Resources and materials for ESL Kids teachers

BlindfoldBlindfold Questions. Put students in a circle, with one student, blindfolded standing in the middle. Turn the student around a few times. Tell the student to point at the person in front of him/her and ask a question (e.g. "How old are you?", "What's your favorite food?, etc.). After replying, the blindfolded student must guess the name of the student s/he is talking to.

RiverCross the River. Place flashcards on floor in winding manner.  Each card represents a stepping stone in the river, and students must ask the teacher a question or answer a question from the teacher related to the flashcard picture (e.g. Do you like hamburgers, do you have a dog, etc.) in order to step on each stone and cross the river!  (submitted by Michelle K).

Family PhotoFamily Photos. Have all of your students bring in photos of family members. Each student can tell the class who their photos are of and give some extra information (E.g. This is my uncle. He lives in Tokyo). As a follow up activity, the teacher or other students can ask questions about each family member (e.g. Where does he/she live?, What's his/her favorite food?, What does he/she do? (job), etc.).

FishFish. Before this game you need to have the students in pairs draw and cut out a picture of a fish for each pair.  While they are doing that put 2 parallel lines of tape on the floor a few meters apart.  Have students play in twos - each student behind a different line.  Teacher asks S1 a question.  If the student answers it correctly s/he can blow once to propel the fish forward.  Next, Teacher asks S2.  The student who blows the fish over the tapped line first is the winner.

Fly swatterFly swatter game. Divide the students into 2 teams. Give the first in each team a fly swatter. Write the same array of answers on the board for each side. Ask student A a question (a letter, blend, word, math problem, number, definition, etc.). The first one to slap the right answer on the board wins a point. They get three questions and then they pass it to the next one. When the first player gets back to the front change the answers and do it again!  (Submitted by Tammy Edwards).

DogGuessing Question Game. This is good practice for asking simple questions. The teacher hides any flash card behind his/her back and students try to guess what the object is by asking questions: "Is it a dog?", "Is it a ball?", "Is it a book?", etc. until they guess the flashcard. The teacher can also give clues if the students can't guess (e,g, "It goes "Woof woof!"). (Submitted by Nagwa).

PilotJobs Superlatives Questions. Have students in small groups or pairs brainstorm as many jobs as they can in 2 minutes - they need to write down (as a group) on a piece of paper. Then get each group to change papers. Write some questions on the board for them to discuss, including: Which job would you most/least like to do? Which job is the most dangerous / safest? Which job has the highest / lowest salary? Which job in the most exciting / boring? Etc. Finally, collate all of the group answers on the board to find out the overall which jobs were chosen for each question.

Knock knockKnock-Knock. This can be used at the beginning of each class.  Teach the students to knock on the door before entering the classroom.  There are 2 variations for the next step: 1.  When the student knocks, teacher says "Who's there?".  The student replies "It's (Koji)" and then the teacher says "Come in (Koji)".  2.  When the student knocks the teacher must guess who it is "Is that (Koji)?".  The student replies yes or no - if no, the teacher continues guessing.  Having your develop their own knocking styles makes this even more fun.

BallQuestion Ball. Have the students sit in a circle.  Throw/Roll a ball to one student and ask a question.  The next step has 2 variations: 
Variation 1:
S1 throws the ball back to the teacher and the teacher throws to another student asking a different question. 
Variation 2: S1 throws the ball to a different student and asks that student the same question.

BasketballQuestion Basketball. Students take a shot at the trash can/box/etc. Prepare some questions before hand basd on the lesson theme. First ask a question to S1 (E.g. Where do you live?). If s/he answers correctly then s/he can take a shot at the basket. If the student gets the ball in the basket then s/he wins 2 points. If the student hits the basket without going inside then s/he wins 1 point. The person who gets the most points is the winner. This can also be played in teams.

Chocolate cakeQuestion Chain. Have the students sit in a circle.  Teacher asks the student next to him/her a question (e.g. "What's your name?"  "Do you like chocolate cake?" etc.) and the student has to answer the question and then ask the student next to him/her the same question.  Continue around the circle and then start a new question.  It helps to use a ball to pass around as the questions are being asked and answered.

