Giving Directions ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

Battle Tanks

ESL Giving Directions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

Here is a free giving directions game to play with elementary students. Clear the desks away and 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 tanks and 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 reaches 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, the game is repeated with the next four students and so on. When everyone has played, the winning teams play against each other to find the ultimate champion.
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Draw the Directions

ESL Giving Directions Worksheet - Reading, Writing and Drawing Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 45 minutes

In this creative giving directions worksheet activity, students draw pictures that match a set of directions and create directions for a classmate to draw. Give each student a copy of the first worksheet. Students read the directions on the worksheet and draw a picture of the directions in each box. When students have completed all their drawings, check their illustrations to make sure they match with the directions. Next, give each student a copy of the second worksheet. Students then create a new set of directions. When the students have written all the directions, they hand their worksheet to a classmate for them to draw.
Draw the Directions Preview
 

Giving Directions

ESL Giving Directions Activity - Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 20 minutes

This free giving directions worksheet activity helps to teach students how to ask for and give directions. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Starting at the pin located at the bottom of the map, Student A asks Student B for directions to the first place shown on their worksheet. When Student A has been directed to each place, they mark the location on their map. The student then asks for directions to the next place from there. When all ten places have been marked on the map, the two students swap roles. Afterwards, the students compare their maps to see if they have marked the locations correctly.
Giving Directions Preview
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Interactive Version - In this free giving directions breakout room activity, pairs of students practice asking for and giving directions to places on a map.

 

My Map

ESL Giving Directions Activity - Drawing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this imaginative giving directions activity, students draw a map of a town and then ask for and give directions to places on the map. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Students begin by creating a map of a town in the box on their worksheet. Students then write in the names of the streets and draw eight places on the map, e.g. a cinema, town hall, shopping mall, etc. When the maps are complete, divide the students into pairs. Students then take it in turns to ask for and give directions to the places on the map using the useful language on the worksheet.
My Map Preview
 

Star Wars Directions Game

ESL Giving Directions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 15 minutes

This free giving directions game is ideal for practicing or revising directions and prepositions of movement and place. Clear away the desks and divide the students into four equal teams. Each team stands in one corner of the classroom. 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. The teams then 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. The first player to do this successfully wins the round and scores a point for their team. Then, a new player from each team puts on a mask and so on. When everyone has had a chance to play, the other two teams play against each other. Afterwards, the two teams with the most points have a showdown to determine the champion.
Star Wars Directions Game Preview
 

The Crystal Maze

ESL Giving Directions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

Here is an entertaining directions game to help students practice giving directions. Divide the students into teams of three or four. Each team chooses one student to be their player. The players leave the room while the maze is being created. Rearrange the desks to resemble a maze with one entrance and one exit. If a maze of desks isn't possible, create tasks for the players to perform to complete the maze, e.g. sit on a certain chair, open a certain book, touch a specific poster, etc. Once a maze has been created, the game begins with teams taking it in turns to play. The first team puts a blindfold on their player outside of the classroom and then brings them to the entrance of the maze. The aim of the game is for the teams to direct their player through the maze in the shortest possible time. Teams are awarded points according to certain criteria. When all the teams have played, they select new players and the students rearrange the desks into a new maze or change the tasks the players have to perform. The team with the lowest score at the end of the game wins.
The Crystal Maze Preview
 

At the Zoo

ESL Giving Directions Activity - Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this giving directions activity, students ask for and give directions to animals and places in a zoo. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. The students then practice asking for and giving directions, starting at the entrance of the zoo. Student A goes first and asks Student B for directions to the animals and places shown on their worksheet in the order shown. Student B then gives directions from place to place. When Student A has been directed to each place, they mark the location on their map. Student B then describes what they can see there. Student A listens to the description and draws anything they don't have on their map. When Student A has been directed to all ten animals and places, the two students swap roles. Afterwards, the two students compare their maps to see if they have marked the locations and drew the pictures correctly.
At the Zoo Preview

Interactive Version - In this giving directions interactive breakout room activity, students practice asking for and giving directions to places and animals in a zoo.

 

Can you tell me the way...?

ESL Giving Directions Activity - Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this free giving directions activity, students practice asking for and giving directions to places on a map. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Both students have the same map, but each student has different places missing. The students' task is to ask their partner for directions to eight places and write the locations on the map. Student A goes first and asks Student B for directions to one of the places written on the worksheet. Student A listens to their partner's directions and marks the location by writing the name of the place on the map. When Student A has found all eight places, the students swap roles. Afterwards, the students compare their maps and check to see if they have marked the places correctly.
Can you tell me the way...? Preview
 

Directions Language Worksheet

ESL Giving Directions Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

Here is a giving directions worksheet to help students learn and practice phrases and prepositions related to giving directions. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by matching direction phrases to signs. Students then match sentence halves together to make directions that use the phrases. Next, students complete a set of directions using the vocabulary from Exercise A. After that, students complete sentences with prepositions from a box. The sentences explain how each preposition is used. Students then move on to complete directions by choosing the correct prepositions in brackets. In the last exercise, students write directions to the nearest hospital and bank using the phrases and prepositions from the worksheet. Afterwards, the students read their directions to a partner to see if they are the same or different.
Directions Language Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - In this giving directions interactive worksheet, students work through a range of exercises to learn prepositions and language for giving directions.

 

Gold Star Directions Game

ESL Giving Directions Game - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

This giving directions activity gives students practice at giving and following directions. In the activity, teams play a game where they follow directions to hidden gold stars that have been placed throughout the classroom and building. Students begin by following directions and locating stars hidden inside and outside the classroom. Afterwards, give each team a star. The teams hide their star somewhere in the building and write directions from the classroom to the location of their star. When the teams come back, they challenge another team to find their gold star by following their directions. The team with the most gold stars at the end of the game wins.
Gold Star Directions Game Preview
 

How do I get to...?

ESL Giving Directions Activity - Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

In this giving directions worksheet activity, students practice giving and following directions to places on a map. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Students take it in turns to ask their partner how they get to the places shown on their worksheet, starting from the pin each time, e.g. 'How do I get to the hair salon?' Their partner then gives directions accordingly. When a student has followed the directions to the place, they mark the location on the map. When both students have been given directions to all nine places, they compare their maps to see if they have marked the locations correctly.
How do I get to...? Preview

Interactive Version - In this giving directions breakout room activity, students ask for and give directions to places in a town with a partner.

 
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