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GAMES AND IDEAS FOR TEACHING ESL CHILDREN

1. Guess My Number (All ages) Write a number on whiteboard or paper and keep hidden. Explain the lower and upper limits of the game eg. The number is between 1 and 20 , or between 71 and 93. Invite students to guess the number. Respond to their guesses with No its higher, or no its lower. Give students a turn to write a number for you to guess.

2. What Am I? (Can be adapted to all ages.) Spread pictures of animals out in front of children after revising names. Teacher . What am I? I am.big, green, dangerous etc. I have .a long neck, a tail, 4 legs etc. I can..swim, run fast, fly etc I like eating.fish, cheese, leaves etc Student: Are you a _______? Teacher:Yes I am/ No I am not. More capable students can give their own clues and have other students listen and guess. 3. Flashcard game (used to teach vocabulary to young students) Flash through cards and say When you see cat clap your hands/stand up/put your finger on your nose/ stamp your foot etc. This works best with more than on student, to see who can touch their nose or clap their hands first. 4. Hangman Tell the children what kind of word it is eg. A colour, a body part, a month, an animal etc. Child asks Is there a g? Teacher replies Yes there is a g and fills in the missing letter or No there isnt a g and writes the letter in the NO column and draws a limb on the hangman. This game is best for more capable students who have a good word knowledge.

5. Whats Missing? Lay cards or items down in front of the student the number depends on the age and competence of the child. Ask the child to close their eyes while you remove one (or more) and ask Whats missing? Student responds with Its a _______ or They are _______ . This can also be played with letters, numbers, words, etc. It can be played with items, cards or words or pictures written and rubbed off a whiteboard. 6. Blindfold game Blindfold the child and give them a piece of fruit or a vegetable (real or plastic) in their hands and have them guess what it is. You can give them clues like Its a vegetable. Its big/ green/ round,/rough etc. The child can ask questions like Does it grow under the ground? Is it yellow? Alternatively the teacher wears the blindfold and tries to guess the fruit with the child answering questions to give hints. 7. I Went shopping. The teacher can start with I went shopping and I bought a .bucket. The student repeats and adds something new to the list . eg I went shopping and I bought a bucket and a skateboard. The game continues until someone forgets an item on the list. A variation including plurals can also be used for an extra challenge for more able students eg. 3 coats, 9 bananas, 6 bags of sugar etc. 8. Red Noses A basic movement game good for getting children moving and stretching their legs. Helps to teach young children about names of body parts and colours, Teacher says Red noses . The children run to look for something red upon which to place their nose someones t-shirt , a block, a picture etc. The next instruction should come fairly quickly Green fingers , Black shoulders etc. For very young and new students, a more simplified version is for the teacher to call out Touch something purple Touch something yellow etc. or Touch Tokos head touch Sayakas ear etc.

9. Circle Game Used to reinforce new vocabulary or alphabet, numbers, colours, fruit etc. Put cards in a circle and children stand in the middle. Play some music/ sing a song and call out a letter/word when the music stops (children could dance, jump, clap etc. while music is playing). Children must try and find the letter/word before the others, and hand it to the teacher.

10. I Spy Good for reinforcing the alphabet and phonic sounds. Write on whiteboard I spy with my little eye, something beginning with ______ (either the name of the letter or a sound). Students must guess, Is it a clock? Is it a card? Is it a crayon? etc. until they guess the correct word. Students can then have a turn

11. Buzz This game can be adapted to the age and ability of the students. Students stand in a circle. Tell students the buzz number eg. 12. Begin counting, one child at a time, around the circle, and the child whose turn it is to say 12 must say buzz and sit down. He/she is out of the game. Continue until only one child is the winner. For higher level students this game can be played counting by 2s or 3s with Buzz being multiples of 10

12. Fruit Salad At least 5-6 students required, the more the better. Students sit in a circle. Give each one a label eg apple, peach, banana. If there are 7 students, one stands in the middle and the others sit in a circle. Teacher calls out peaches and all peaches must change places, and the student in the middle tries to get a place too, so a different child is in the middle. May be adapted to a higher level and the teacher may vary questions eg change places if you have brown hair, green socks, one brother etc.

