Jeux de langue by cuiliqing


									 Jeux de langue
document préparé par Johanne Crego
       St-Augustine School

   français, cycle 1-2-3

Ping Pong

This game is useful for practicing Yes/No questions but can also be used for
Wh- questions as well as other structures. The class is divided into 2 teams.
A student from one team must ask a Yes/No question to a student on the
other team. One point is given for a properly formulated question and one is
given for a correct answer.

Find Someone Who............

This is an interactive task which requires students to circulate around the
class to gather names of people who meet certain criteria. The purpose of
the activity is to practice "Do you ... ?" and other Yes/No type questions.
Each student is given a list of short phrases all headed by "Find someone
who..." They must then go about the classroom asking others if they meet
those criteria. For example: Each student must find someone in class who....
smokes cigarettes; someone else who hates fish; someone who has 2
brothers and 1 sister; a classmate who is a Scorpio; is one month older than
they are; has less than $1 in their pocket; sings in the shower; etc. There
should be a list of about 20-25 items and when the students find someone to
meet one of these criteria, they must write down that person's name beside
the item. The only provisions are that no one may have the same person on
their list more than twice and they cannot include their own name on the list.

Interview a Monster

This is an amusing activity used to practice asking questions. Half the class
are assigned the roles of reporters and the other half are visiting monsters
from outer space. The students who are the alien monsters must use their
imaginations to answer questions such as "Where do you come from?" "What
do you eat on your planet?" "Why did you come to Earth?" etc. The reporter
must then take this information and present it to the class.

Who Am I? (version 1)

The purpose of this game is to practice Yes/No questions as well as to have
students practice thinking in English. lt is not a new game but is nonetheless
worthwhile as it promotes speaking and builds vocabulary. One student is
chosen and she or he must think of a famous person (someone known to the
entire class) and the others must attempt to discover who it is asking only
Yes/No questions. Example: Is it a woman? No. Is this person living? No. Is
the person an entertainer? No. Is he a politician? Yes. Did he live in this
century? Yes. Did he live in this country? Yes. Was he an anglophone? No. ls
the person René Levesque? Yes. If the class has too much difficulty in
finding out the identity, clues can be given such as: He was an important
figure in Quebec. A limit of 15 questions should be imposed.

Who Am I? (version 2)

In this version of the game, the students must again ask the same type of
Yes/No questions, however there is a slightly different slant to the game.
After explaining how the game works and what type of questions the
students are expected to formulate, the teacher circulates around the class
and places the name of a famous person on the back of each student. This
requires some advance preparation for the teacher, as cards must be made
up with at least one different personality for each of the students (some
extra cards are a good idea, because some students manage to learn their
identities rather quickly). The cards must have an adhesive such as masking
tape and should be placed where students cannot see the names on their own
backs or be able to reach them very easily. They can ask as many questions
as they like, but can only ask each classmate one question, then they must
move on and ask someone else. The personalities can be living or dead, real or
fictitious, but must be known to everyone. Some sample personalities might
be Jean Chrétien, Mitsou, Mario Lemieux, Michael Jackson, Mickey Mouse,
Batman, Himself or Herself, Jacques Cartier, etc. Note: It would be a good
idea to introduce the first version of this game before attempting the
second, as the second requires much more interaction in class and could
become confusing for some first-time players.


Baseball is a game which can be used in a variety of ways. First the
classroom is set up as on a baseball diamond so that there are the three
bases and home plate. The class is divided into 2 teams (A&B). A "pitcher"
from team A asks a question of a "batter" on team B. If the question is
answered correctly, the batter goes to first base and the next batter comes
to the plate. If he or she also gets a "hit," then everyone on base advances.
If not, batter is out. Three outs then team B become the pitchers and A the
batters. Each player who crosses the plate scores a run for their team. This
game can vary as the questions can be graded by difficulty and so a batter
can attempt a single, double, triple or homerun by asking for a more difficult
question. Baseball can also be played using spelling words or practicing a
particular structure (if necessary, the teacher can "pitch" to both teams).

Tic Tac Toe

The following game is a very simple one which allows the teacher to improve
listening and inference skills while reinforcing vocabulary. The teacher draws
a Tic Tac Toe diagram on the board which each student copies. Then a list of
newly learned vocabulary words is placed on the board (about 12-15 words).
The words should generally all fit into a specific category; i.e. animals, parts
of the body, foods, etc. The students then individually select any 9 of the
words from the list, randomly placing one word in each of the squares on
their Tic Tac Toe board. They should write in pencil so that they may re-use
their game board, but are not permitted to change any of their words while
a game is in progress. The teacher then describes or defines one of the
words. The students listen and try to identify which word the teacher is
describing and upon doing so, place an X in that space. Once they have gotten
three Xs in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, they must be the
first to shout out the word which was last described. The game can be
replayed once more as is, or the students can re-arrange their game boards
for the next round. Afterwards a new list can be given out and the game
begun again.


This game is a fun and useful way to teach students vocabulary while forcing
them to think and react quickly in English. It is also enjoyable because the
students can get out of their seats and engage in something physical while
practicing language skills. The activity is fairly easy to organize. First divide
students into two groups then have a volunteer come up in front of the class
and act out a word or short phrase. The student will act out the word to his
teammates who must try to guess at the word or phrase. If the word/phrase
is correctly guessed within a time limit (30 or 45 seconds), then that team
scores a point. If no one is able to discover the word, the opposing team may
be asked to come to a consensus and try to guess at the answer. If they are
correct, they score the point. The teams then switch, with a member of the
second team acting out the next word or phrase. A slight variation might be
to have the students come up with challenging words/phrases for their
opponents to act out (within reason, of course). Sample words/phrases:
peanut butter, candle, giraffe, steal, etc. Another variation of this game is
the game Pictionary, where one student must attempt to draw a given word
on the blackboard and his/her teammates must guess at it. The words may
be objects or actions and a point is awarded each time a team guesses the
word within the time limit.


The goal of this activity is to work on listening skills (deciding on the validity
of various possible definitions of words), speaking skills (developing quick,
on-the-spot oral abilities), and improving overall critical thinking. First, four
volunteers come and sit side by side at the front of the classroom. The
students are then each given a piece of paper with the same word written on
it which they keep hidden from the rest of the class. Next, they have 1
minute in which they must think of a definition for that word and then one
by one must tell their definition to the class. One of the students is given
the correct definition for each of the words (varying who has the correct
definition each time). The words chosen for this activity should be words
that are currently used in English, albeit infrequently. Once all definitions
have been given, the class members vote on who they believe has given the
correct definition. This game may also be played in small groups where each
student takes a turn reading the definitions of each member of the group

from a list of words (with the correct definitions on the back) provided by
the teacher. Each must then vote on which is the correct definition. Points
are awarded to those who determined the correct definition from among the
choices as well as for each time someone chose another’s false definition
(the creator of the false definition is awarded a point).


This is a quick and simple activity which practices students' listening and
speaking skills while having students practice transformations. One student
is given a sentence, either orally or written down. She/he must repeat the
sentence to a neighbour who is asked by a third student, "What did she/he
say?" The second student (who was initially told the sentence by the first
student) must then transform it. Example: Student 1 (repeating teacher):
"It's cold outside!" Student 3 (to student 2): "What did he say?" Student 2:
"He said it's cold outside!" This chain may continue throughout the
classroom, as each time a different feature or part of the sentence may be

Vocab Bingo

   1. Write down a list of thirty words (on the whiteboard) the students
      have already studied.
   2. Draw a big square and then divide it into 25 equal smaller boxes - five
      down and five across.
   3. Have each student draw a box on his/her own sheet of paper large
      enough so that they can write one vocab word in each box. Tell them
      to fill in the vocab words randomly as they like so that everyone will
      have different papers. (Explain to them that there will be five words
      left over.)
   4. Now, instead of just calling out the word, you're going to give a
      description or definition of it. The students must listen carefully and
      try to find the word you mean on their paper. If they can find it, they
      mark it with an "X".
   5. Five in a row in any direction wins. The winner can call "Bingo", or "I
      won!" or whatever else you deem appropriate. Check to make sure they
      really did win.

