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ESL Writing Prompts with Pictures

In this activity students practice creative writing. The students/teacher selects who, what, where and when. With this information students create a short story based around the information.

Activity Time:  20 mins + (Could be used as a quick warmer alternatively.)
Materials required: Paper and pencil for each student.
Skills practiced: Writing and speaking
Level: 5+

1. Students press the buttons on the prompt generator to create a story.

Give students directions where they need clarification. Try and encourage them to be creative. There are no wrong answers.

2. Give students a set amount of time to write their story. This activity can be done in groups or individually.

3. When students finish, get them to tell their stories.

Example stories made with the generator

ESL creative writing prompt generator

Click here for full screen


ESL Telegram Warmer

Can’t see the video? Click Here.

ESL Telegram is a simple warmer that can be used with all levels and is a great activity to let students be creative.

ESL Countdown

ESL Countdown esl Kids games interactive whiteboard TEFL
ESL Countdown is a very popular show in the UK and Ireland. It is a simple game that is great as a warmer or cooler for the ESL classroom. It’s useful with nearly every level and a great way to get your students writing and practicing spelling. Everyone from young learners to adults can enjoy this simple and fun ESL activity.Activity Time: 5 mins +

Materials required: whiteboard and optionally a projector to use the digital version below.
Skills practiced: Writing, brainstorming, vocabulary and fluency.
Level: All levels Young learners – adults
Note: The clock is set for 30 seconds. Allow extra time for younger or lower level students.

1. Ask students to take out a pen and notebook. Put students into pairs or on their own depending on age and level.

2. Explain to the students that they must pick vowels or consonants and then they have 30 seconds to write any words they can make with the letters on the board. The team who creates the longest correct words gets one point for each correct word.

3. You can use the digital version below by clicking on the different options, click on more rules for instructions etc.


Not able to see the game? Try a different browser.

 Not able to see the game? Make sure you allow “flash” from this site OR try a different browser.  

3 ESL Valentine’s Day Activities

This post looks at 3 ESL Valentine’s Day Activities for teens and adults. These simple no-prep activities are a great way to get students talking and discussing their opinions on St. Valentine’s day.
The first activity explains the origins of St. Valentine’s Day while practicing students listening skills with a short video.
The second activity makes use of infographics to practice reading. Students read facts about Valentine’s Day and discuss what they read with the class.
Lastly, you will find a number of speaking questions to extend the conversation with students.

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. (Click the images to view the full infographic)


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 View Get the class talking with over 15 Valentine’s Day questions.
Did you find this post useful? Please leave a comment and share this post with others. As always, enjoy and have fun!
Find more Ideas for teens and adults here 


Wordle In The Class

A very happy New Year and a welcome back to you all. 2013 is a new year and I have many fresh ideas to start the term anew.
Using Wordles in the ESL Classroom

So, what is a Wordle? A Wordle is simply a word cloud that can be great resource to teachers. This post will look at a number of ways they can be used in the ESL classroom.


Wordles can be a great way to introduce grammar. Not only can you use them to introduce a grammatical structure but you can also use them for revision. They are a great way to revise grammar in groups or individually.
1. Go to wordle.net.
2. Write a sentence that you want your class to study.
3. Give the Wordle to the students (or project it on the board!). They must reorganise the sentence in groups.

Use Wordles to teach Grammar.
Wordle here used with conditionals.

Summarize A Text

Use Wordles in class with texts
Before class copy the text from a reading to be covered in class. Paste the text into wordle.net and create a Wordle with the key words from the text.
This can then be shown to your class. In pairs, they have to decide what the text is going to be about. As an additional exercise, you can get your class to write a headline based on the Wordle.


Wordles can be a great way to improve students writing skills. I use Wordles with teens and exam classes (PET, FCE, CAE, CPE) as a way to improve their writing.Make a Wordle from students writing. Show it to the class and see which words are used most, how could they improve the vocabulary etc.

Create two or more Wordles of the same writing task and get your class to compare the language used.

Develop writing skills with wordles ESL


Wordles are a great way to revise key vocabulary covered in a unit. At the end of a unit, create Wordles with key words from the unit to help students remember key vocabulary. Wordle allows you to arrange the vocabulary alphabetically too.
Wordles are great for revision
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