Catch Phrase

How to Play: Just like the board game! Students are divided into teams. Write vocabulary words on separate pieces of paper (or have the students write them). One student begins by choosing one paper and describing the word (without say any part of the word or pointing to anything or making any gestures) to their... Continue Reading →

Tongue Twister Challenge

How to Play: There are a few ways you can play with tongue twisters in class. Usually, I'll teach the students one, allow them to practice on their own, and then in teams they must recite the tongue twister as many times as possible (you can have one person per team go each round, or... Continue Reading →

How to Carry Out Successful Class Games

Organization is key: If the students don't understand the game, it won't be fun. Be sure to explain all of the rules, the objective of the game and how to win. Demonstrate with 2 or 3 students before beginning.  For a lot of games, I number students from first to last on each team (usually based... Continue Reading →

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Flip Cup

How to Play: Just like the party game, minus the booze! Organize desks in a long line and have two teams of students stand on either side facing each other. Give each student a plastic cup with a piece of paper at the bottom (face down so they can't read it!) This can be a vocabulary... Continue Reading →

Poker Face

How to Play: This game has a bunch of different variations (and definitely has different names that I can't remember). The main premise is that the students sit in a circle and one student gets questioned by the others. One way you can play is that the student has to answer the questions but if... Continue Reading →

Going to the Moon

How to Play: This game is about guessing a pattern or rule. In a small group (3-8 students is best), the teacher tells them that they're going to the moon. The teacher comes up with a pattern, for example, things that are yellow. So the teacher says "I'm going to the moon and I'm taking a... Continue Reading →

Using Playing Cards for ESL

I always bring a deck of playing cards with me to my private lessons. While we usually only use them around once a month, they're nice to use as a reward because kids love them. A lot of time is also spent explaining how to play, which practices listening and speaking skills. These are some... Continue Reading →

Name 5 Things

How to Play: This is an easy, simple game that's good to have in your back pocket if you need to fill a bit of class time. Put the students in small groups or in pairs with paper and a pen. The teacher says "Name 5 Things that are (see below for examples)" and the... Continue Reading →

Musical Chairs

How to Play: This classic game can be lots of fun in the classroom! Set up the game as normal - gathering chairs in a circle (one less chair than the number of students. If there are 20 students, set up 19 chairs). Students gather around the chairs (or inside the chairs if you prefer... Continue Reading →

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