Tried and tested (and approved!) games and activities to help English learning.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Crows & Cranes

Level: All.

Skills: listening.

Topic: warmer.

Materials: none.

Time: 5 to 10 minutes.

This one is a quick 'warming-up' game, aimed mostly at listening comprehension and attention. More suitable for teenagers than adults, chiefly because it involves a lot of movement and physical contact, which some cannot be comfortable with. It definitely whips students up!

Students stand in two lines, divided into two groups, the 'Crows' and the 'Cranes'. The distance between them should be an arm's length so that their fingertips can touch the fingertips of the student in opposite line. Explain that behind each team is a home base (the wall) which if they reach they are safe from capture.

If you call out ‘cranes’ this team becomes the chasing team and each crane has to catch their respective 'crow' partner before he/she reaches their home. If however you call out ‘crows’ then the opposite happens and crows have to catch the cranes. Each time a person is caught that team scores a point and this person changes team (if he/she is a 'crow', he/she becomes a 'crane', literally changing sides). Try to slur in order to confuse the students about which team is being tagged.

Game ends when either team is completely devoid of members.


  1. Nice game to make them comfortable with the language. They can also scape from the 'classic learning environment'. When using this game to teach adults I'd suggest the teacher to have students discuss about their childhood, what games they used to play, so on and so forth...

  2. Danilo,

    Great input! This could be done as a post-game activity, prompting to a pairwork conversation and leading to a whole class debate, including other topics, like generational differences, for instance. Thank you very much for taking your time to come around!

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