Vocab Relay Race

   1. Split the class into two teams. Choose 5 students from each side to
      play (So there will be 10 people actively playing at a time. You can
      change the number of players of course according to classroom
   2. Give the first person on each team a marker.
   3. You say a word - for instance "house" or "easygoing".
   4. The first person from each team runs to the board and has to write a
      sentence using that word. When finished, he or she runs back to pass
      the marker on to person number two on their team. The second person
      runs to the board and writes a completely new sentence with the same
      word. They are also free to correct anything they think is a mistake in
      the previous sentence. It continues this way until all five members of
      a team have written a sentence with the word chosen by the teacher.
      The first team to finish wins and scores a point for their side. All the
      sentences must be grammatically perfect to be acceptable. The other
      members of their team (the standing members as well as the sitting
      members) can tell them what and how to write from a distance. This
      should get everyone involved. There can only be one member of each
      team at the board at any given time though.


Divide students into teams of four and have them form a circle with one
student's back to the board.

Write a word or sentence on the board and the team member with her back
to the board must guess the item.

Team members must speak English to give clues and may use gestures and
actions to illustrate.

Students who have the complete answer must raise their hand or call out
their team name.

Each correct answer earns one point. Team members move after each.

Appropriate Response Cards (APC)

Randomly distribute one card to each student and have them memorize what
is written before giving the card back.

Students mingle and repeat what was on their card, searching for a partner
whose response corresponds to theirs.

Paired students approach the teacher to check the matches. If the match is
correct, pairs sit together. Review matches in open class.

* Dialagues can be used as well (questions and answers about somebody's
weekend, for example), and a further activity is to have the pairs then form
the proper sequence with the rest of the class.

** An alternative review for simple Q&A cards is to have students with a
question randomly ask another student in open class. If the answer doesn't
match, the students sit down, and others try (a little bit like Concentration),
until everyone has found a match.

Race through the alphabet

Make a worksheet from the following questions, or write the questions on
chart paper. If you make a worksheet, make enough copies of it for each
team of three you anticipate forming from your class. These are just sample
questions. You should add a few more of your own until you have around 20
questions. Use these examples as an inspiration...

1. What's the 18th letter of the alphabet?
2. Which letter in the word space is closest to the 15th letter of the
3. Form two words that end with the 4th letter of the alphabet.
4. In the word society, which letters come between D and P?
5. How many different letters are there in the word assessment?
6. Make a word containing the 1st and 6th letters of the alphabet.
7. Put the following words in alphabetical order: bread, beast, borrow, bride,

8. In the word skirt, which letter is farthest away from N in the alphabet.
9. What is the 12th letter from the end of the alphabet?
10. Make a word containing the first, fifteenth, twentieth and seventh
letters of the alphabet.

...don't forget to add a few questions of your own...

Write the alphabet up on the whiteboard. Review it orally with the class.
Divide the class into small teams. Groups of 3 usually work best.

                       Introducing the game / activity:

Tell the students that they will be in a race with one another. Offer a prize
of some sort to the winning team (get out of class five minutes early, no
homework for one day, etc.). Hand out the worksheets (see below) face
down. Tell the students that they must answer all the questions and that
when they finish they must all stand up and shout we're finished.

Tell them that they can start after you say go.

                         Playing the game / activity:

When you are sure they all understand call out on your mark, get set,

The students work together in their groups to answer all the questions. The
first team finished wins!


Tell the students that for this game they are going to count. Then tell them
that they cannot say the buzz number (3 is a great buzz number). Write “3
= buzz” on the whiteboard. Say it out load for the students: one, two,

Then tell them they cannot say a number with the buzz number in it. If the
buzz number is 3 then they cannot say 13 or 23, etc. Write 13 on the
whiteboard and cross it out.

Then tell them they cannot say a number that is a multiple of the buzz
number. If the buzz number is 3 then they cannot say 6 or 9, etc. Write “2
x 3 = 6” on the whiteboard and cross out the 6.

Do a couple of practice rounds with the students. Go round the class and
have the first student say “one”, the second student say “two”, the third
student say “buzz” and so on. Students that make a mistake are “out”.
Continue the game until there is only one student remaining.


Divide the class into two halves. Tell them that they are going to have a
race. The first team to line up in the order that you select and then sit down
will win.

Before you do a demonstration or practice round you should put the question
form language on the whiteboard. The purpose of the game is to have
students practice various question forms, so you should focus on these
forms at the beginning of the activity.

For example: if you want the students to line-up in order from oldest to
youngest elicit the appropriate question form from the students by asking
“if you want to know a person’s age what question do you ask?”. They will
of course respond “How old are you?”

Write “How old are you?” on the whiteboard.

Tell the students that the first “line-up in order” race will be by order of

Tell the students that they can only speak English.

Then call out 1,2,3 go!

Sort out any misunderstanding that you notice in this first “practice”. Then
do another one…

Possible orders to line-up in:

-   age
-   shoe size
-   number of brothers and sisters
-   first name (alphabetical)
-   last name (alphabetical)
-   job title (alphabetical)
-   number of letters in your name
-   number of articles of clothing you are wearing
-   etc.

Can you or can’t you?

                               Pre-game / activity:

Present the “can you…” question form by writing on the whiteboard and then
asking a simple “can you…” question such as “can you touch your toes?”

Repeat this with a few simple, physical variations such as “can you stand on
one foot?” or “can you wink?”. Then write the possible responses on the
whiteboard: “Yes, I can.”, “No, I can’t.”.

                        Introducing the game / activity:

Tell the students that they must talk to at least three other students in the
class for each question. They must record their answers on a sheet of paper.
For example:

                               Language challenge:

Count from 20 backwards to 1 in 15 seconds.

1.         ________________                    can         /            can’t
2.         ________________                    can         /            can’t
3. ________________ can / can’t

In this example, the students will circulate and find three other class
members to ask…”can you count from 20 backwards to 1 in 15 seconds?”

They record the results of their questions and move on to the next language

Do a sample demonstration with the students. Make sure to be clear that
the students must record the answers for THREE different people, and that
this must be done for ALL the language challenges.

                           Playing the game / activity:

Provide the list of language challenges by either writing the list up on the
whiteboard or providing a prepared worksheet.

Make sure the students know how to convert the indirect questions below
into direct questions ( so “spell their own name backwards” becomes “Can you
spell your own name backwards”)

Possible language challenges:

1. say the alphabet in 10 seconds
2. spell their own name backwards
3. say “she sells sea shells by the sea shore” without a mistake
4. remember 8 things they did last week
5. name 5 kinds of fruit
6. close your eyes and describe the clothing of the person to the left of you.
7. say the months of the year backwards
8. say 5 English verbs that start with “s”
9. spell the teacher’s name
10. count to 100 by 10’s in ten seconds

NOTE: when a respondent say “yes, I can” they should have to prove it!
After the mill drill activity select students at random to show their stuff!

I spy with my little eye...

First pick something easy to find and demonstrate by saying "Je vois avec
mes petits yeux… quelque chose… (name the item's color)"

Through gestures or verbal prompts tell the students that they must find
out the identity of the item that you chose by using yes / no questions and
the verb be.

The first student to correctly identify your secret item gets to be the I spy

                        Extending the game / activity:

Instead of identifying the item by color start with the first letter of the
I spy with my little eye something that starts with "b".

Or use the last letter of the item.

I spy with my little eye something that ends with "d".

