your students they need a pencil and paper. Tell them you have hidden X amount of flashcards in the room and they need to find them and write down their location on their piece of paper.
3. The first student to find all the flashcards and write their location is the winner.

Liar Liar

ESL Liar Liar pants on fire, ESL Games, ESL Intermediate, ESL Games, ESL Activities, ESL Speaking

Liar Liar is a simple activity that I have used recently while teaching the topic of crime. It’s a simple activity and a great way to introduce the unit of crime. This activity uses authentic material and is a great way to challenge students while engaging them with interesting material. I have used this activity with teens and adults from B1 (lower intermediate +) to C1 (advanced) and I have had great results with it. As always, I would love to hear your opinions and adaptations.

Activity Time: 20 mins +
Materials required: presentation below (optional)
Skills practiced: speaking, listening and writing.
Level: Teens and adults (Intermediate +)
1. First, ask the class “How do you know if someone is lying?”
Encourage any types of answers. Write down the answers on the board.
2. Ask the class to take out a pen and some paper to write on. Tell them they are going to watch a video. Explain that in the video, they are going to hear different ways to tell if someone is telling lies. Explain to the students they should write as many as they can.

3. After you have watched the video, write all the different ways that the students heard on the board.

4. Next, tell the students to “write three questions about anything”. Give them some examples e.g
“What is the most exciting thing you have ever done?”
“Have you ever met someone famous?”
5. Tell the class that they are going to ask each other the questions. Explain that the student who is being asked the questions must lie about at least one of the questions.
The student who is answering the questions must give full answers and elaborate. The student asking the questions can ask follow up questions for more information. (For example, one of my students said he had been to Berlin. The other student asked what colour the taxis were in Berlin)
After the students have asked their questions, they must decide which question the student was lying about and why they think this. Then, the student admits what they lied about.
Find more crime activities here:

St Patrick’s Day

ESL guaranteed Irish fun Activities for St Patricks day eslkidsgames.com
This post looks at a number of ESL activities to add to your lesson plan for St Patrick’s Day. This post has activities for Young Learners, teens and adults.
As I am Irish myself, St Patrick’s Day is one of my favourite holidays that I get to teach about. Due to this, I have put together a number of activities that are fun, engaging and there are lots of opportunities for students to practice key skills and use their creativity.
As always, please leave your feedback, comments and suggestions below or email, tweet or Facebook me.
Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit
Happy St Patrick’s Day to you (In Irish)

Story of St Patrick (Video)

Activity Time:   10 – 15 minutes +
Materials required: Copy of the Powerpoint 
Skills practiced: Writing, brainstorming, critical thinking, speaking, listening.
Level: Teens and adults. Pre intermediate +

1. Before you begin the slideshow, ask the students what they know about St Patrick.2. Tell them they are going to hear about the story of St Patrick.

Whiskey In The Jar

“Whiskey in the Jar” is one of the most popular traditional Irish tunes. It features love, robbery, betrayal and a melody that has become known the world over.
The story tells of an Irish highway man who travels the Cork and Kerry mountains and the song tells of how the bold highway man robs from an English soldier.
Activity Time: 10 – 15 minutes +
Materials required: Student handout , Music video below
Skills practiced: Listening, vocabulary, speaking.
Level: Teens and adults Pre-intermediate +
Part One : Music story and look at vocabulary
Key Vocabulary

Project or give each student a list of the key vocabulary of the song. First, get the students to find the meaning of the words if they don’t know them.

Then ask them in pairs to guess what the song might be about.

Part Two: Listening 

Give each student a copy of the handout. Give them some time to read and correct any errors they think they see, then let them listen and correct the errors.

Stage 1  Listen and correct the errors

The original lyrics
Student’s version with errors
Stage 2 Listen and put the sentences into the correct order (see printable)
Stage 3 Listen and fill in the gaps (see printable)

The Wild Rover – gap fill

Activity Time:   10 – 15 minutes +
Materials required: Student handout  (View), Music below
Skills practiced: Listening, vocabulary, speaking.
Level: Teens and adults beginners +

1. Give students a copy of the handout. Tell them to look at the gaps. Each gap is missing a verb. Tell them to predict which word is missing.2. Students check their ideas in pairs.3. Students listen to the song and correct their answers.4. Now get them singing and clapping! My students always love singing this song.

