ESL Hangman Games

Consonant Hangman

Age/Level: Any     Time: 15 minutes     Players: 2, 3 or 4 teams      Preparation: None

Aim: To play hangman by guessing consonants.

Introduction: This hangman game helps to revise or introduce vocabulary.

Procedure

Divide the students into two to four teams. Think of a word and draw a blank for each letter in the word on the board.

Explain that the students are going to play a game of hangman by guessing consonants and buying vowels with points they earn from correctly guessed letters.

Teams take it in turns to play. If a team guesses a consonant that is in the word, they score one point. The team can then buy a vowel for one point or guess another consonant on their next turn. Vowels do not earn points.

If a team guesses a consonant that isn't in the word, play passes to the next team.

The first team to guess the word wins. Play several rounds to find the overall winning team.

Consonant Hangman.PDF

 

Dice of Fortune

Age/Level: Any     Time: 20 minutes     Players: 3 teams     Preparation: A large dice

Aim: To play hangman by correctly guessing letters and then rolling a dice to win or lose points.

Introduction: This enjoyable ESL hangman game can be used to revise vocabulary or grammar.

Procedure

Divide the students into three teams. Draw the six sides of a dice on the board and assign the following value to each number.

1 = 10 points      2 = 20 points     3 = 30 points

4 = Bankrupt      5 = Play again   6 = 100 points

Draw a hangman style clue on the board. The clue can be a word, phrase or complete sentence.

The first team chooses a letter and then rolls the dice. If you can, use an oversized dice, the bigger the better.

If the letter appears in the clue, the team scores the assigned value for every occurrence of the letter. If the letter doesn't appear in the clue, play passes to the next team and no value is assigned.

When a hangman clue has been correctly guessed, the points scored by each team are safe and can't be rubbed out if bankrupt.

Play several rounds. The team with the highest score at the end of the game is the winner. 

Dice of Fortune.PDF

 

Last Man Standing

Age/Level: Any     Time: 25 minutes     Players: 4 Teams     Preparation: Hangman words and clues

Aim: To guess words.

Introduction: This hangman game has been specially adapted for the ESL classroom.

Procedure

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

Copy the following onto the board:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Correct consonant = 20pts

Vowel = -10pts

Correct answer = 50pts

Wrong answer = -50pts

A. 50        B. 50        C. 50        D. 50

Clue - It's big and green.

_ _ _ / _ _ _ _ _ _

Each team starts with 50 points. 

Read the clue to the class. Teams then take it in turns to choose a letter from the top of the board.

If a team chooses a consonant that's in one of the words, they score 20 points for each occurrence of the letter. If a team chooses a vowel, they lose 10 points.

A correct answer is worth 50 points (e.g. The Amazon). If a team gives the wrong answer, they lose 50 points.

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

Last Man Standing.PDF

 

Letter by Letter Hangman

Age/Level: Any     Time: 20 minutes     Players: 2 teams     Preparation: None

Aim: To guess the letters of a sentence in order

In this hangman game, students guess the letters of a sentence in order and teams only get one guess at each letter before the answer to that letter is given.

Procedure

Divide the students into two teams.

Draw a line for each letter in your chosen sentence. Separate the words with a slash.

Explain to the teams that they are going to play a game of hangman, but instead of guessing any letter they must guess the letters in order through the sentence and teams only get one guess at each letter before the answer to that letter is given.

Write the first letter of the first word on the board.

Ask the first team to guess what letter comes next.

If the first team guesses the correct letter, write it in the space and ask the other team for the next letter.

If the first team guesses incorrectly, draw the first part of the hangman for that team and ask the second team what letter they think comes next.

If the second team gets the letter wrong, draw the first part of the hangman for their team. Then write the correct letter in the space and move on to the next letter.

Continue until the whole sentence is complete. The team with the least complete hangman wins the round and receives one point.

If a team’s hangman is completed, they lose the round and a point is awarded to the other team.

Play a few rounds to find the overall winner.

Letter by Letter Hangman.PDF

 

Parts of Speech Hangman

Age/Level: Elementary and above     Time: 15 minutes     Players: 2 teams     Preparation: None

Aim: To identify parts of speech

This version of hangman is good for practicing parts of speech. It also works well when introducing a grammar point at the beginning of a lesson.

Procedure

Arrange the class into two teams. If you have a large class, you could have three or four teams.

Draw lines on the board according to the number of words in the sentence. Then number each line.

Example: He ran really fast. 

      1          2         3          4       

  ______  ______  ______  ______

Teams take it in turns to play.

The first team to play chooses a number, e.g. number two.

You give the team a clue, e.g. it's a verb.

Teams are allowed one guess after each clue.

If they guess correctly, they win one point and the word is written in the space.

The next team can ask for a second clue or choose another number.

If they ask for number two again, you give another clue, e.g. the verb is in the past simple tense.

You should try to have at least three clues for each word.

After the sentence has been guessed correctly, you may go on to focus on the grammar point of the lesson, e.g. the past simple tense, compound or complex sentences, etc.

Parts of Speech Hangman.PDF

 

Scrambled Hangman

Age/Level: Elementary and above     Time: 20 minutes     Players: 2 teams     Preparation: None

Aim: To guess a word by inserting letters into blank spaces and unscrambling the letters

This version of hangman works well with higher-level students. This game is a combination of hangman and scrambled words.

Procedure

Divide the students into two teams.

Draw a line on the board for each letter of the word you have chosen.

Teams take it in turns to choose a letter.

When a correct letter has been guessed, write the letter in a different place to where it should go. So, the order of the letters is mixed up.

The word can be guessed before all the letters are revealed. However, this is normally very hard to do.

Once all the letters of the word are revealed, the teams race to unscramble the word to determine what it is.

The first team to guess the word wins a point.

The team with the highest score at the end of the game is the winner.

You may also wish to base the words on a theme or category to help the students guess the word.

Scrambled Hangman.PDF

 

Sentence Hangman

Age/Level: Any     Time: 20 minutes     Players: 2 or more teams     Preparation: None

Aim: To guess a sentence by inserting letters into blank spaces

This hangman game uses a complete sentence rather than an individual word. It is a useful game for introducing topics, vocabulary or grammar points at the beginning of a lesson.

Procedure

Divide the students into two or more teams.

Draw a line for each letter in the sentence. Separate the words with a slash.

Example: The capital of England is London.

_ _ _ / _ _ _ _ _ _ _ / _ _ / _ _ _ _ _ _ _ / _ _ / _ _ _ _ _ _

Explain to the teams that they can guess either individual letters or complete words.

If a team correctly guesses an individual letter, they receive a point for each occurrence of the letter in the complete sentence.

Example: A team guesses the letter N.

_ _ _ / _ _ _ _ _ _ _ / _ _ / _ n _ _ _ n _ / _ _ / _ _ n _ _ n    = 4 points

If a team correctly guesses a one word, they will win the total number of letters in the word. This includes any previously entered individual letters.

Example: A team guesses the word England.

_ _ _ / _ _ _ _ _ _ _ / _ _ / E n g l a n d / _ _ / _ _ n _ _ n    = 7 points

When a team correctly guesses a letter or word, they get an extra turn, and then it’s the next teams go.

Play a few rounds. The team with the highest number of points by the end of the game is the winner.

Sentence Hangman.PDF

 

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