ESL Grammar Games

Battle Tanks

Age/Level: Elementary and above     Time: 25 minutes     Players: 4 students per game      Preparation: Two blindfolds and two soft balls

Aim: To practice giving and listening to directions.

Introduction: This entertaining grammar game is ideal for practicing or revising directions and prepositions of movement and place.

Procedure

Clear away the desks so you have space to play the game.

Choose four students to play first. Divide the four students into two teams of two. In each team, one player is the 'tank' and the other is the 'driver'.

Blindfold the two players who are the tank. Then, place two soft balls on the floor somewhere in the room.

The two tanks then stand at opposite ends of the room.

The drivers' task is to guide their tank to a ball by giving directions, e.g. go straight, turn right, etc. When a tank is guided to a ball, the student picks up the ball and has ammunition to fire.

The driver then guides the tank to fire on the other tank, e.g. aim higher, to the left, etc. If the ball hits the tank, the team wins. If the ball misses, the driver guides the tank to the ball again.

When a team wins, repeat the game with the next four students and so on. When everyone has played, the winning teams play against each other to find the ultimate champion.

Battle Tanks.PDF

 

Correction

Age/Level: Elementary and above     Time: 25 minutes      Players: 4 teams     Preparation: 12 sentences that contain grammar mistakes

Aim: To identify grammar mistakes.

Introduction: This useful grammar game helps students practice error correction.

Procedure

Divide the students into four teams (A, B, C and D).

Write 12 sentences on the board and tell the class that each one contains a grammar mistake. Tell the teams to read the sentences and look for the mistakes.

Explain that each team starts with 100 points and that they are going to gamble points, depending on how confident they are about correctly identifying grammar mistakes.

Team A starts and chooses a sentence for Team B to correct. Team B decides how many points they would like to gamble (the more confident they are, the more points they gamble). The maximum bet is 50 points.

The members of Team B then consult with each other and give their correction.

If the team correctly identifies the grammar mistake, add the points they gambled to their total. If they fail to identify the mistake, they lose the amount of points gambled.

Team A then has a chance to steal the points by correcting the sentence. If Team A answer correctly, they get the points that Team B would have won.

Team B then chooses a sentence for Team C to correct and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Correction.PDF

 

Glug

Age/Level: Elementary and above     Time: 20 minutes      Players: Individual       Preparation: None

Aim: To practice yes/no questions and short answers in various tenses.

Introduction: Here is a fun grammar game to help students practice yes/no questions and short answers in various tenses.

Procedure

Invite one student to the front of the class and give the student a slip of paper. Ask the student to secretly think of a verb and write it on the paper, e.g. sleep.

The other students' task is to guess the verb by taking it in turns to ask the student a yes/no question using the invented verb 'glug'.

Example: sleep

B: Have you ever glugged?     A: Yes, I have.

C: Do you glug every day?      A: Yes, I do.

D: Can you glug in class?        A: No, you can't. You're not allowed.

E: Are you glugging now?       A: No, I'm not.

F: Is it difficult to glug?           A: No, it isn't.

When a student thinks they know the verb, they call out their answer. The first student to guess the correct verb wins and scores a point.

The winning student then becomes the next student to choose a verb. The student with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

Glug.PDF

 

Grammar Auction

Age/Level: Elementary and above     Time: 25 minutes     Players: 4 teams     Preparation: Prepare 16 sentences, some sentences should be correct and some should contain grammar mistakes.

Aim: To identify grammar mistakes in sentences.

Introduction: Here is a useful game to help your students identify grammar mistakes.

Procedure

Write or display the sentences on the board. Divide the students into four teams.

Explain that all the sentences on the board are for sale and that you are going to auction the sentences off to the highest bidder.

Tell the students that each team has $100 and that their task is to buy the sentences they think are correct. In their teams, the students then discuss which sentences they think are correct and decide which ones to buy. The students should also decide how much they are prepared to pay for each sentence.

Tell the students that they shouldn't spend too much money too soon as once they have spent all their money they won't be able to buy any more sentences.