Put a name to a face

                              Pre-game / activity:

Give each student a 1/8th of a piece of A4 paper (8 1/2 x 11 if you are in
North America). Ask them to make a simple drawing of their face and then
to put their name underneath. Do a demonstration of the drawing on the

The end result should be a class set of wallet size drawings of all the

Collect all the drawings and then tell the students you will use them later in
a game. During your next break, paste the pictures onto a single sheet or

two of photocopy paper. Then make enough copies of these for each student
in your class.

                        Introducing the game / activity:

Hand the sheets out and tell the students that they must match all the
people in the class with their drawings. Put a sample dialog on the

Student A: Are you Bob?
Student B: Yes, I am. / No, I'm not.

Practice the dialog a couple of times if need be.

                           Playing the game / activity:

The students must circulate and match all the people in the class with their
drawings. Ask the students to put a little check by each name as they find
the person.

                         Extending the game / activity:

A great variation on this activity is to have the students NOT put their
names with their drawings. Then the other students must circulate
throughout the classroom and point at the pictures while practicing a dialog
like this:

Student A: Is this you?
Student B: Yes it is. / No. it isn't.
Student A: What's your name?
Student B: Bob



Demonstrate the drawing process yourself by selecting one of the words,
expressions or phrases at random. Draw it on the board and have your class
call out what they think it is. When the correct words, expression or phrase

is called out stop drawing and inform your class that they will be playing a
game based on what you were doing.

Divide your class into two teams. If you have a particularly large class use
the two team approach as a demonstration and then allow the students to
play in smaller groups once everyone understands the game. You will need one
set of words, expressions or phrases for each group of two teams that is
playing the game.

Explain the rules: the students will have 1 minute (90 seconds if they are
particularly anxious about their drawing abilities) to get their team to call
out the correct answer. The student drawing may not speak or gesture. They
may not write numbers or letters.

There are two modes of play:

1. Individual team play. The teams take it in turn to try to guess what their
team member is drawing on the board. The team member takes a slip of
paper at random and then gets 60-90 seconds (it's up to you) to get his/her
team to call out the correct answer. After their turn is up, the other team
takes a turn and so on.

2. Full class play. Give each team the same words, expressions or phrases to
draw concurrently.
The first team to get the correct answer wins a point.

This version can generate a great deal of excitement.

The choice of language to put on your slips of paper is up to you.

Just like charades, pictionary is a great way to practice progressive verbs of
all sorts. You might want to use it to practice modals as well!

Idioms and expressions can also be a lot of fun! Use your imagination when
making the drawing topics or invite you students to think up a few for the
other teams / groups.


Imagine a 5 by 5 grid stood on its end. Imagine that you have to drop a
colored disc into one of the 5 slots at the top and that the disc will drop
down to the next available square. That is how four-in-a-row is played in real
life. The two players must take turns dropping their discs into one of the
five slots at the top of the vertical grid...the discs drop down and they end
up in the next available square. If there are already 2 discs that have been
dropped in that vertical slot, then their disc ends up in the middle, third
from the top. The first player to get four-in-a-row wins.

When you play this game with your students you will need to demonstrate
the game on the whiteboard first. Draw the 5-by-5 grid on the board,
explain the game and then demonstrate how the "discs" must drop to the
bottom most space available in the slot where the disc was dropped.

Then explain that for the "practice" round there will be two teams. For this
purpose you'll need to divide your class in half. Tell the class that they will
be playing against each other, and give each team a whiteboard marker or
piece of chalk. Use two different colors if you have them, or X's and O's if
you don't.

For the "practice" round use whatever you see fit to award the teams the
right to "drop" a disc into the game grid. Here are a few suggestions:

Call out countries...the first team to call back the capital of that country
gets to drop a disc
Opposites...the first team to call out the opposite of the word/phrase you
call out gets to drop a disc
Vocabulary...give the teams 30 seconds to generate as many words starting
with a given letter as they can...the team with the most...

Once you are sure the students understand the game then you can let them
play as a group on the board. At this point you may wish to structure things a
little more. To get the most out of this game it is often quite beneficial to
allow the teams to generate their own questions. Use the game after the
class has learned a given vocabulary and language structure set.

Let's say you've just done a class on family vocabulary and the possessive
apostrophe using family photographs supplied by the students. You taught
the students all the family vocabulary (brother, sister, grandfather, etc)
and then had the students ask each other questions about their photos in a
mill drill :

Student A [from team 1]: Who's that?
Student B[from team 2]: That's my mother
Student A [talking to student C and pointing to the mother in the photo]
Who's that?
Student C [having listened to the entire exchange]: That's B's mother.

At this point, if the students have circulated and have mutually exchanged
information they will be ready for four-in-a-row. As the game master you
simply allow the two teams to prepare questions on the information they
exchanged. In the family photos example all they have to do is ask a question
about the family of the person they talked to in the mill drill. For example:

Student A [from team 1]: Who's that?
Student B[from team 2]: That's C's brother-in-law

If the player being asked the question answers correctly then they can drop
a disc in the four-in-a-row grid on behalf of their team.

Only your imagination will limit the use of this game. It is a great way to
motivate students for mill drills. They'll know that they'll be called upon to
remember information they got during the drill and that they'll have to "get
it right".

A few more examples of game topics are:

      telling time
      asking & answering progressive questions
      questions with modals
      simple present questions
      simple past questions
      do you have any / some...
      too much...too little...not enough

The trick is to prep you students so that they can ask lots of questions using
the language structure that you have taught them...if they have time to
prepare questions they'll do just fine!


Pre-teach the vocabulary you have prepared the cards for. Then show the
cards to the students. Flip them over and allow the first student to turn
over 2 cards, saying the words out loud as they flip them over. If they
match, have them say the word(s) out loud again. They can then keep the
cards. If the cards don't match the student must flip them back over...the
next student now gets a turn. Continue the game in this fashion until all the
cards are flipped over.

You can also allow students who find a matching pair to take another's up to you!

You can play this game in small groups, but you'll need one set of cards for
each group. You can use this game with everything from simple picture word
identification (a picture of a horse and the written word "horse") to
advanced questioning structures ("What was he doing when the rain
started?","He was taking a walk when it started to pour!").

As with most games, you are limited only to your imagination and the abilities
of your students as to what you can do with concentration.

Some suggestions:

      superlatives (adjective on one card...superlative on the other)
      comparatives (superlative on one card...comparative on the other)
      progressives (picture on one card...verb on the other)
      expressions (one half on one card...the other half on the other)

What have I got in my pocket?

                             Pre-game / activity:

Make sure you students have been introduced to adjective syntax for
various verb forms. You may also want to elicit a number of adjectives to the

                       Introducing the game / activity:

Here's how to adapt that idea in your class room. Just put something
"guessable" in your pocket and ask the students "what have I got in my
pocket?". They will have no idea of give them a hint..."they are
metal". Some of the students may venture a guess...if no one discovers the
answer give them another hint "their edges are rough". If there is no
correct answer then give them another hint..."two sides are smooth and
flat"....Keep going until your students identify the fact that you have keys in
your pocket.

                         Playing the game / activity:

Do a few practice rounds with your students until they are comfortable with
the process. If they don't know what to use as clues, give them a few
minutes to generate adjective clues before you have them play the game in
small groups

What is the truth?

                             Pre-game / activity:

The instructor introduces herself to the class and makes a few casual
remarks to get the students acquainted with his/her voice and intonation.
Next, the instructor tells the class that they are going to play a game called
"What's the Truth?" On the board the teacher lists five sentences about
herself (again, these can be very basic or more complex depending on the
level), two that are false, three that are true. For example:

      I   love to eat Indian food.
      I   speak three languages: Spanish, English and Russian.
      I   love to write short stories and poetry.
      I   lived in Japan for two years.

