Resources and materials for ESL Kids teachers

MarchAttention Commands. Call out commands such as: Attention, salute, march in place...stop, sit down, stand up, walk in a circle, clap your hands...stop, run in place...stop, jumping jacks...stop, swim in place....stop, etc. At first students will copy you but later they should be able to do the commands without you. (Submitted by Tania Bibbo).

SingBet you can't. This game can be played in millions and millions of different ways, and essentially it's just this: go to the toy store and buy toy money. Give each student the same amount of money at the start. Have the students bet each other that they can't do something - like this: make each student stand up and walk around. Have them say, "I bet you can't (e.g. count to 20, run around the room 5 times, sing the ABC song. etc.)". Get the students to bet using the toy money. You'd be surprised how much even adult students enjoy this game.

DanceCan 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 student "Can you cross your eyes?".  If the student replies "Yes, I can" then say "Ok, go!" and the student does the action.  If the student says "No, I can't" say "Too bad.  Ok, can you (wiggle)?". 

Spin aroundCharades. Have a S come to the front of the class and whisper a word or show a FC to that S.  The S the acts out that word and the first S to guess can be the next player.  This works very well with action verbs (e.g. jump, spin around, eat - you can also get more complex patterns, such as cut some bread, open a door, fly an airplane, etc.).  Variation: divide the class up into teams - the first S to guess wins a point for his/her team.

RunClassroom Races. Races are a fun way to teach a lot of different action verbs and adjectives/adverbs.  Line the students up and tell them the action they have to do during the race and then shout go.  Actions include: giant strides, little steps, run backwards, skip, jump, hop, crawl like a crab/baby, hop like a rabbit/frog, fly like a bird, walk quickly/slowly and so on.

Star jumpExercises. This one is great for over excited students who need to burn off a bit of energy.  It's also good for classroom commands and numbers.  Stand the students in a line and call out instructions: "Jump 10 times", "Turn around 4 times" etc.  Other good ones to use are: run (on the spot), hop, hands up & down, touch your (body part), stand up & sit down and star jump.

FollowFollow the leader. Students line up behind the teacher and follows him/her around the classroom.  The teacher does an action and shouts out the word for that action.  The copy the action and repeat the word.  Good actions include: wave hello/goodbye, it's cold/hot, stop, go, run, hop, skip, crawl, walk backwards, jump, sit down, stand up.

ESL Kids SongsSongs for actions and verbs. We have a number of songs available for download which practice different verbs, such as:

Click here for our songs page.

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