ESL Question and Answer Games

Balloon Stamp

ESL Question and Answer Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Young Learners - 15 minutes

Here is an entertaining game that helps students practice asking and answering questions. Give each student a balloon with a question inside. The students then attach their balloon to their ankle with a rubber band. The objective of the game is for the students to stamp on another student's balloon. When a balloon is popped, everyone stops moving. The student who popped the balloon then asks the question to the student who had their balloon popped. If the student answers the question correctly, they continue trying to pop other balloons. If not, the student is out of the game and has to sit down. The game continues until everyone has had their balloon popped. The remaining students left in the game are the winners. You could play this game without putting the question slips in the balloons. In this case, you would ask a question to a student when their balloon is popped.
 

Button Up

ESL Question and Answer Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Any Level - 15 minutes

This question and answer game can be used to practice language the students have studied in class. You can also use it to review question and answer structures, elicit answers from flashcards, etc. Divide the students into two teams. One player from each team comes to the front of the class. Give a man's shirt to each player. Make sure each shirt has the same amount of buttons down the front. Ask a question to the two players. The two players then race to put on their shirt and button it up to the top. The first player to button up their shirt gets to answer the question. If the player answers the question correctly, they score a point for their team. If the answer is incorrect, the other player buttons up their shirt and gets a chance to answer. Then, two new players come to the front and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
 

Dartboard Game

ESL Question and Answer Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Any Level - 20 minutes

Here is a fun question and answer game for students of all ages and levels. On the board, draw a dartboard with points going around it. For darts, you can use an eraser or a small soft ball. You could also ask the students to make paper airplanes as darts. Divide the students into two teams. Ask a question to the class. The first student to answer correctly throws a dart at the board. Wherever the dart hits, correlates with the amount of points scored for that student's team. Alternatively, you could have a student from each team come up and throw a dart. The student with the highest score gets to answer a question. If they answer correctly, they keep the points they scored. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
 

Duel

ESL Question and Answer Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Young Learners - 15 minutes

Here is an engaging question and answer game to play with your students. Have the students stand in a circle. Tell the students to form guns by clasping both their hands together. Call out a student's name. The two students on either side of that student then race to shoot the named student. The slower of the two is asked a question. If the student answers incorrectly, they are out of the game. The game continues until there are two students left. The two students then have a duel to find the ultimate champion.
 

Fanning the Kipper

ESL Question and Answer Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 20 minutes

Here is an amusing question and answer relay race to play with your students. Tell the students that they are going to play a relay race using cut out fish. Cut out the shape of a fish from a piece of paper as an example and then ask the students to do the same. Next, mark a start and finish line on the floor. All the students line up at the start with their kippers (the cut out fish). Ask a question to each student in turn. If a student answers correctly, they fan their kipper once using a book. The students continue answering questions and fanning their kippers until a student gets their kipper across the finish line. That student wins the game. Alternatively, you can have teams of two, one player at each line. Ask a question to the players at the start line. The first player to answer correctly can start fanning their kipper in a relay race. Keep asking questions to the players until all the players have started the race. When a player's kipper crosses the opposing line, the other player fans it back to the start. The first team to get their kipper across the start line wins the game.
 

Flinch

ESL Question and Answer Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 10 minutes

This is a fun game to help students practice or revise question and answer structures. Have the students stand in a circle with their arms folded. You stand in the middle of the circle with a soft ball. Throw or pretend to throw the ball to a student. If the ball is thrown, the student catches it and throws it back. If the student fails to catch the ball or you fake a throw and the student flinches, they must answer a question correctly to stay in the game. If a student doesn't flinch, the game continues. The last student left in the game is the winner.
 

Killer

ESL Question and Answer Game - Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Any Level - 20 minutes

This ESL game is useful for practicing a wide range of question and answer structures. Tell the students to write a question using the target language on a piece of paper. When they have finished, ask the students to put their heads down and close their eyes. Walk round the class and touch one student on the shoulder. That student is the 'Killer'. Next, tell the students to stand up and start asking their questions to each other. Students mark down every time they ask their question on the back of their paper. Give the students five minutes to ask their questions to as many people as they can. During the game, the killer tries to kill as many students as possible by winking at them. If a student is killed, they have to go back to their seat and sit down. When the time limit has been reached, have the students raise their hand according to how many times they asked their question. The student who asked their question the most wins the round. Play several rounds using a different question structure each time.
 

Pac-man

ESL Question and Answer Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary and Above - 15 minutes

This entertaining game motivates students to answer questions. Create a space in the classroom to play the game. When you say 'go', the students move around the space. When you say 'stop', the students stop exactly where they are. You then ask the class a question. The first student to put up their hand can answer the question. If the student answers correctly, they are allowed to take one pivoted step to try to touch other students. Each student they are able to touch is out of the game. The game is then repeated and so on. The last student left standing wins the game.
 

The Waiting Game

ESL Question and Answer Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Any Level - 10 minutes

Need an idea for the start of class while you are waiting for your students to turn up? Try this enjoyable question and answer game. Write two column headings labelled 'You' and 'Me' on the board. Go around the class and play rock, paper, scissors with each student. If a student wins, they ask you a question. If they form the question correctly, they score a point. You then answer the question and write the score under the 'You' column. If you win, you ask the student a question and score a point. The student then answers the question and you write the score under the 'Me' column. After everyone has played, add up the scores to find out who won.
 

Three Step Tag

ESL Question and Answer Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Any Level - 15 minutes

Here is a lively question and answer game to play with your students. Choose two students to be the 'Catchers' and blindfold them. The other students find a spot in the classroom and stand still. The catchers' task is to find the other students. The other students remain completely silent to avoid being caught. To avoid being caught, the students are also allowed to move three steps in the whole game. When a catcher finds a student, they ask the student a target question set by the teacher. The student is then out of the game. The last student left standing wins.
 

True or False?

ESL Question and Answer Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate and Above - 20 minutes

This insightful question and answer game works well with older students. Ask the students if they are good at lying and discuss what makes someone a good liar. Explain that one student is going to leave the classroom. While that student is out of the room, the class has to think of three questions to ask the student. However, the three questions need to be questions that no one knows the answers to. When the class has come up with three questions, the student is brought back in. The student has to answer two questions truthfully and lie about one. After the three questions have been asked, everyone in the class has to say which answer they think was a lie. The student then reveals the truth. Each student who guessed correctly scores a point. Repeat the game with another student and so on. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins. This game can be sped up by having the students come up with a list of 20 questions first.
 

Verbal Football

ESL Question and Answer Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Any Level - 15 minutes

Here is an imaginative ESL question and answer game to play in class. Draw a football pitch and players on the board. Have some kind of football sticker that you can move around the pitch. Divide the students into two teams and ask them to give their football team a name. Set a time limit of five minutes for the first half of the game. The game starts in the centre of the football pitch. To score, the teams pass the ball forwards through the players before beating the goalkeeper. To do this, the teams have to beat each other in correctly answering questions set by the teacher. When a team answers a question correctly, the ball moves from one player to the next in the direction that the team is playing. If the other team answers correctly, the ball goes in the other direction. Both teams can answer any question, so if a team keeps answering correctly, they have a high chance of scoring a goal. When the time limit has been reached, play the second half for another 5 minutes. The team who scores the most goals wins the game. The number of players you draw on the pitch is up to you, the more players the harder it is to score a goal.
 
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