                         Introducing the game / activity:

The teacher tells the students that some of these statements are true
while others are false. She reads the sentences aloud to the class and it,
collectively, votes on which are true and which are false. The teacher counts
the votes and writes the numbers next to the statements. All of this
creates quite a lot of giggles and guesses as to which sentences are true. I
believe it helps to get the students thinking about the instructor as a "real"
person, just like them.

                           Playing the game / activity:

Next the instructor reveals the three statements that are true and asks
the class which one they would like to know more about. Everyone votes and
the teacher then spends a few minutes talking about herself: her love for
ethnic cooking, her life in Japan, the book of poems she just wrote, etc. The
"opening up" of the teacher in front of her students helps to lighten the
atmosphere and begins to set the tone for the semester's learning

Now it is the students' turn to play the game. On a sheet of paper they must
write two false statements and three true ones about themselves. These
sentences can be very simple or more complex, but I usually stress that
students try to be as creative and free as possible. Allow about 5-7 minutes
for the writing process. After completion, break the students into
appropriate pairs (perhaps selecting them by gender, native language, race,
age, etc. to form diverse groups) and have them begin to play "What's the
Truth?" This instantly gives them something to focus upon and talk about as
they try to guess the truth about their partner. After the true sentences
have been revealed, the students, too, must choose one sentence or topic

statement to discuss further. Depending on how talkative and lively the class
is in response to this game, the instructor should allow about twenty minutes
(10 minutes per person) for the elaboration of the true statement.

The final phase of this game is for the pair teams to stand up and introduce
each other, by name, to the rest of the class and tell one "true" interesting
fact about one another. By warming up with the pair share activity and by
introducing and talking about someone else, the performance pressure is
lessened for the speaker and the rest of the class begins to become familiar
with other students.


Divide students into teams of four and have them form a circle with one
student's back to the board.

Write a word or sentence on the board and the team member with her back
to the board must guess the item.

Team members must speak English to give clues and may use gestures and
actions to illustrate.

Students who have the complete answer must raise their hand or call out
their team name.

Each correct answer earns one point. Team members move after each turn
so that all students are involved.

Guess the picture

Tape 20 pictures of people doing things on the board. Make sure there is a
picture of a man and a picture of a woman for each verb. Write numbers on
the board under each picture. Ask the class to make a statement for each
picture orally. Then ask yes/no questions for each picture, writing the
yes/no question form on the board. Model the yes/no question and yes/no
answer form many times. You are now ready to model the game. Write the
number of one of the pictures on a scratch piece of paper. Have the

students begin to ask yes no questions to find out which picture you are
thinking of. Only answer the students who ask in the correct form. The
student who accurately identifies the picture you are thinking of then comes
to the front of the class.

Student Name Alphabet Bingo

Write each student's first and last names on a separate large strips of
paper. Draw in dividing lines between each letter. Each student gets the
strip with her or her name and space markers (plastic chips or whatever you
have on hand). The teacher holds up a letter of the alphabet and says its
name. The students look for the letter in their name and cover it with a
marker. The letter may occur more than once, thus giving the child occasion
to count out, "I have 3 a's!" By using first and last names you will cover most
of the alphabet with this game.

Directions Hide and seek

Tell your students that you want them to go on a treasure hunt. Answer any
questions they have about the meaning of treasure hunt, prizes, etc.

Show the students the prizes you have brought with you. Simple hard
candies (in wrappers) are inexpensive and very suitable for this game as they
are small, making them a little difficult to find. Tell them that they will be
asked to go outside the classroom to hide a candy and that afterwards they
will need to write directions for another person to find it.

Write out some sample directions phrases on the board and answer any
questions the students may have.

 Once the students clearly understand the game, send them out of the class
one by one to hide their candy. Make sure they know not to make it too easy
or too difficult to find. After they come back set them to writing the
directions to find the candy. Once everyone has completed these two steps
have the students put their names on their directions and take in the papers.

Hand out the papers, making sure that the students do not receive their
own. Then send the students out to find the hidden candies!

Liar liar pants on fire...

Tell your students that you want them to ask you questions and that they
can ask anything they want to. Encourage them not to be shy! Then tell them
that they can ask anything they want to because you are only going to answer
7 out of 10 questions with the truth.

Draw attention to the fact that 7 answers will be true and 3 will be false.
Make sure that the students understand true and false. Then put the Ss
into small groups and ask them to write 10 questions for you. Give a few
examples of questions such as :

       Have you ever lied to your mother?
       What is one of your bad habits?

Then write up numbered instructions on the board so that the Ss understand
exactly what they will be doing for this activity:

   1.   Write 10 questions in your teams
   2.   One person from your group asks the questions out loud
   3.   I (the teacher) answer 7 of them with the truth and 3 with a lie
   4.   After I answer all the questions you all vote on which ones you think I
        answered truthfully and which ones I lied about

While the small teams compose their questions, circulate and help them with
anything that requires it. Correct language as need be.

After the groups are finished, select one group and ask each group member
in turn to stand up and ask one of the questions. Write the question on the
board. Repeat until all ten of the questions are on the board. Then answer
each of the questions in turn, writing (perhaps in short form) the answer on
the board beside the answer (use a different color of chalk or marker if you
can). After you've answered all the questions ask the Ss to vote as a group
on whether or not they believe your answer for each question. You can do

this by having the students write down their "vote" or by having them do a
show of hands. It depends on how much time you want to spend on the

This game is a great way to break the ice with your students and have them
get to know you. It's lots of fun and helps you get a sense of the oral
abilities of your students while keeping the focus on you and thus helping
your Ss feel a little safer at the beginning of a course.

What time is it Mr. Wolf?

Take your students to a park or the gymnasium. Choose one of your more
advanced students and have him / her face a wall or tree. This student is
"Mr. Wolf". Then have all the remaining students move 15-25 metres away
from him / her. These students are the "sheep". Define a line that will be
"home" or "safe" for the sheep. Mr. Wolf cannot go past that line. There
must be an open space between Mr. Wolf and the remaining students so that
they can run back "home" in order to escape the hungry Mr. Wolf.

All together the students behind the home line must call out "What time is
it Mr. Wolf?". Mr. Wolf, without turning around, must call out a time. For
example, "it's 4 o'clock". The sheep must then take 4 steps. The sheep must
then call out again "What time is it Mr. Wolf?". Mr. Wolf calls out a time and
the sheep take the appropriate number of steps. At one point Mr. Wolf can
decide to answer "It's dinner time!" instead of calling out the time. At that
point he she can turn around and try to tag as many of the sheep as he / she
can. The tagged sheep become wolves. They can take it in turn to say what
time it is when the sheep ask! The game ends when all of the sheep have
become wolves!

Hyper Hop Scotch

                             Pre-game / activity:

Post some of the questions / conversation prompts on the board. Then elicit
responses from the Ss. Write these responses on the board verbatim. Then
give them a score out of 3 based on the length and accuracy of their
response. The score will be used later on to determine how many squares the
game participants can "hop". Explain to the students why you gave each
particular score so that they will understand what they need to do to get a 1,
2 or a 3. Single word answers that are accurate should get 1, accurate but
very short answers a 2 and long answers with complete sentences a 3.

                       Introducing the game / activity:

Draw a hopscotch grid on the board. Use diagrams to explain the game and
then do the same thing using chalk on the ground. You will likely need to take
your class outside for this, but don't worry...the Ss will love you for it! Do a
couple of demos of how to play "real" hopscotch and then ease into using
answers from questions in order to go 1, 2 or 3 squares. Here's how you do

Do the real demo using a rock and doing the "hops".
Then have a student ask you a particular question such as "What did you do
last week-end?".
Answer the question and then ask the students what score your answer
should be worth. While you are standing on one leg get the Ss to ask you
another question...then answer it. Keep doing this until you either lose your
balance and have to touch the ground with the foot that is supposed to be in
the air or you get back to "home".