13. Simon Says Teacher says Simon says touch your nose, foot, neck etc. Simon says jump, look at the window etc. If the teacher does not say Simon says, but the students still do the action they are out. A good way to get children out( if the game is going too long) is tell them Simon says clap your hands and then suddenly stop. Most will stop clapping and will be out. Instructions can be more complex for more able students. Eg. Simon says touch your left ear while standing on one foot. 14. Shopping Practise counting with money. Give some to each student. Use plastic fruit for children to buy. T: Hello S:Hello T: What do you want? S: I want a _____ please. T: Here you are. S: Thankyou. How much does that cost? T: Its three dollars S: Here you are. T: Thankyou. Goodbye. S: Goodbye. 15.Yes/No Contest For older and more capable students. Students must not say yes or no. Ask the students questions in turn. They must respond without saying yes or no Eg. T: Is your name Kyoko? S: My name is Kyoko T: Do you like potatoes? S: I dont like potatoes Etc. Students are out if they say yes or no until there is a winner.

16. BINGO Some simple variations *Using uno cards give each child 4 and have them lay them out in front. Take a card from the remaining uno cards and call out Who has a 9? etc. The children respond I have a ______ and turn the card over. When a child has four turned cards, he is the winner, and calls out bingo *Played with blocks or abc cards, or any vocabulary cards you have a double set of. *Suitable for older students who can read and write. Distribute pieces of paper to students and give instructions to write down 5 different numbers between 7 and 22 or between 191 and 211etc. Then, call out random numbers within the limits. When the teacher calls out a number a student has written down, the student must put a cross on it. The first student with 5 crosses is the winner and must read the numbers back to the teacher to check off. 17.Draw a face/body For younger students to teach body parts. Have a whiteboard or paper ready and ask children in turn to add on certain body parts eg.Draw a head please Maya. Continue with hair, mouth, two arms etc. The final product will be an odd looking person!

18.Directions game Suitable for older and more capable students, to reinforce left, right, up, down and other directions. Teacher or student is blindfolded, other students must give directions to draw a face (or any picture). Eg. Go leftmorestop! Now draw a nose. Questions and directions must be used by the students and blindfolded person. Can get very rowdy.

19. Chinese Whispers Passing message from child to child around a circle. A simpler variation for younger children is to show them a paper bag, not letting them see what is inside. Ask the group what is it? then whisper its a green pencil to the first child who must pass the message around the circle. 20.Go Fish Played with a double set of cards of animals, numbers or any vocabulary etc. Deal 5 cards to each child. Choose a student to go first. He/she must nominate another student and ask do you have a 9? They respond either yes, and hand it over, or no, go fish and the student must take a card from the pile. If he/she gets a pair from another student, he/she can have another turn. Whoever has the most pairs wins. 21. Make a Picture Appropriate for older, capable students. Students must give teacher directions to draw a picture on whiteboard. Eg. Draw a tree on the whiteboard, Draw a house next to the tree. The house has 3 windows and there is a cat sitting under the middle one. Children continue giving examples until the picture is finished 22. Change a word For older, more capable students. Teacher makes a simple sentence eg. I like green bananas. The next student makes one change. I like yellow bananas. Continue around the circle. The next child may say jenny likes yellow bananas then Jenny likes yellow shoes etc

23. BLIP For advanced students. Teacher or student writes a verb on paper and others guess what it is by asking questions How often do you BLIP? Are you BLIPPING now? Is BLIPPING fun? Is BLIPPING a game? This can be quite difficult so you can provide clues like I like BLIPPING orange juice, or I always blip after I go for a run. (drink)

24. Ping Pong game Divide children into 2 teams or can be played with two people. Decide on a topic eg. Vegetables. Each team must think of a different vegetable in turn. As they call out their vegetable, their arm moves backwards and forwards as though hitting a ping pong ball. The last team to think of a different vegetable is the winner. Other topics could include animals, colours, fruit, body parts etc.

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