American Vs. British English PowerPoint

This is a fun PowerPoint to see if your students use American or British English vocabulary words.
Students simply say what they see in the picture. Of course their answer can depend on a lot of things. The TV series they watch, the books they read, which country they are from, their teacher, etc..... There are 55 slides in the PowerPoint. I usually divide it over 2/3 classes so they don′t get bored of it quickly. Hope you find it useful. Download here: PowerPoint

Back Tracing ( spelling game )

This game is a great way to practice spelling new words in class. You need to put the students into pairs.

One student spells a word by writing / tracing the letters on the other students back and the other student has to write the letters on a piece of paper to make the word.
I give them a list of words I want them to practice spelling or I write the words one at a time on the blackboard. Of course the student who is writing is facing away from the blackboard.
I usually play for five to ten minutes, it’s good fun and is something different for my students of all ages. It’s always a good idea to show the class an example at the front of the class first.

Keys ( short speaking activity )

I use this activity with small groups of teenagers or adults when I have some time to kill at the start or end of class. Ask everybody to take out their keys and then each student describes them. This key is for the house, my car, etc, etc. Most people have one or more key rings as well. Students can explain where they got it, is it a present, how long they have had it, etc, etc. Questions like When did you get your first key? Have you ever lost or found keys?

Basically 5 to 10 minutes to kill some time in class with no preparation needed.


To play taboo you describe an English word and another person has to guess what the word been described is. The word can be a food, an animal, a famous person or place, the name of a movie, a school subject, anything you want. Of course you don't say the word.

Teacher: It is an animal. It has a trunk, it has big ears, it is the biggest land animal, etc...
Student: Is it an elephant?
When I play I usually describe three or four words to the class first. They learn how to play and I can control the class. The words I choose depends on their level and age.
I emphasis that the description has to be three or more sentences, students have to wait until the description is finished before guessing the word and students only get one guess each. Then I pick a student to describe one of the words I have prepared. I usually pick a strong student to go first.
Later after the class has played several times, I put them into groups and give each group a list of words to play the game themselves. I…

In a Line

In a line is an energy raising game for your students. This game gets them out of their seats, moving around the classroom and speaking to each other. It is very easy to play.
All you have to do is ask your students to organise themselves into a line according to some criteria that you have given them. 
For example, make a line starting with the shortest student to the tallest student. The shortest in the class will be first in the line and the tallest in the class last in the line.
Other examples that I like to use are:
· Youngest to the oldest or viceversa oldest to the youngest. · The time it takes to travel to school. · Alphabetical Order of your first name, their surname, their mothers name, ... · Number of foreign countries visited. · Number of brothers and sisters. · Time you went to bed or the time you woke up. · Number of shoes you own or by shoe size. ·Who watched the least and the most amount of t.v. last night.
Of course you can think of many more that you can use in your own class…

Who am I?

Who am I? is a great activity for students to practice asking and answering questions in English class.
The aim of the activity is to find out WHO you are. Are you a famous actor or actress, a sports star, a musician, a politician, a famous character from a movie or a book, etc...
Each student has a piece of paper or a postit with a name on it, a secret name. To find out who you are, you have to ask other students in your class questions to get information about yourself.
Am I a man? Am I French? Do I have blond hair? Am I young or old? Am I singer? ...
I like to put my students into small groups, 4 or 5 students. I give them  20 to 30 names to go through. Each of them get several different names to discover who they are.
Another option I like is to get the whole class to mingle. Each student can only ask each student in the class one question at a time. When a student discovers who they are, they can ask me for another piece of paper with a different name on it.
To make the activity more d…

Boggle Word Game

Boggle is an easy game to play. All you need is a blackboard and some chalk to play. On the blackboard draw a grid 4 x 3, pick 12 letters from the alphabet and then make as many words as you can from the letters.

Topic Circle - Vocabulary Game

Topic circle is a fun game to practice volcabulary.