                          Playing the game / activity:

The Ss can play in small groups. You may want them to prepare a short list of
questions and possible answers before starting the game. The Ss should play
in teams of two with two teams playing against each other. The activity can

become pretty intense as Ss start yelping out the answers while trying not
to fall over. It's a good idea to bring a camera along to capture the fun!

Find someone who!

Hand out copies of a work sheet or write the questions for the activity on
the board. Tell the Ss that they must find a person in the class who matches
each of the "questions" that you have provided.

Go over the "questions" and check for vocabulary comprehension. Then elicit
possible questions for each of the people that the Ss must find. For

If the Ss must find someone who … likes anchovy pizza then the question
they ask the other Ss in the class should be:

Do you like anchovy pizza?

Here are a few questions to use in your activity:

Find someone who...

      had a dream last evening
      enjoys eating spicy food
      can sing a song in French
      has an French dictionary with them
      can spell their family name backwards
      received a gift in the last month
      has more than 4 people in their family
      likes the color red
      has been to another country

One variant on this activity is to insist that the Ss find a different person
for each question.

Another variant is for the Ss to have a race. The first one to find a match
for each question wins!

Chain Story

You have to prepare small pieces of paper and put a word in each of it, for
instance: museum, Spain, police, or whatever. Then you submit one piece of
paper to each student, so that everyone has a word and the teacher writes
all the words on the board and starts the game. The teacher begins an story
and when he/she says a word that is on the board, the student who has it
continues the story until all the students have participated

Question Dice

Make a cube using the standard primary school mathmatics template.
On each side of the cube write one question word, what, where, when, who,
how, and why.
Students in pairs then throw the dice and ask their partner a question using
the question word the dice landed on.

This is great for elementery conversational French

The Price is Right!

The idea is for students to guess the correct price for a given item.
Students make an initial guess and then need to listen to the guesses of
other students (teams works well for this). This is a good game for learning
and practicing numbers and current vocabulary.

Put student drawn pictures or clip art of flash cards onto the board.
Write the price onto a small pieces of paper so that the class can’t see
them, and place them onto the pictures. (This is used for checking the price
during the game to see if the guesses are correct or wrong.)
(A) “I think the price of the biscuits is $10.00”
(B) “Incorrect. The price is lower than $10.00”
Or “No the biscuits cost more/less than $10.00”
Or simply ”higher/lower”
Good variation:
“How much are the biscuits?”

“I think the biscuits cost $4.00.”
Could also be used with people and their birth dates, or the year in which
they were born…. there are quite a few possibilities.

Pass the hat!

Fill the bag with questions, requests, prepostions, whatever you may be
reviewing at the moment.

Start the hat at one side of the room and the bag at the other. Have the
students pass the bag and hat while listening to music. When the music
stops, the students who are holding the bag and the cap must stand up. The
person with the bag must ask a question of the person with the hat.

Keep going, alternating the time between stopping the music. The students
get really excited with this activity, it is really a lot of fun!

Catch the Word

First the students get a tape-script of a song they really like, which they
first listen to. Then we analyze the new words (vocabulary they don't know).
On strips of paper I write down some important or new words (one word on
each strip). I fold the papers and each student chooses one or two words.
They all have one minute to study the words. Then they put away the papers,
and everyone stands up.

I play the song again and the students have sit down as soon as their word is
heard. The student who miss their words are out. If I handed out more than
one word to each student he/she has to sit down and stand up again fast.
The last student to sit down is the winner.

The Hunter

One of the students chooses any object of his/her interest in the classroom.
It can be an object that belongs to another student,or the teacher
(clothing,material, or an object on the wall, etc.). The student secretly
indicates the object to the teacher and stands in front of the class.

The other students ask questions about the object. They can only ask
questions with a YES or a NO answer. A question that elicits a YES answer
allows an additional question and a candy for the student asking the

No hints can be given. The identity of the object can only be learned by
asking questions! The student who guesses what the object is will be the one
to choose a new object

Animal Artist

One person goes to the whiteboard and starts drawing an animal. As soon as
any student thinks he/she knows what it is, they should make the noise that
that animal makes (woof woof, moooooo, etc.) If the person drawing thinks
the correct noise has been made, he/she will stop and give the noise-making
student a chance to say the animal's English name. If you want to make
things competitive and more exciting, you can split the class into teams and
the teacher can be the one drawing on the board. Give a point to the team
that says the correct name.

Who is the fastest?

Divide the class into groups of 4 or 5 students. Divide the board horizontally
into sections; one for each of the teams PLUS ONE. That is to say one for
each section and one extra. You will use these sections for game play and to
keep track of winners and losers.

Tell the students that once you give the meaning of a word in their first
language they have to write its English equivalent as soon as possible. Once
at least one of them writes the word on the board accurately, s/he can kick
out any one of their team mates. This is a game of elimination. The last team
member standing can compete in the final round.

If no one knows the answer, one of the spectators (students who don't
compete) gives the answer either orally or written on the board and has the
chance to select one of the competitors and eliminate them from the game.
(It's ruthless)

The name of the survivor from each group is written on the extra side of
the board as the finalists (you remember that you divided the board one
more than the number of the competitors - that is the extra section).

When the first finalist is determined, the second group stands up for the
second finalist to be determined, the third for the third finalist and so on
till all the students in the class have participated in the activity.

                                  The finals

After all this is done, the finalists compete and the winner is determined.
The winner can be awarded by small presents like hairpins, erasers, plus
marks or so forth, according to their levels of age and sexes.

                             Extending the game

Students can be asked to quick-write:
The past (participle) of the verbs the teacher (or any other student) gives
For example: "The past form of go is...?" (The students are expected to
write 'went')

   1. The occupations/animals/tools/etc. that the teacher (or any other
      student) explains through relative clauses
      For instance: "A blah blah is a person who teaches" (The students are
      supposed to write 'teacher' )
   2. Prepositions that go with certain adjectives or verbs
      For instance: "To be angry ...?" (The students are expected to write

   3. The -ing form of some verbs
      For instance: The asker just says "lie" and expects students to write
   4. The irregular plurals (No explanation necessary I think)
   5. Verb+ 's' in the Simple Present Tense
   6. Nationalities for the countries given, or vice versa
      For example: "The asker says "China" and expects students to write
      'Chinese' or vice versa, that is, s/he first tells the nationality and
      asks the country
   7. Whatever else you can imagine, namely, these are not all and the only
      places this game can be used. You can expand it to other areas of
      language, vocabulary or skills as well.

Simon says ... actions and music

The Ss dance to the music, when the teacher says: "Simon says, stop" they
have to stop dancing. When the teacher says: "Stop" though (without Simon
says), they have to continue. The one who makes a mistake is "out". When
the teacher says: "Simon says, blink your eyes" they have to blink their eyes
and dance throughout the song. Take turns and let some Ss give instructions.

This variation on the venerable Simon Says game can be beefed up if you
practice the vocabulary with the Ss beforehand. You may want to elicit
verbs from your class before playing the game as well.

The use of music will likely make this game succeed as plain old Simon Says
can get tired pretty quickly!

English Ping-Pong

Students sit opposite each other in pairs, with a Ping-Pong ball. The students
pass the ball to one another like in a Ping-Pong game. When they throw the
ball over to their partner, they have to produce either a word, a question or
an answer. The first student to take too long to produce the language, loses
a point, just as in Ping-Pong.

S1: apple

S2: egg
S1: girl
S2: leg
S1: ......
S1 loses a point. He/She gets to serve the ball in the next point.


Students arrange themselves in a circle. The teacher says a vocabulary item,
according to the topic Ss are working in class, and passes a card
representing the item to the next student who describes the item with an
adjective and then repeats the process until the card gets back to the

Paperball game

The whole classroom is divided in two groups. The teacher prepares the
students with the vocabulary that will be practiced and the rest of the game
is up to the students.

