ESL Miming Games

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ESL Miming Game - Miming and Speaking Activity - Any Level - 20 minutes

This entertaining miming game can be used to review a variety of vocabulary. Divide the students into two teams. One player from each team comes to the front of the class and sits with their back to the board. Tell the two players that they are not allowed to look at the board. Write three words you want the students to revise on the board behind the two players, making sure the words can be mimed. When you say 'go', the two teams start miming the first word to their player sat at the front of the class. The first player to correctly guess the word scores a point for their team. The two teams then mime the second word and so on. When all three words have been guessed correctly, two new players come to the front and three new words are written on the board. Play continues until everyone has had a turn guessing mimes. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. As a variation, have the teams take it in turns to play and set a time limit of one minute for the player to guess the three words on the board.
 

Charades

ESL Miming Game - Miming and Speaking Activity - Any Level - 20 minutes

This amusing ESL miming game can be played by students of all ages and levels. Take two chairs and place them at the front of the class facing away from the board. Divide the students into two teams. One player from each team comes to the front of the class and sits facing their team with their back to the board. Write a word you want the students to practice on the board. The aim of the game is for the students in the teams to use actions to describe the word. Tell the teams that they are not allowed to speak or spell the word in the air. The two players watch their teammates and try to guess the word. The first player to guess the word scores a point for their team. That player then changes places with someone in their team. The other team has to keep the same player in the seat until he or she is first to answer correctly. The next word is then written on the board and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
 

Classic Charades

ESL Miming Game - Miming and Speaking Activity - Elementary and Above - 30 minutes

In this classic miming game, students use actions to describe a film, song or book title. Divide the students into two teams. A player from one team comes up to the front of the class. Give the player a film, song or book title to act out. You can whisper the title or write it on a piece of paper and hand it to the player. Choose someone from the other team to be the timekeeper and set a time limit of three minutes. The player starts by gesturing whether it's a film, song or book title. The player then indicates how many words are in the title by holding up a corresponding number of fingers. Next, the player indicates which word they want to start miming by showing that number of fingers, e.g. the player holds up two fingers for the second word. The player shows the number of syllables in the word by laying a corresponding number of fingers on their arm. The player then starts miming the word. When a teammate calls out the correct word, the player points at that student and nods their head to indicate 'yes'. If the player wants to mime the whole title at once, they indicate this by sweeping their arms in a big circle. If the player's team manages to guess the title within three minutes, they score a point. It's then the other team's turn to play and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. It's a good idea to practice all the gestures with the class before they play the game.
 

Emphasize

ESL Acting Game - Miming, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate and Above - 25 minutes

In this acting game, students use word stress, tone, gestures and body language to act out a situation for other students to guess. The students begin by practicing how to emphasize feeling through word stress. The students then memorize an everyday dialogue and practice it in pairs, keeping a neutral tone. Next, each pair of students is given a situation to act out using the dialogue. The idea is that they don't change the dialogue. Instead, they use word stress, intonation, gestures and body language to suit the situation. After each pair of students has had a chance to practice the situation a few times, they perform the dialogue to the class and the class tries to guess the situation.
 

Verb Antics

ESL Miming Game - Miming, Speaking and Writing Activity - Elementary and Above - 20 minutes

Here is an engaging miming game to help students practice verbs and verb forms. Divide the students into two teams. A player from one team comes to the front of the class and is given a verb to mime. The player then mimes the verb to the class without speaking. The first team to correctly guess the verb scores a point. The winning team can then score an extra point by choosing a team member to go to the board and write down the base form, past form and past participle form of the verb. If the team member does this successfully, they score an extra point for their team. If not, the other team can steal the point by correcting the student's mistake. A player from the other team then comes to the front of the class to mime a verb and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
 

What am I doing?

ESL Miming Game - Miming and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 20 minutes

This ESL miming game can be used to practice or review the present continuous tense. Divide the students into two teams. A student from one team comes to the front of the class and is given a present continuous sentence to mime. The student asks the class 'What am I doing?' and mimes the sentence on the card. When a member on either team thinks they know, they give their answer, e.g. 'You are eating a pizza.' If the team member is correct, they score a point for their team. If not, the student continues with the mime. When a sentence has been correctly guessed, a student comes up from the other team and so on. The first team to ten points wins the game.
 
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