Secret SSecret S. Put students into 2 different groups in the class and each group prepares 3 questions to ask to ask members from the other group.  Other group members try to give answers to these questions without using a word which contrains the letter 'S'.  The group which does not say this letter wins the game.  (Submitted by Gamze Yýldýz).

ShirtShirt Game. Divide the children into two teams and give a man's shirt to each team.  Be sure each shirt has the same amount of buttons down the front.  At the signal, the first person on each team puts on the shirt and buttons all of the buttons down the front.  The one who is buttoned-up first gets to answer the question you ask.  Of course, a question equals points.  If the answer is incorrect, the person from the other team gets a chance to answer.

Spin the BottleSpin the Bottle. Sit students in a circle with a bottle in the middle.  The teacher spins the bottle.  When it stops spinning the student it is pointing to has to answer a question.  If the answer is correct then that student can spin the bottle.  This is a good class warm up activity and can also be used to review vocabualary (the teacher shows a flashcard picture and the student must say the word).

Stand upStand Up Questions. Have the students put chairs in a circle, with one less than the number of students.  The student left standing has to ask the others a question i.e. Are you wearing glasses?  If the answer is yes, then the students with glasses have to stand up and quickly switch chairs, giving the one standing a chance to sit.  If the answer is no, the students remain sitting.  Lots of fun, and the kids seem to love it and always ask for it.  Be careful that they don't get too excited and knock over any chairs. (submitted by Kirk Davies).

Egg timerTime Bomb. You need a timer (such as an egg timer) for this exciting game.  Set the timer, ask a question (e.g. What's your favorite food?) and then throw it to a student.  S/he must answer and then throw the timer to another student, who in turn answers and then throws it to another student.  The student holding the timer when it goes off loses a life.  This can also be done with categories (e.g. food, animals, etc.).

SchoolThere is/there are. To practice there is/there are.  Give your students a list of questions, and have them go around the school, park in order to answer the questions. Questions could be:

(Submitted by Claudian Torres)

Bean bagsTingo Tango. Teacher sits with students in a circle after teaching any topic. Give a bean bag to one student in the circle to start passing around when another student (sitting in the middle) begins to chant "tingo, tingo, tingo, tango". When s/he says "tango" the student who ends up with the bean bag must either answer a question or ask one about the topic learned.  (Submitted by Maria Pineda)

TornadoTornado. Supplies: flashcards (pictures or questions on one side, numbers on the other), 'Tornado Cards' (flashcards with numbers on one side and a tornado picture on the other).  Stick the numbered cards on the board with either pictures or questions on the back (depending on the age group) facing the board. Also include 6 Tornado cards and mix them in with the picture cards. Students then choose a number card. If they answer the question correctly then their team can draw a line to draw a house. If they choose a tornado card then they blow down their opposing teams part drawing of a house. The first team to draw a house wins.  (submitted by Sally Lloyd).

Pinky fingerWhere is Pinky? song. Good practice for "Where is...?" Students hide hands behind their back.  Teacher sings:

Where is pinky?, Where is pinky?" (show left hand, moving only the pinky finger),
Here I am, Here I am (show right hand, moving only the pinky finger, two pinkies greet each other),
How are you today, sir?,
Very fine, thank you,
Run away, (hide left hand), Run away (hide right hand).

Continue with all fingers and thumb.  Students sing along and love it!  (Submitted by Anna Gates).

Blue TackYes/No Treasure Hunt. For prepositions of location and yes/no question practice.  You need something sticky, like 'Blu Tack' (used for sticking posters to the wall) that you can roll into a ball and stick on anything.  Model first: give the Blu Tack to a student and indicate that they should put it in a difficult-to-find place.  Leave the room and give them a few moments to hide the Blu Tack (e.g. on the underside of a desk, on the wall behind a curtain, etc.).  Then come back in and ask yes/no questions to locate it (Is it on the desk?, Is it near the desk?  Is it in the front half of the classroom?  Is it under the chair?  etc.).  When you finally find it have a student take the questioner's role.  In a large class try having play in pairs.

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