You then take on the role of an auctioneer and sell each sentence to the team who offers the most money. Keep track of how much each team has spent on the board.

When all the sentences have been sold, go through them one at a time and elicit which ones are correct and which are incorrect. If a sentence is wrong, ask the students to correct the mistake.

The team that bought the most correct sentences wins the game. If it's a draw, the team with the most money left wins.

Grammar Auction.pdf

 

Grammar Races 

Age/Level: Elementary and above     Time: 25 Minutes      Players: 4 teams     Preparation: None

Aim: To write sentences containing a certain word and to identify grammar mistakes.

Introduction: This ESL game is ideal for reviewing all aspects of grammar. It also helps you to spot problem areas or common mistakes that your students are making.

Procedure

Divide the students into four teams. Choose one student in each team to be the 'runner' and one student to be the 'writer'.

Assign each team with a number and allocate a space on the board for each team to write. Have the writers stand next to their space by the board.

Give each team a different keyword. The keywords should be vocabulary you wish the students to revise.

Each team must then come up with sentences using their keyword. When a team thinks of a sentence, they tell the runner. The runner then goes to the board and tells the sentence to the writer who writes it on the board.

After a few minutes, stop the round and evaluate the sentences from each team. Award one to three points for each sentence, depending on the grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary usage, etc.

If you spot a mistake, ask the teams to identify and correct it. The first student to raise their hand and correct the mistake scores the points for their team.

Play a few rounds using different keywords each time. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Grammar Races.PDF

 

Just a Minute

Age/Level: Pre-intermediate     Time: 25 minutes     Players: Individual     Preparation: For each group, write 'The speaker is right' on one piece of A4 paper and 'The challenger is right' on another. You will also need to prepare ten counters for each student.

Aim: To practice peer correction of spontaneous speech.

Introduction: This grammar game works best with small class sizes as the teacher is involved in the game.

Procedure

Divide the students into groups of eight. Have each group sit around a table. You can make the groups bigger or smaller, depending on your class size.

Give each group the two pieces of paper and give each student ten counters. Have one student in each group keep the time.

The first student is given a topic to speak about for one minute by the student sitting to their right, e.g. holidays. The student then starts speaking on the topic and the other students in the group listen.

When someone in the group hears the speaker make a grammar mistake, they challenge the student. The student timing pauses the stopwatch and the challenger explains what the student said without correcting the mistake.

The members of the group then vote on who is right by placing one counter on either 'The speaker is right' or 'The challenger is right' paper.

The teacher then judges who is correct.

If the speaker is correct, the speaker takes all the counters on 'The speaker is right' paper. If the challenger is correct, the challenger takes all the counters on 'The challenger is right' paper.

The teacher withdraws the counters on the other paper from the game.

If the challenger is right, they must attempt to correct the speaker's grammar mistake.If the challenger does this successfully, they take one more counter from the speaker. If the correction is wrong, the challenger gives the speaker one counter.

The speaker then resumes talking about the topic until the time limit is up. If there is a second challenge, the process is repeated. When the time limit has been reached, the next student is given a topic to talk about by the person on their right and so on.

The student with the most counters at the end of the game wins. If a student runs out of counters, they are out of the game.

Just a Minute.PDF

 

Superlative Crocodile Races

Age/Level: Elementary and above     Time: 15 minutes     Players: Teams of equal number    Preparation: Coloured tape

Aim: To perform tasks relating to superlatives.

Introduction: Here is an enjoyable ESL grammar game for teaching superlatives.

Procedure

Divide the class into equal teams of 4 to 6 students.

Mark out a boat for each team on the floor using coloured tape. Make sure the boats are just long and wide enough for each team to stand in. Then, have each team stand in their boat.

Explain that the students are in crocodile infested waters and if they step out of the boat, they are going to be eaten.

The teams then perform tasks in the boat by lining up in a certain superlative order, e.g. tallest to shortest. The first team to successfully arrange themselves in the superlative order given scores a point.

