There is/are - ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

Bedroom Bedlam

ESL There Is/Are Game - Reading and Matching Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 20 minutes

In this free 'There is/are' teaching activity, students play a card game where they make 'There is/are...' sentences about a bedroom picture. This activity also covers prepositions of place and furniture vocabulary. Give each pair of students a bedroom picture and a set of sentence cards. Students place the bedroom picture face up on the table and the cards are shuffled and spread out face down. The students then take it in turns to turn over three cards. If the words on the three cards go together to form a true sentence about the picture, the student reads the sentence aloud, places the three-card sentence under the picture and scores a point. If the three cards don't make a true sentence, the cards are turned back over, keeping them in the same place. The game continues with students taking it in turns to turn over three cards until all the sentences have been completed. The student with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
 

Classroom Quiz

ESL There Is/Are Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this engaging 'There is/are' activity, students ask and answer questions about what's in the classroom. Divide the students into two groups (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Working together with the people in their group, students write 'there is' and 'there are' questions from the prompts on the worksheet. Students also create two questions of their own at the end and write the answer to each question on the worksheet. Students then pair up with someone from the other group. Student B closes their eyes. Student A then asks Student B the questions on their worksheet. Student B answers all the questions without opening their eyes. For each correct answer, Student B scores one point. When Student B has answered all the questions, the students swap roles. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
 

Memory Game

ESL There Was/Were Game - Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

Here is a 'There was/were' memory game to help students practice 'There was/were...' statements and 'Was/Were there...?' questions and short answers. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Place each worksheet face down in front of the student. The students then play a memory game where they have 20 seconds to remember as many pictures as they can from the worksheet in front of them. After 20 seconds, the students turn the worksheet back over. The students' task is to write down as many items as they can remember using 'There was...' and 'There were...', e.g. 'There was a TV'. Students write their sentences on a separate piece of paper. When the students have finished writing, they swap their face down worksheet with their partner and look at the pictures on their partner's worksheet. The students then take it in turns to ask 'Was there a...?' and 'Were there any...?' questions to confirm if their sentences are right or wrong. Their partner answers 'Yes, there was/were' or 'No, there wasn't/ weren't' as appropriate. Students score one point for each correctly remembered item. The student with the most points wins the game.
 

Shop till you drop

ESL Is/Are There Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this useful 'Is/Are there' activity, students ask and answer questions about shops and shopping facilities using 'Is there a...?' and 'Are there any...?' This activity also helps to teach students about differences between British and American English. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. To begin, the students create a shopping centre or mall by choosing eight shops or shopping facilities from a box on the worksheet and writing one on each floor of a building plan. When the students have finished, Student A finds out what's on each floor of their partner's shopping mall by asking questions with 'Is there a...?' and 'Are there any...?' When Student A has completed the table about their partner's shopping mall, Student B asks questions about Student A's shopping centre. When the students have finished, they compare worksheets to check their answers.
 

Where am I?

ESL Is/Are There Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 20 minutes

In this fun 'Is/Are there' activity, students play a game where they ask questions in order to find out where they are. Divide the students into groups of eight and give each student a question card. The students complete eight 'Is/Are there...?' questions on the card. The questions should help them decide where they are. When the students have finished writing, a picture of a place is stuck on each student's back. Next, divide each group into pairs. Each student looks at the picture on their partner's back. The students then take it in turns to ask the questions on their card to their partner to find out where they are. The students listen to their partner's answers and mark them on the card. When the students have asked all the questions, they write where they think they are at the bottom of the card. The students then see if they were right or wrong by taking the picture off their back. As an extension, redistribute the pictures and have the students repeat the activity with a new partner.
 