Required materials are 15x15 cm flashcards with whatever pictures the
teacher wants the students to know, one basket and two paper balls, one for
each team. Teams sit with their back to the wall. The middle of the
classroom is free.

First put one picture at a time anywhere around the classroom (usually
around the chalkboard). Read each picture until all the pictures are known to
the students (usually around 15-20, or if you have less time maybe ten). Call
out one student from each group to stand behind the line you drew on the
floor in the middle of the class (5-7 m far from the chalkboard with the
flash cards). Put the basket or box about 2 meters far from the line where
the students begin. Call out one picture. The two students compete in
throwing a paper ball into the basket and only after they successfully threw
it into the box will they have the right to run and catch the picture you
called. The first student who gets the right picture wins the point. For the
rest of the game have the students call the runners and the picture. They

can play it by themselves forgeting about the teacher. Play until all the
pictures are called out.


Draw a grid on the board. The grid should be made up of hexagonal cells, like
a honeycomb. The grid can be any size, but 7X7 is usually about right. In
each cell write either a letter(s) or the name of a discrete grammar point. A
letter will represent the first letter of the answer to a vocabulary question.
A grammar point indicates the focus of a grammar question.

Divide the class into two teams: red and blue. Each team choose a
spokesperson. One team tries to move from the top to the bottom of the
grid. The other team tries to move left to right. Each team takes turns to
choose a cell and be asked a question for that cell. If they answer correctly
the 'question' is erased and replaced with a large red or blue dot
representing the team. Apart from the first round, each cell chosen must be
adjacent to a previously won cell, so that each team progresses in a line or
lines across the board. The game is won by reaching the side of the board
opposite the side from which they started.

Five-Card Story

Get the students into groups of 4 or 5 people maximum. Give each group a
deck of cards and have them shuffle it well. Deal everyone 5 cards making
sure no one looks at their cards. Explain to them that they will use the cards
to tell a story. In each group, one person goes at a time while the others
listen. To start the story, they turn over the first card. Whatever is
showing, they will use somehow in the story. If it's a Queen, they use her in
the story. If it's a number, that number will somehow be used. They only
turn one card at a time and use whatever they find to make a few senteces,
then turn over the following card to continue in the same manner until
they've finished with all the 5 cards and the story is closed. For instance, if
the first card is a King, you might say "Long, long ago in a land somewhere in
what we now call Europe, there lived a very tall and handsome king. All the
king's subjects adored him and felt he was a wise and just king." Then if you

turn your next card and it's a 4, you might continue "The king had 4
beautiful daughters whom he loved vey much, but he was worried because he
didn't have a son to take over his kingdom." You see how it works. When one
person finishes, go on to the next person in the group.

The teacher should make a complete story first as an example

Vocab Relay Race

   1. Split the class into two teams. Choose 5 students from each side to play (So there
      will be 10 people actively playing at a time. You can change the number of
      players of course according to classroom demands.)
   2. Give the first person on each team a marker.
   3. You say a word - for instance "house" or "easygoing".
   4. The first person from each team runs to the board and has to write a sentence
      using that word. When finished, he or she runs back to pass the marker on to
      person number two on their team. The second person runs to the board and writes
      a completely new sentence with the same word. They are also free to correct
      anything they think is a mistake in the previous sentence. It continues this way
      until all five members of a team have written a sentence with the word chosen by
      the teacher. The first team to finish wins and scores a point for their side. All the
      sentences must be grammatically perfect to be acceptable. The other members of
      their team (the standing members as well as the sitting members) can tell them
      what and how to write from a distance. This should get everyone involved. There
      can only be one member of each team at the board at any given time though.


Choose a set of vocabulary items. The student holding the ball says an item
and throws the ball to another student. That student has to say the previous
item and then their own item.

Students each have one vocab item. You say your own item and the item of
the student to whom you're throwing the ball.

Frozen tag

Hand out the cards, one to each student and practice the vocab so that
everyone knows their own word. One person is "it". When they touch another
person, they become frozen (can't move) but their friends can unfreeze
them. To do this, the friend tells the frozen person what's on their card.
The frozen person then either repeats or acts out the item. Then they are

Alternatives: from time to time have students switch cards and teach each
other their own vocabulary and change the person who is "it".

Blind Olympics


         o   rearrange class into an open space
         o   make two (or more) teams
         o   in each team one person is blindfolded
         o   the other students make the class into an obstacle course
         o   students from each group give directions to their candidate to
             reach the finishing line at end of the room
         o   Every time their competitor touches an item in the room they
             loose a point and if they touch the other competitor they loose
             two points (or any combination you like)

Circle the Number Relay


         o   Various numbers are written clearly and firmly on the board.
             They should be written at the height the learners can reach.
         o   There are two teams
         o   one member from each team stands at the board, coloured
             chalk in hand (each team has a different colour).
         o   Someone calls the numbers and the first to put a ring round the
             correct one scores a point for their team.
         o   Then replace the 2 representatives and do it again.

        Alternatives: Instead of numbers it can be

           o   clock times, dates, pictures, telephone numbers.
           o   You can also make this a race game: when the number is called,
               the first in each team rushes to the board and circles the
               number, then hands the chalk to the second person and another
               number is called.

Slap It


           o   Put the cards on a desk and the students sit around the desk.
           o   The teacher describes the item and when a student thinks they
               know the answer, they slap the card and say the word aloud.
           o   If they are right, they get a point for their team. If they are
               wrong, they are out.
           o   Or in each group each student plays for themselves and if they
               slap the correct picture they keep the card as a point.
           o   The person or team with the most cards/points wins.

Do It


           o   This works better if the teacher has a list of commands in mind
               (7-16 that the students have studied before)
           o   Students split into two teams.
           o   The teacher says a command.
           o   The first student to raise their hand stands up and performs
               the command.
           o   If they get the meaning right, they get another point, if not,
               the other team gets a chance
           o   The team with the most points wins

Musical Chairs with a Twist


          o   put all the chairs in a circle and a tag with the target
              vocabulary (i.e. jobs) on each chair
          o   Play the music and the students move around
          o   when the music stops all go for the chairs
          o   There is a chair for each students except one
          o   the IT (person in the middle) can ask anyone sitting down, "Who
              are you?"
          o   If they know what the tag represents then they remain sitting
              if not they must get up and they become IT.
          o   This is continued 3 times and then the music is played again.

Have you seen my sheep?


          o   A circle is formed, but one player, called IT, is outside the
          o   She moves round the outside of the circle and taps somebody
              on the shoulder, asking "Have you seen my sheep (or dog, cat,
          o   STUDENT: "Yes I have".
          o   IT asks, "What's it wearing?" or "How is it dressed?
          o   STUDENT begins to describing someone in the circle e.g. green
              shirt, brown shoes, long hair... As soon as the one described
              recognizes themselves, s/he must run round the outside of the
              circle away from IT.
          o   If she is caught before getting back to her place, she takes the
              place of IT.

Draw it


          o   Students are paired

         o   A students are given a picture and drawing materials are given
             to B students
         o   A students have to describe the picture while B students draw
         o   the first group to draw an acceptable picture wins

Against the Clock

Keep a box of vocabulary cards in the classroom. (I usually write out each
week's vocabulary words on index cards at the beginning of a week, then add
these to the box as I teach them.) As an end of the week review or a filler
for those last five minutes of class, I select a student, hand him or her the
box and set a time limit of thirty to sixty seconds. This student draws a
card from the box, then proceeds to describe the object, action, emotion,
etc. written thereon to the class. As soon as the class guesses the word, the
student proceeds to the next card, and so forth. One point is given for each
word guessed by the class. If a student does not know the meaning of a
vocabulary word he or she draws, he or she may skip it; however, one point is
deducted for each skipped card. This activity works well as either a team or
an individual exercise. For added practice, you may randomly ask students to
use reviewed words correctly in sentences at the end of each timed turn.