St Patrick’s Day Storyboard

Activity Time:   10 – 15 minutes +
Materials required: Copy of picture board 
Skills practiced: Vocabulary and expressions
Level: Young Learners +

1. Print out a copy of the storyboards for each pair of students.

2. Cut up the cards and mix them.

3. Give a set of the cards to each pair of students. Tell them that they must look at the pictures and arrange them in the correct order. Then they must write a story using the cards. Tell them that they must write one sentence per picture (Young Learners, a paragraph for teens etc) Tell the students they have 10 minutes.
Allow the students to use resources such as dictionaries etc to develop their stories.

4. After students have written their stories, get them to share and present them to the class.

ESL Story picture story prompts for ESL Young learners Story writing


St Patrick’s Day Idioms

St Patrick’s Day is a great opportunity to give students with a chance to learn idioms. Idioms are an important part of language learning. They are a common part of speech and an important part of fluency.
Activity Time:   10 – 15 minutes +
Materials required: Copy of idiom pictures below PDF
Skills practiced: Vocabulary and expressions
Level: Young Learners (one or two idioms),Teens and adults. Beginners +


1. After you have introduced other vocabulary for St Patrick’s Day, you can introduce idioms. Show the students the idiom and then show them the picture.

2. In pairs, students try to decide what the idiom means then they report back to the class. Give an example of the idiom in use and then get the students to write their own sentence.

3. Revision is important with Idioms. As in the Powerpoint presentation, when revising idioms show the students the picture and ask them in pairs to write the idiom. After check if they have remembered correctly. Following this, concept check the meaning.

Good Luck eslkidsgames.com St Patrick's Day
Definition: A wish of good luck to someone. 
to have a green thumb idiom eslkidsgames.com St Patrick's Day
Definition: A talent for making things grow. 
a green eyed monster idiom eslkidsgames.com
Definition: Jealousy 
to be green idiom eslkidsgames.com
Definition: To recycle materials and good for the environment.
grass is always greener on the other side idiom eslkidsgames.com
Definition: A different place appears better than where you are. 
the luck of the Irish Idiom www.eslkidsgames.com St Patrick's Day
Expression: The Irish are lucky or have luck.
to give the green light idiom eslkidsgames.com
Definition: To give someone permission to do something.

Extra materials For Young Learners

Flashcards – Large flashcards

Download (PDF, 370KB)

Key words Ireland, leprechaun, pot of gold, rainbow, shamrock and snake

Word Search – A word search to practice the key vocabulary of St Patrick’s Day

ESL Food Activities

Getting teens interested in topics can be hard work. Videos can be a great way to get them and even adults more engaged in a topic.

This week’s post looks at four different activities that can help practice key skills and develop interest and knowledge in the topic of food.

Don’t forget to follow/add me on twitter and facebook for weekly ESL ideas.

Fast Food Facts

This activity can be a great way to get teens engaged by using a video to introduce a topic.
Activity Time:  5 – 10 minutes +
Materials required: Students require pen/pencil and a piece of paper
Skills practiced: Speaking, listening and reading.
Level: Pre-intermediate +

1. Put the class in pairs. Tell the students they are going to watch a video.

2. First, play the video and ask the students to answer the following question as a warm up. Stop the video at 0.59 seconds.
 How many customers can a single fast food company serve in one day?


Answer: 46 million


3. Tell the students they are going to hear twenty facts in one minute. Tell them that they must listen and write as many as they can. After they hear the list for the first time, they will get a few minutes to check their answers with their partner. Then, they will listen a final time.

(Note: It is not essential that your students get all of the facts.)

4. Ask the students to look at the facts and pick one piece of information that they found interesting or surprising. Discuss the facts.

#1 40 percent of American meals are eaten outside of the home.
#2 Each day, one in four Americans visit a fast food restaurant.
#3 60% of adults and 16% of children are overweight.
#4 A mustard stain will damage a good shirt.
#5 French fries are the most eaten vegetable in America
#6 You would have to walk for seven hours to burn off the calories from a Coke, fries and Big Mac.
#7 Sometimes chicken isn’t chicken.
#8 Burger King’s Light Italian still has 18 percent of your daily fat.
#9 Cute cows die
#10 McDonalds distrubutes more toys per year than ToysRUs
#11 Children who eat fast food gain about 6 pounds (2.7Kg) more per year than normal.
#12 100,000 deaths each year have been linked to obesity.
#13 Love handles aren’t lovely.
#14 Daily consumption can lead to a psychological addiction.
#15 Fast food compromises diet quality by displacing healthy food.
#16 Obesity has been linked to 20 physical problems and diseases.
#17 Only seven items on McDonalds menu don’t contain sugar.
#18 Taco Bell equals frequent bathroom visits.
#19 Obesity will pass smoking as the leading cause of death in America
#20 A diet hight in sodium, fat and cholesterol can lead to heart disease.