Need: Pieces of paper cut out with different categories written on each, e.g. Sport / Transport / Colours / Animals.

Make groups with 4 or 5 students.

Stack the pieces face down on a table. Turn one over. This is the category for your students. Going around in a circle your students take turns to say a word related to the category.

Transport: Car! Bus! Plane! Bike! and so on.....

If a student can not think of a word, repeats a word already said or takes too long, the game stops. Turn another piece of paper over and start again.  Sport: Football! Swimming! ...........

You can write your own categories, the vocabulary your students are learning or you can print the one I use here: TopicCircle


BrainStorm Game

Fun game to use in English & ESL class. No material or preparation needed.

To start I draw a cloud on the blackboard. Inside the cloud I write a topic for example Sports. With the class we write down as many sports as we can in five minutes. 
After I have done an example with the class I ask the students to make pairs or small groups. Take out a piece of paper, divide it into four / six parts and draw a cloud in the center of each part. 
Then pick a topic, for example food, animals, transport, sports, verbs, whatever vocabulary your studying in class, etc... Write the topic you have chosen in the cloud. I usually give the pairs / groups five minutes to write as many words as they can. While they are working check their words, ideas and spelling. Four or Six clouds = 20 or 30 minutes. An easy game for half of the class. 

Reduce the time for each cloud depending on your class. Use the other side of the page for more clouds.

Another idea is to play a song. Students write ten or more word…

FishBowl - English Speaking Game

What do you Need to Play: An empty box / container and 40/50/60 pieces of paper with an English word written on each one. You can download my list of words here if you wish: FishBowlWords

The idea of the game is to guess the words on the pieces of paper.

Your students play in groups of 4 if possible. Each student will have one turn out of 4 rounds. Guess the word correctly, take another word out of the box until time runs out. Normally 90 seconds to 2 minutes is my time limit.

The 4 rounds are Taboo, Pictionary, Mime and Word.

Taboo: Describe the word until your teammates guess the word.

Pictionary: Draw a picture to describe the word. ( no writing allowed )

Mime: Act out the word by miming, gesturing, acting it out, making sounds is fun too.

Word: Use only one word to describe the word on the piece of paper. if your teammates guess incorrectly, another word can be said and so on.
       For example: Word: Monkey. Student animal, Group dog, Student jungle, Group parrot, Student banana, et…

Paper Plane

Paper Plane is a fun English game where the students make a paper airplane to make reading and writing sentences in English class more fun.
On a piece of paper, ask the students to write five, six or as many sentences as you wish. The topic can be anything the teacher chooses. About yourself, what you did for your holidays, last weekend, pick an animal and describe it, etc but don't write your name on it. It's a secret.
When the students are finished, ask them to make a paper plane. When all the paper planes are finished, together everybody throws the paper plane into the air and then each student picks up somebody else's paper plane. Each student opens the paper plane, reads it and then each student guesses who wrote it.
Alternatively each student can read the sentences to the class and the class can guess who wrote it. This is good for correcting grammar mistakes that the students have made.
This game can be a little bit noisy but it is a great and fun game. And of course ho…

Alphabet Game

I use this alphabet game to practice vocabulary and to get my students to write sentences.
I put my students into groups of threes: 

The first student picks a letter, the next student thinks of a word with this letter and the last student makes a sentence with this word. 

Student: Student: Potato.  Student: I ate potatoes for my dinner two days ago.

The aim of the activity is to write a word and sentence for every letter of the alphabet. The students take turns choosing a letter, thinking of a word and making a sentence. With 26 letters each student will write at least 8 sentences.
Download the worksheet AlphabetGame.

Another option is to ask your students to write the alphabet on a piece of paper and do the activity orally. Cross out each letter after they have thought of a word and made a sentence.
Before starting the activity I ask my students not to repeat the same sentence over and over again. For example I often get: My favourite colour is red / blue / green. Or I play football / bask…

Taboo PowerPoint with Pictures and Words