ESL Kids Games & Activities
This 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 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
Have 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!
This 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
As 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
Songs about animals
- Old MacDonald
- Let's Go to the Zoo
This 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).