If a student falls out of the boat, that team is out of the round. Play several rounds with the students lining up according to a different superlative each time, e.g. oldest to youngest, longest hair to shortest hair, etc.

The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Superlative Crocodile Races.PDF

 

The Force Awakens

Age/Level: Elementary and above     Time: 15 minutes     Players: 4 teams     Preparation: Two Star Wars masks and inflatable lightsabers or similar objects, such as two blindfolds and two inflatable hammers.

Aim: To practice giving and listening to directions.

Introduction: This entertaining game is ideal for teaching or revising directions and prepositions of movement and place.

Procedure

Clear away the desks so you have space to play the game.

Divide the students into four teams. Ask each team to stand in one corner of the classroom. Have the teams play 'Rock Paper Scissors' to see which two teams will play first.

The two teams decide which side they want to play for, i.e. the Dark Side or Jedi.

A player from each team then puts on an appropriate mask or blindfold and is given an inflatable lightsaber or similar object.

When you say go, the teams call out directions they want their player to move, e.g. go straight, go back, turn left, turn right, etc. When a player is in reach of their opponent, their team shouts 'hit'.

The player then tries to hit their opponent on the head. The first player to do this successfully wins the round.

When a team wins, repeat the game with the other two teams. Afterwards, the two winning teams play against each other to determine the champion.

The Force Awakens.PDF

  

Think of a Word

Age/Level: Elementary and above     Time: 20 minutes     Players: Teams of 3 or 4    Preparation: None

Aim: To practice comparatives.

Introduction: This ESL grammar game is useful for teaching or reviewing comparatives.

Procedure

Divide the students into teams of three or four. Give each team a pen and paper for writing.

Start the game by writing an example noun on the board, e.g. piano. Next, write up each numbered item below on the board and elicit suggested answers from the students.

1. Something bigger than a piano, e.g. a bus.

2. Something smaller than a piano, e.g. a pen.

3. A verb that goes with piano, e.g. play.

4. A word that comes earlier in the dictionary than piano, e.g. eat.

5. A longer word beginning with the same letter, e.g. perfection.

6. A shorter word beginning with the same letter, e.g. pig.

7. An adjective to describe a piano, e.g. black.

8. The opposite of that adjective, e.g. white.

Next, explain that the students are going to play a game where they race to write answers for the items on the board and that the first team to complete all the answers for a given noun appropriately scores a point.

Start off with fairly easy nouns, e.g. pizza, table, student, knife, etc. When a team has completed all the items, stop the game and go through their answers. If the answers are suitable, award the team a point. Then, begin the game again with another noun.

As the game progresses, give the students harder nouns or abstract nouns, such as the moon, anger, beauty, etc. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Think of a Word.PDF

 

Verb Races

Age/Level: Elementary and above    Time: 15 minutes     Players: Equal teams of 7, 6 or 5     Preparation: None

Aim: To practice verb conjugations.

Introduction: Here is a fun grammar game for practicing or reviewing verb conjugations.

Procedure

Divide the students into equal teams of seven. Equal teams of five or six are also possible. Have each team sit in a line facing the board.

Assign every student in each team with a subject pronoun. For example, the first student in each line is 'I'. The second student is 'you', etc.

Give the first student in each line a piece of paper.

Pick a tense and a verb, e.g. present simple and 'run'.

The first student conjugates the verb using their subject pronoun and writes it on the paper, e.g. 'I run'. The student then passes the paper to the student behind them.

The second student writes their verb conjugation (e.g. You run) and passes the paper to the person behind them and so on down the line.

When the student at the end of the line has written on the paper, the student runs to the board to write all the answers up for everyone to see.

The first team to correctly write all the verb conjugations on the board in the right order scores a point, e.g. I run, You run, He runs, She runs, They run, etc.

The student at the back of each line then moves to the front and everyone else moves back one place, changing to a different subject pronoun as they go.

The game is then repeated with a different tense and verb and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Verb Races.PDF

 

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