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Games & Activities for ESL kids

ESL Kids Games & Activities

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Animals Games for ESL Kids

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Animal Races

elephantThis is a good way to teach the structure "like a / an". After teaching animal vocab and practicing moving like each animal, line the Ss up ready for a race. The T starts each race with "Ready? Run like (an elephant)! And the Ss try and win the race. Other ideas: jump like a kangaroo, crawl like a panther, swim like a fish, fly like a bird, walk like a chicken, etc.

Blindfold Guess

BlindfoldBlindfold a S and give him/her an object to feel. The S must guess what the object is. This works well with plastic animals as they are a little challenging to guess (I always throw in a dinosaur to spice things up!).

Dog & Cat Chase

Dog & Cat ChaseHave Ss sit in a circle.  T walks around the outside of the circle patting the Ss on the head saying "dog" each time.  Suddenly, T says "cat" as s/he touches a S's head and then that S must chase the T around the circle.  The T must try to sit in the S's spot before being tagged by the chasing S.  If the T is tagged s/he must touch the heads again.  If T makes it back without being touched then the chasing S walks around the circle touching heads.  This can be done with any variation of pair words (e.g. big & small, happy & sad, can, can't, etc.).

Don't Drop It!

BallThis is a great vocab practice game for animal vocab. Have all Ss sit in a circle. Use a ball (or even a plastic animal) and toss it to one S. But you must say one animal word as you pass. The S then throws to another S and says a different animal word. If the student you threw it to drops it, he/she is out. Also, if the S can't think of an animal word within a few seconds he/she is out. The game keeps going until you have one winner.

Hint Animal Game

LionAs a review of animals flashcards, T holds some cards without showing any to the Ss.  Then the T tells the kids that they are going to receive 3 hints, so they need to listen carefully. For example: 1. I am yellow. 2. I have long hair. 3. I am strong. Who am I? Well, a lion of course!  You can make it in deferent levels depending on how much English you use or which vocab you use.

Lesson plans about animals

ESL Kids Lesson PlansWe also have two FREE lesson plans about animals which include games and activities as well as other lesson materials.

Click here to download our Farm Animals and Zoo Animals Lesson Plans.

Songs about animals

ESL Kids SongsWe have two songs available for download about animals:

  • Old MacDonald
  • Let's Go to the Zoo

Click here for our songs page.

Zoo Game

SnakeThis is a fun activity for young learners on the topic of animal noises.  After teaching the animals and their noises sit each S in a different part of the classroom and assign them as different animals (to make it clearer you can give each S a flashcard of the animal they are representing).  Walk around the room and talk to each S, who can only reply as an animal.  E.g. T: "Hello Yumi", S1:"Moo! (cow).  T: "What's your name?" S2: "Roar!" (lion).  T: "How are you, Kenta?" S3: "Hissssss!" (snake).

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