Photographic Memory

Preparation: Place a variety of small items or flashcards (word or picture)
face down on a table. Cover these with a cloth or towel until playing begins.

Game: Uncover the objects and allow the players a set amount of time (1-3
minutes, depending on students' ages) to memorize them. Players may not
make any notes about the contents. At the end of the time, objects are
removed or recovered. If players can write, they are asked to list as many
of the items as they can remember. The student with the most detailed list
wins. If students cannot write, they are divided into two teams. Teams form
two separate lines. The student in the front of the first line tries to recall
an item he or she saw. For recall, one point is awarded. If the student can

also use the item in a sentence, a second point is awarded. The student then
goes to the back of the line. The student at the front of the second line
repeats the process. If a student cannot remember an item, he or she goes
to the back of the line and no points are awarded.


In this simple activity, a player chooses a secret word. The word may be
chosen from a list of vocabulary words on the board, drawn from a basket,
or pulled from a file of previous vocabulary words. The player must then
create a sentence which uses the word correctly. In place of the chosen
word, however, the player says, "thwibbledy-thwap." For example, if the
student chose the word "car," he or she might create the following sentence:
"I rode to school today in my father's car." He or she would then say the
following: "I rode to school today in my father's thwibbledy-thwap." Any
student who believes that he or she knows what word "thwibbledy-thwap"
represents should raise his or her hand. The player or the teacher calls on
students in the order in which they raise their hands. If three students fail
to guess the word, the player creates another sentence using the same word.
("Our new thwibbledy-thwap has four doors.") Up to three more students
may guess, and so on, until someone guesses the correct word. The student
who guesses correctly chooses the next word

Can You Actions

Use this game for teaching "Can you...?" "Yes, I can" "No, I can't". These
actions are fun: wiggle, dance, run quickly, hop, skip, do a star jump, do a
handstand, touch your toes, cross your eyes, snap your fingers, whistle, sing.
E.g. Ask a S "Can you cross your eyes?". If the S replies "Yes, I can" then
say "Ok, go!" and the S does the action. If the S says "No, I can't" say "Too
bad. Ok, can you (wiggle)?".

others well know games:

     Go fish
     Four corners
     Throw a six
     Telephone
     Snakes and laders

Jeux d’orthographe

Run-to-the-board (RTB)

Divide the class into two teams.

Put pictures or write categories on the board. Make sure both teams know
which topic to write about and whether they must write words, phrases or
sentences about the topic.

All students must write something.

Make a time limit to pause for corrections and make room on the board for
more writing, then start the race again where it left off.

To review the task, a student from the first team will read what they wrote
aloud, then the next team, and so on. Students from the toher teams can
correct errors for more points.

The winning team has the most points.

*Model and drill any new words that arise from the activity.

Earn Spelling Points!

This lesson provides a number of ways to spice up your weekly spelling
assignments. Provide a list of activities students might do with their spelling
words. Students select from the list activities that add up to at least 50
points. Some ideas and point values follow, but you will want to create your
own list of activities and point values to post in your classroom.

If you teach young students, you might introduce a few activities a
week instead of introducing students to a dozen ideas at once.

You also can set guidelines for each week’s activities. For example,
students might be required to do at least two 5-point activities and
one 10-point activity.


      Write your spelling words in ABC order.
      Write each spelling word without its vowels. Replace each vowel with a
      Write your words in shaving cream. (Students spray their desks with
       shaving cream. They use their fingers to spell the words. The teacher
       will correct this spelling assignment, which happens to be a nice way to
       clean students’ desks too!)
      Write your spelling words as fractions, based on the number of vowels
       and consonants in each word.
      Write your spelling words in crayon. Write each consonant letter in
       red and each vowel in blue.
      Clap the chalkboard erasers on your classroom’s chalkboard to make a
       white area. Dip a Q-tip in water and write your words on the board.


      Write each spelling word five times.
      Write each spelling word in a rainbow of colors. First, write the words
       with a red crayon. Trace over the words with a blue crayon. Finally,
       trace the words again with a green crayon.
      Write your words with all the letters mixed up. Then ask a friend to
       unscramble the words. Correct your friend’s paper. Each of you earns
       ten points.
      Write each spelling word. Next to each word, write two additional
       words of at least four letters that can be spelled using the letters in
       the word.
      Use plastic bags full of letters to spell out this week’s words. Spell
       them out on your desk or on a sheet of black paper. (Letters can be
       gathered from a number of sources: They might be old
       plastic/magnetic letters, letter tiles from board games, letters from
       a box of alphabet cereal, or letters from a box of “alphabet soup”

Create a secret code by assigning a number to each letter of the alphabet.
Write your spelling words in code. Challenge a classmate to use that code to
decode each word. Correct your classmate’s work. Each of you earns 10

      Spell your words into a tape recorder. Say each word, then use it in a
       sentence, then spell the word, then say it again.
      Spell out your spelling words using alphabet rubber stamps and an
      Write your words with the hand you do not usually write with. (For
       example, if you are right-handed, write your words with your left
      Write each word in numbers. Find each letter on a telephone keypad
       and write the corresponding number for each letter.


      Use each spelling word in a sentence. Correct spelling and grammar
      Find each of your spelling words in a word search puzzle.
      Spell your words in Braille or Morse Code.
      Use pipe cleaners, rolled modeling clay, broken-up spaghetti noodles,
       or ice-pop sticks to spell out your words.
      Edit ten sentences for errors of grammar, spelling, or punctuation.
       Each sentence should include one of the spelling words for the week;
       an error is carefully worked into the sentence. (For young students,
       the teacher will need to prepare this activity in advance; older
       students might create the activity on their own and have a classmate
       play editor.)

Choose a partner. Cut index cards or drawing paper into 3-inch squares.
Make 20 squares. Each of you must write the same ten spelling words on the
squares, one word to a card. Then lay the cards face down and play a
Concentration-like game.


      Use your spelling words to write a short story. Your story must
       include all your spelling words.
      Cut out large letters from headlines or ads in newspapers or
       magazines. Use the letters to spell your words. Paste the letters on a
       large sheet of paper.

      Use index cards or drawing paper cut into 3-inch squares. Choose a
       spelling word and write each letter of the word on one of the cards.
       Include 4 extra cards with letters that you or some of your
       classmates might use if they misspelled the word. (For example, if the
       spelling word is choice, you will include cards with the letters c, h, o, i,
       c, and e. Some students might hear the s sound or the y sound in
       choice, so include those letters among the four extra cards; those
       “wild cards” are included to try to throw your classmates off track.
       Put all the letters in an envelope and write on the envelope the
       definition of the word. Do this for ten of your spelling words. Then
       pass your letter game to a classmate. When the classmate is finished,
       check his or her work. You earn 20 points, and your classmate earns 10
       points for this activity.

Write a mnemonic sentence to help you remember each of your spelling
words. Each letter of the word should start a word in the sentence. For
example, an mnemonic sentence for the word throw might be Ted has rented
one wheelbarrow.


      Find a misspelled word in the newspaper, a magazine, or some other
       printed publication. Or find a misspelled word somewhere in your
       community (on a billboard, a sign, a menu…). Bring the misspelled word
       (or a picture of it) to school and add it to a “Spelling Detectives”
       bulletin board in your classroom.

Speedy Spelling Bee

For this spelling game, arrange students into equal-size teams of anywhere
from 3 to 10 players. Have students line up or sit in circles; each team
should choose a member to be their first player.

Before beginning the game, decide whether you want the words in this
spelling bee contest to be words most students should be able to spell

without error, current spelling words, commonly misspelled words, or
challenging words. (Use words from your school district’s spelling program or
see the spelling word resources that appear below.)