I draw, you draw

ESL There Is/Are Activity - Listening, Speaking, Drawing and Writing - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

In this rewarding 'There is/are' worksheet activity, students use 'There is/ are...' to describe a picture of a room and draw a room picture by listening to another student's description. This activity also covers furniture vocabulary and prepositions of place. Divide the students into two groups (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Students then draw items from a box in an empty room picture on their worksheet. The students in Group A draw a picture of a bedroom and the students in Group B draw a picture of a living room. When the students have finished, they pair up with someone from the other group. Student A then describes their bedroom picture to Student B using 'There is/are...' and prepositions of place, e.g. 'There's a bed under the window'. Student B listens and draws the picture on their worksheet. When Student A has finished describing their picture, the two students swap roles with Student B describing their living room picture to Student A. When the pairs have finished, they check their work by comparing pictures. Afterwards, students work together with their partner and write 'There is/are...' sentences about both pictures. Finally, review the sentences by having the students show their pictures and read out their sentences.
 

My Dream Home

ESL There Is/Are Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this 'There is/are' worksheet activity, students design and write about their dream home using 'There is/are...' and prepositions of place. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students design their dream home by answering questions on the worksheet in sentence form and drawing a floor plan. When the students have finished, each student comes to the front of the class and presents their dream home by reading their answers to the questions and showing their pictures. The class then gives feedback on the homes they liked the best.
 

There Is/Are Worksheet

ESL There Is/Are Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

Here is a theme-based worksheet to help students practice 'There is/are'. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students start by reading the text about the type of apartment Tyler and Kayla are looking for. The students then go through information about four apartments Tyler and Kayla could be interested in. Next, students complete 'There is/are...' exercises about the four apartments. In the first exercise, students answer 'Is/Are there...?' questions using short answers from a box. Students then correct mistakes in 'there is/are' sentences about the apartments. Students then move on to write 'Is there...?' or 'Are there...?' questions for a set of answers. In the last exercise, students choose the apartment that they think is best for Tyler and Kayla. The students then write a description of it using 'there is' and 'there are'. Afterwards, have the students read their descriptions to the class and discuss which would be the most suitable apartment for the two people.
 

There is/There are Dominoes

ESL There Is/Are Game - Reading and Matching Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

In this entertaining 'There is/are' activity, students play a game of dominoes by making affirmative/negative statements and questions with 'there is' and 'there are'. Give each group of three a set of dominoes. The students deal out six dominoes each, leaving the rest in a pile face down. The top card from the pile is then placed face up on the table. The first player tries to make an affirmative/negative statement or question with 'there is' or 'there are' by placing one of their dominoes at either end of the domino on the table. The player then reads the statement or question to the group for confirmation. The other group members judge the player's statement or question, making sure the quantifier and countable or uncountable noun match. If the statement or question is wrong, the player must take back the domino. Play then passes to the next student and so on. If a player cannot put down one of their dominoes, they take a domino from the top of the pile and put it down if they can. The first player to get rid of all their dominoes wins the game.
 

Where in the World?

ESL There Is/Are Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this free 'There is/are' teaching activity, students play a guessing game where they describe famous cities to each other using 'There is/are...' and 'There isn't/aren't...' Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Student A begins by using the prompts on the worksheet to describe city number one with 'There is/are...' and 'There isn't/aren't....' The student can also use their own ideas to help their partner guess the city. Student B listens and tries to guess the name of the city. The student can also ask questions using 'Is/Are there...?' to help guess the answer. When Student B has guessed all four cities, the students swap roles. When everyone has finished, pairs write their own description of a famous city. Pairs then take it in turns to read their descriptions and the class tries to guess the name of each city.
 

Picture Dictations

ESL There Is/Are Activity - Listening, Speaking, Drawing - Low intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

In this 'There is/are' teaching activity, students use 'There is/are...' and prepositions of place to dictate pictures to each other. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. The students then take it in turns to describe the pictures to their partner using 'There is/are...' and prepositions of place, e.g. 'In picture 1, there is a house with a door in the center. There is a window on either side of the door, etc'. Their partner listens and draws the picture in the empty box on their worksheet. When a student has finished describing their picture, the two students swap roles. This continues until both students have described all four pictures. When the students have finished, they check their work by comparing pictures. Afterwards, review the students' descriptions together as a class. Alternatively, you can have the pairs write 'There is/are...' sentences about the pictures and then read them to the class.
 
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