ESL Food Conversation Questions

Activity Time:  5 – 10 minutes +
Materials required: A print out of the questions below. Download 
Skills practiced: Speaking, listening and reading.
Level: Pre-intermediate +
Print out the following questions and cut them out. Each student takes a question and answers it.

If you could only eat one thing every day for your entire life, what would it be? Why?
What was the first thing you ate today?
What do you hate to eat? Why?
What is your favourite national dish? Why?
What is your favourite thing to cook?
What is the nicest thing you have ever eaten?  Describe it.
Which country makes the best food? Which makes the worst?
Would you like to be a vegetarian? Why/why not?
Do you think the food in your country is healthy? Why/Why not?
Which country in your opinion has the healthiest diet in the world? Why?
Which country has the worst diet in the world? Why?
How healthy is your diet? Why do you think that?
What’s your favourite junk food to eat? Why?
Do you believe “we are what we eat”?
Why/why not?

Food Memory Challenge

Activity Time:  5 +
Materials required: It’s optional to project the image below to use as a guide and visual.
Skills practiced: Speaking, vocabulary.
Level: Any level

1. Explain to the class that they are going to play a game. The first student starts with A and they must say a fruit or food that begins with A. e.g Apple

2. The second student must say a food item that begins with B e.g Banana.

3. Keep going student after student. If a student is unable to answer, they are eliminated. The game ends when there is only one student left.

Celebrity Chef

Activity Time:  10 Minutes +
Materials required: Video shown below
Skills practiced: Speaking, Listening and Writing.
Level: Lower intermediate +

1. Show your students the following two pictures.
Ask them the following questions:
Who is he? 
What do you think his job is?
Why do you think this? etc
2. Tell them that they are going to watch a video and you would like them to answer the following questions;
1. How many people is Jamie Oliver cooking for?
2. What is one of the most important things about cooking paella?
3. What are the first 4 ingredients Jamie Oliver mentions?
4. What seafood is used?
5. What do you think the Flamenco singer is singing about?
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ESL Valentine’s Day

This week’s post looks at some activities that can be used in the ESL classroom this Valentine’s Day. There are some great simple ideas for teens and adults. Make sure you join in my interactive “Love is …” project and post your students ideas on Twitter with the hashtag #ESLLoveis (For more info, look below in part 3 of “Valentine’s Day Explained” post.)

Valentine’s Day Explained

Activity Time:  10 mins +
Materials required: Each student needs a piece of paper and a pen.
Skills practiced: Listening, writing and speaking.
Level: Teens and adults. Lower Intermediate
1. Show the class the video below and stop the video at around 0:51 seconds. Ask the students to answer the following question in pairs. Ask them to write their answer. (Show the video a second time if required.)
How did Valentines day start?
2. Ask the students the write down the following numbers. Tell them they are going to watch the video again. This time they must write down the significance of the numbers.
270 AD
496 AD
1415 AD
Late 1800’s
35 Million
189 Million
3. After you have checked their answers, ask them which facts they found most interesting and why.On the board write “Love is …”

In their pairs, ask the students to finish the statement.Here are some quotes to give them some inspiration:Love is like a friendship caught on fire”  Bruce Lee

Love is only a little foolishness with a lot of curiosity” George Bernard Shaw

Love is an irresistible desire to irresistibly desired” Robert Frost

“Love is the flower you’ve got yo let grow” John Lennon 

“Love is like a red red rose” Robert BurnsPlease contribute

Please send on your classes “love is..” creations to me either on twitter @eslkidgames, #eslloveis or via email where they will be featured with my classes’ quotes to spread the love this Valentine’s day. 

Valentines Day Facts

Activity Time:  10 mins +
Materials required: Printed infographic for each set of students
Skills practiced: Listening, writing and speaking.
Level: Teens and adults. Lower Intermediate
1. Print the following infographics. One between two or three students.

2. Give each group their own infographic.  Ask them to read the infographic and create a mini presentation on the top five most interesting facts they read on their infographic.

3. Each group tells the other groups the information that have read and the class discuss the information.

4. The whole class then picks the top five pieces of information discussed. If you have time you could encourage the class to develop their own infographic based on their top five facts.

Valentine’s Day ESL Questions

Activity Time:  10 mins +
Materials required: a copy of the printable
Level: Teens and Adults all levels.
Printable: Download OR ViewGet the class talking with over 15 Valentine’s Day questions.

Find more Ideas for teens and adults here