Choose a team to begin and call out a word for that team to spell; use the
word in a sentence so students hear the word used in context. Have students
take turns calling out one letter of the word at a time; the first student on
the team calls out the first letter of the word, the second person calls out
the second letter, and so on. (If the word has four or more letters and the
team has only three members, then play returns to the first person on the
team after the third letter is called out.) If the team correctly spells the
word, they earn one point and play moves to the second team. If the second
team spells their word correctly, they earn one point and play moves to the
third team…

When a team spells a word incorrectly, play passes immediately to the next
team. If that team spells the word correctly, they earn two points (the one
they earned and the one that would have been given to the first team if they
had spelled the word correctly); if the second team spells the word
incorrectly, play passes to the third team, which earns three points if they
correctly spell the word…

At the end of the game, the team with the most points might be awarded a
special prize.


   After students get comfortable with the flow of the game, you might try
                                                   the following variations:

      Place a time limit on play. For example, each team might have 15
       seconds to spell their assigned word. If they take more time than
       that, play immediately moves to the next team.
      If a player makes a mistake by calling out the wrong letter, the next
       player on the team might be given the opportunity to correct the
       spelling error. If that player does not correct the error, play
       immediately moves to the next team.

Soccer Spelling

Have players sit at opposite goals facing each other with the game board
between them. Place set of word cards facedown in each goal. Place the
playing pieces on the center line to start the game. The first player reads
the top word in the pile in his or her goal. The other player writes the word
on the first line heading toward the opponent’s goal. Then the player self-
checks by looking at the word card. If the word is spelled correctly, the
player moves his or her marker on the line with the word. If incorrect, the
player corrects the word, returns the card to the bottom of the pile, and
does not advance the marker. Players alternate turns until one of them
reaches the goal, scoring a point. A player who scores a goal returns his or
her playing piece to the center line. Play continues to see who scores more
goals. Students can write new words next to previously written words. Once
all the word cards in a pile have been spelled, provide additional words or
have students mix up the same cards and use them again.

Word-Bank Bingo

Children place all of their Word-Bank cards face up on the table. You
call out clues from a set of Word-Bank Bingo cards. When children
find a word that matches the clue, they return this word to their
Word Banks. The first child to return all words to the bank calls out
"Word-Bank Bingo."

     Sample clues:

           a word beginning with s
           a word with 5 letters
           a word that has 4
           a word that ends in ed

              a word with th

You might want to keep extra sets of Word-Bingo cards handy so that
small groups or pairs of children can play on their own.

When introducing the game, it helps to focus on one criteria, for
example "a word beginning with ." You might then introduce "a word
with _ letters." As you introduce more skills and word knowledge in
your spelling program you can then add them to your Word-Bank Bingo

Spelling Challanges

   1.    ABC order- Write your words in alphabetical order.
   2.    Rainbow Words - Write your words in three colors
   3.    Backwards Words- Write your words forwards, then backwards.
   4.    Silly sentences -Use all your words in ten sentences
   5.    Picture words - Draw a picture and write your words in the picture.
   6.    Words without Vowels - Write your words replacing all vowels with a line.
   7.    Words without Consonants - Same as above but replace consonants with lines.
   8.    Story words - Write a short story using all your words.
   9.    Scrambled words -Write your words, then write them again with the letters mixed
   10.   Wordsearch II -Make a wordsearch with a friend, then trade and solve.
   11.   Wordsearch I - Complete a word pre-made search.
   12.   Crossword - Complete a pre-made crossword puzzle.
   13.   Surround words - Write your words on graph paper and outline in colors.
   14.   Ransom words - Write your words by cutting out letters in a newspaper or magazine
         and glue them on a paper.
   15.   Pyramid Words - Write your words adding or subtracting one letter at a time. The
         result will be a pyramid shape of words.
   16.   Words-in-words - Write your word and then write at least 2 words made from
   17.   Delicious words - Write your words in whipped cream, peanut butter,or anything you
         can eat! Bring in a note from a parent!
   18.   Good Clean Words -Write your words in shaving cream on a counter or some other
         surface that can be cleaned safely.
   19.   Dirty Words - Write your words in mud or sand.
   20.   Pasta Words - Write your words by arranging alphabet pasta or Alphabits. Glue on
         paper or bring me a note from a parent and do on a table or counter at home.
   21.   Reversed words - Write your words in ABC order -backwards!

   22. 3D words - Use modeling clay rolled thinly to make your words. Bring a note if done
       at home.
   23. Create an activity - Can you think of a fun way to do your spelling activities? Try it
   24. Puzzle words - Use a blank puzzle form. Write your words on the form, making sure
       that the words cross over the pieces. Then cut them out (color if you wish) and put
       them in a baggie with your name on it. When you and a friend have completed your
       puzzles, trade and put them back together.
   25. Magazine words - Use an old magazine or newspaper and find your word. Cut it out
       and glue it on paper.
   26. Cheer your words - Pretend you are a cheerleader and call out your words! (We will
       do this as a group activity.) Sometimes you'll yell, sometimes you'll whisper! If you
       want to do this at home with a parent, get them to send me a note that you've done
   27. Sound Words - Use a tape recorder and record your words and their spelling. Then
       listen to your tape, checking to see that you spelled all the words correctly.
   28. X Words - Write two words having one common letter so they criss-cross.
   29. Other Handed - If you are right-handed, write with your left, or vice versa.
   30. Choo-Choo Words - Write the entire list end-to-end as one long word, using
       different colors of crayon or ink for different words.
   31. Silly String - With a long length of string, "write" words in cursive, using the string
       to shape the letters.
   32. Backwriting - Using your finger, draw each letter on a partners' back, having the
       partner say the word when completed.
   33. Telephone Words - Translate your words into numbers from a telephone keypad.
   34. Flashwriting - In a darkened room, use a flashlight to draw letters in the air.
   35. Newspaper Words - Search a newspaper page from top to bottom, circling each
       letter of a word as you find it.
   36. 30 Second Words - Write a TV commercial using all the words from your list.
   37. Popsicles - Make words using popsicle sticks.
   38. Secret Agent Words - Number the alphabet from 1 to 26, then convert your words
       to a number code.
   39. Etch-A-Word - Use an Etch-A-Sketch to write your words.
   40. Morse Code - Convert your words to Morse Code

Desktop Spelling

Invite students to sit on the tops of their desks. Call out spelling words, and
ask individual students to spell those words. If a student spells a word
correctly, he or she stays on the desk and in the game. Students who
misspell a word must sit at their desks and write the misspelled word five
times. Students may reenter the game as soon as the writing assignment is

completed. The winner of the game is the student who has had to write the
fewest words.

Shaving Cream Spelling

All students will love this spelling activity. Students who learn in tactile
(hands-on) ways will benefit most! Squirt each student's desktop with
shaving cream. Have the students spread an even layer of the cream over
their desks. Call out spelling words one at a time and have students spell

those words by writing in the cream. Students will master spelling words and
clean their desks while having a great time!

Spelling Kickball!

Play kickball as usual, except ask each student to spell a word before being
pitched the ball. If the student misspells the word, he or she "strikes" out.
If the student correctly spells the word, the pitcher rolls the ball, and the
game progresses normally. As a variation to the game, you might allow
students to ask a teammate to help spell a word.


This game serves as good practice for the week's (or previous weeks')
spelling words. Arrange students in a line. The game leader calls out the first
word. The first person in line calls out the first letter in that word. The
second person calls out the second letter. The third person calls out the
third letter and so on. The person who says the last letter in the word must
turn to the next person in the sequence and say sparkle. The person who is
"sparkled" must return to his or her seat. If a word is misspelled, the person
to say the first wrong letter must sit down and the spelling of that word
continues. After a student is sparkled, the leader calls out a new word. The
game continues until only one student remains standing.


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