Animals ESL Games, Activities and Worksheets

Animal Antics

ESL Animals Vocabulary Games - Matching and Speaking Activity - Beginner (A1) - 25 minutes

Here are two free animal vocabulary games that students can play to learn the names of animals. The students begin by playing a pelmanism game where they match the names of animals to pictures. In groups, students take it in turns to turn over a word card and a picture card. If the picture matches with the name of the animal, the student keeps the cards and has another turn. If the cards do not match, the student turns them back over, keeping the cards in the same place. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner. Next, the students play a game where they race against each other to guess the names of animals from mimed actions and sounds. Each group places the animal word cards face down in a pile on the desk. Students take it in turns to pick up a card from the pile. The student with the card then mimes actions and makes the noises of the animal on the card. The first student in the group to guess the animal wins and keeps the card. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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Animals Crossword

ESL Animal Vocabulary Crossword - Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 35 minutes

In this engaging animal crossword activity, students complete a crossword by describing and guessing different animals. In two groups, students invent and write down clues for the animals on their crossword. The clues cover things like what the animal looks like, where it lives, what it eats, etc. Afterwards, the students pair up with someone from the other group. The students then take it in turns to ask their partner for a clue to one of their missing words. Their partner reads out the clue for that word and the other student tries to guess the name of the animal. If the student guesses the animal successfully, they write it on their crossword. If not, their partner continues to give more clues until the student is able to guess the animal. When the students have finished, they check their spelling by comparing crosswords.
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Interactive Version - In this animal vocabulary breakout room activity, pairs of students describe and guess various animals in order to complete an interactive crossword.


Animal Families

ESL Animals Game - Matching and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this fun animal game, students categorize animals according to certain criteria. The students then play a card game where they collect sets of animals belonging to different categories. Give the students categories of animals, e.g. reptiles, animals that have fur, animals that live in the jungle, etc. The students look at their animal picture cards and identify animals from each category. The students then play a card game where they collect sets of three animals based on a category, e.g. three animals that eat meat, etc. One student begins by asking another player for a card needed to complete a set of three, e.g. 'Joshua, have you got an animal that eats meat?' If the other player has the card, they must give it to the student. When the student has a set, they lay down the three animal cards on the table and explain which category they belong to, e.g. 'I have a fox, bear and tiger. They all eat meat'. The student then continues asking for cards until they make a mistake. When a mistake is made, the player who was asked for their card takes their turn to request cards. That player can ask for cards that were taken previously if the set hasn't been laid down. The student who collects the most sets of cards wins the game.
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Animal Races

ESL Animal Vocabulary Quiz Game - Listening, Speaking and Drawing Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 35 minutes

In this animal vocabulary quiz game, teams race to draw a picture of an animal by answering quiz questions correctly. The catch is that the body must be drawn first. Teams must also draw the neck before they draw the head, so each body part needs to connect to the drawing, otherwise teams can't draw it. To begin, each team chooses an animal they want to draw. The teams then take it in turns to turn over a quiz question from the pile and read it to the other team, e.g. 'What animal is very big?' The other team then gives their answer, e.g. a whale. If the answer is acceptable, the team who answered turns over a body part card. If it shows a body, they draw the body of their chosen animal on the paper. If a team turns over a body part that doesn't connect with their drawing, play passes to the other team. The game continues in this way until one team completes their animal drawing and wins the game.
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On the Farm

ESL Farm Animals Game - Listening, Speaking and Matching Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 35 minutes

In this rewarding farm animals game, students ask present simple yes/no questions to determine which farm animals are behind numbered squares. The aim of the game is for one student to arrange their farm animal pictures in the same order on the number board as their partner. Student A begins by putting their farm animal cards on their number board in any order they like. Student B spreads their animal cards out face up on the table next to their number board. Student B then asks present simple yes/no questions with 'Does it...?' and 'Is it...?' to Student A to find out which animal they put in square 1, e.g. 'Does it have four legs?' 'Is it small?' 'Does it eat grass?' Etc. Student A replies yes or no appropriately until Student B finds out which animal it is. Student B then puts the animal card in square 1 and moves on to ask questions about the farm animal in square 2. This continues until the board is completed in the same order as their partner. The students then swap roles with Student B putting their farm animal cards on their number board and Student A asking the questions.
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Animal Quiz Board Game

ESL Animal Quiz Board Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

In this entertaining animals board game, students practice asking and answering animal quiz questions. Students begin by creating ten animal quiz questions of their own to include in the game. Players then take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a player lands on a question mark square, the student to their right picks up a quiz question card and asks the player the question on the card. If the player answers the question correctly, they stay on the square. If the player gives a wrong answer, they must move back to their previous square. If a player lands on an animal picture square, the student on their right asks the player one of the quiz questions they created. The first player to reach the finish wins the game.
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Describing Animals

ESL Describing Animals Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this describing animals worksheet, students practice describing various animals using adjectives and nouns. Students start by reading a paragraph and categorizing words in the text into adjectives or nouns. Next, students unscramble sentences that describe animals. Afterwards, students do a gap-fill exercise where they complete descriptions of animals with the adjectives and nouns from the worksheet. In the last exercise, students look at pictures of animals and describe them using the adjectives and nouns they have learnt.
Describing Animals Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - In this describing animals interactive worksheet, students work through a range of exercises where they describe animals with various adjectives and nouns.


What Animal Am I?

ESL Animals Vocabulary Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this animal vocabulary activity, students play a 20 questions style game where they have to find out what animal they are by asking yes/no questions. One player goes first. The player's task is to ask yes/no questions in order to find out what animal they are. The other students pick up the top card from the pile and look at the animal on the card, without showing it to the player. The player then starts to ask yes/no questions, e.g. 'Am I a wild animal?' 'Am I able to fly?' Etc. The other students respond 'yes' or 'no' accordingly. The player is allowed up to 20 questions. If the player is able to guess the animal before the 20 questions have been used (e.g. Am I a rabbit?), they win and keep the card. If not, the card is placed at the bottom of the pile and used again later in the game. Then, it's the next player's turn to find out what animal they are. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner. As a variation, you can have the students complete a class activity using the cards. Tape an animal card to the back of each student. The students' task is to find out what animal they are by asking yes/no questions to their classmates. The students then stand up and ask one yes/no question to each classmate before moving on to speak to another student. When the students have asked a question to each classmate, they sit down and guess which animal they are.
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