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 t

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.

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

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. E B H O   R G I L T D A S I, a, so, go, to, sad, tea, dog,   gold, date, horse, board, ... Personally I always pick 3 or 4 vowels and the most common constants ( b, d, r, s, t, etc.   not j, x, z ). For the words, I don’t allow names and no plurals ( dog but not dogs ). My students can only use each letter once when making a word. The aim can be to get as many words as possible or get as many points as possible. A one letter word is worth 1 point, two letter word 2 points and so on. 1 point 2 points 3 points 4 points 5 points I, a So, go, to Sad, tea, Gold, date Horse, board I play this game

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 Enjoy!!