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

Monday, January 30, 2012


Level: Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced.

Skills: speaking.

Topic: grammar and vocabulary.

Materials: none.

Time: 5 to 10 minutes.

This is a great warm up game suitable to many fluency levels, ages and target vocabulary types. It also requires no resources and encourages quick thinking. The game can be made as hard or easy as you wish. 

Students form in to a circle. You are the cowboy in the centre of the circle. You make a gun shape with your hand and point to a student (shoots them) and says the target vocabulary. This student ducks and the students on either side of them must shoot each other with the answer. The first to say the word correctly wins, whilst the second is out. Some examples are:
  • Opposites bang: (Point to a student and say "yes." Students on either side of the targeted student point to each other and say "NO!")
  • Adjective bang: (Point to a student and say "car". Students on either side say: "fast!" or "expensive!" etc..)
  • Adverbs Bang: (Point and say: "ride a bike". Students say: "carefully" (or "Ride a bike carefully!" for more advanced classes)
Or you could make it more advanced:
  • Modal Verbs with full sentence: (You point and say: "could, question." Students say: "Could you close the door please?". Or say: "could, statement". Students say: "I could close the door for you".
You can control the game so the remaining two students are from opposing teams. When down to two students, they stand back to back and walk away from each other until teacher says the word (e.g. you could say: "One, Two, Three, Four, Yesterday!". Students turn around and shoot each other after four steps saying, for instance, "tomorrow!"). Winning team gets the points (or stars, depending what system of rewards you use). 

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