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Games & Activities for ESL kids

ESL Kids Games & Activities

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Spelling Games for ESL Kids

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I spy

I SpyT says "I spy with my little eye something that begins with B".  Ss try to guess the object (e.g. "book").

Letters Spell Race

AlphabetPut students in pairs or small groups. Give each group the letters of the alphabet (either flashcard letters, letter blocks, even letters you have written onto small squares of paper - just as long as each group has all the letters of the alphabet). T shouts out a word and students must rush to get the letters in order to spell that word (e.g. r-e-d, f-i-n-g-e-r, etc.). You can only use words that don't have more than one of the same letter. The group that gets the word first wins 1 point.

Simon Says Spell

BallPlay the usual Simon Says game with your students but say only the first letter of objects in the classroom (e.g. "Simon says touch something beginning with B") then Ss can touch objects beginning with that letter (e.g. ball, boot, back, board, bin, etc.).  If a S makes a mistake s/he has to sit out until the next round.

Spelling Bee

Spelling BeeHave all your Ss stand at the front of the class.  Give S1 a word to spell.  The S orally spells the word and the T writes it on the board as it is being spelt.  If the spelling is wrong the S is knocked out of the game.  The last S standing is the winner.  This also works well as a team game.

Stop the Bus

BusAll Ss need pencil and paper to play this game. The T writes a letter on the board, and shouts, "Start the bus." The students then write down as many words beginning with this letter as they can think of. When one S shouts out, "Stop the bus!" everyone has to stop writing. The students all get one point for each word. The S who has the most words wins an extra 2 point. This may or may not be the one who shouted, "Stop the bus."  (Submitted by Katie McArthur)


Letter blocksWrite a word on the board that has all its letters mixed up (e.g. "lrocsmaos" = "classroom").  Ss have to unscramble the word.  This works well in a team game.  Variation: use letter blocks / letter shapes instead of writing on the board.

Tic Tac Toe Spell

Tic Tac Toe SpellDraw a basic tic tac toe board on the white board with new vocabulary in each block. Each word is missing one, two or three letters depending on students level. One S from each team is called up and must fill in the missing letter(s) and say the word aloud. The team with three in a row wins.  (submitted by Shawn).

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