ESL Relative Clauses Worksheets, Activities and Games

Fold your Arms

ESL Defining Relative Clauses Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this amusing relative clauses game, students describe pictures of objects, people, places and times with defining relative clauses. Give each group of three or four a set of picture cards, which they shuffle and place face down in a pile on the desk. Students take it in turns to pick up the top card, look at the picture, place the card face down and fold their arms. The student then describes the object, person, place or time to the other students using defining relative clauses. When describing pictures, students must keep their arms folded. This is to stop them from miming or using gestures. Students are also not allowed to say the name of the object, person, place or time or use variations of the word. The first student to guess the word wins and keeps the card. If no one guesses the word, the card is placed at the bottom of the pile. The next student then picks up a card and so on. Students continue taking turns describing the pictures on the cards until there are no cards left in the pile. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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Relative Clause Bingo

ESL Defining Relative Clauses Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (A2-B1) - 25 minutes

In this engaging relative clauses game, students play bingo by describing people, places and things using defining relative clauses. Divide the students into groups of four. Give each student a bingo card and give each group a set of word cards, which they shuffle and place face down in a pile on the desk. The students take it in turns to take a card from the top of the pile and describe the person, place or thing on the card using a defining relative clause, e.g. 'It is a place where...' The other students in the group try to guess the word. When the word has been guessed, the students who have the word on their bingo card cross it off. The next student then picks up a word card and so on. The first student to cross off all the words on their card shouts 'bingo' and wins the game.
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Who, Which, When, Where

ESL Defining Relative Clauses Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (A2-B1) - 35 minutes

In this free relative clauses activity, students practice describing people, things, places and times using defining relative clauses. Give each student a card containing the relative pronouns who, which, when, and where. Students write two words relating to each relative pronoun in the 'My wordlist' column on the card, without showing their answers to anyone. On a separate piece of paper, students then write a description for each word in their wordlist using defining relative clauses. Afterwards, divide the students into groups of four. The students then take it in turns to read out a description for a word on their card to the other group members. The first student to guess the word wins. The student describing the word then writes the name of the person who guessed correctly in the 'Name' column next to the word. This continues until all the words have been guessed. Afterwards, the students add up how many times each person's name appears on their card. The student who guessed the most words wins the game.
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Defining Relative Clauses Practice

ESL Defining Relative Clauses Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This printable relative clauses worksheet helps students to practice defining relative clauses with who, which, where and when. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin with a gap-fill exercise where they complete sentences by choosing the correct relative pronouns. Next, the students rewrite sentences, correcting the relative pronoun mistake in each one. After that, the students write definitions for places, things, times and people using defining relative clauses, e.g. 'A kitchen is a room where people store and cook food.' When the students have finished, check their definitions as a class. Lastly, students rewrite sentences, combining them together using defining relative clauses.
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Defining Relative Clauses Interactive Practice

ESL Defining Relative Clauses Interactive Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This is an interactive PDF version of the above worksheet for English teachers working online. The interactive worksheet contains a variety of online exercises to help students practice defining relative clauses with who, which, where and when.
 

I didn't know that!

ESL Non-Defining Relative Clauses Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

In this entertaining relative clauses activity, students write imaginary information about their classmates using non-defining relative clauses with 'who'. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students begin by writing down the names of everyone in the class or group in the first column of the worksheet. The students then sit in a circle and fold their worksheet so only the 'Relative clauses' column is showing. The students complete the first non-defining relative clause with 'who' any way they like. The students then pass the worksheet to the person on their right and complete the next relative clause. This procedure is repeated until all the relative clauses with 'who' have been completed. After that, the students do the same with the ‘Verb phrases’ column. When the students have finished, they open out their completed worksheet and read the sentences, correcting any mistakes they find. The students then read out their sentences to the class or group. The student who is the subject of each sentence says whether the information is true or not. Finally, divide the students into small groups. The students take it in turns to read out their sentences and the other students change the sentences to make them true.
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Relative Clause Crossword

ESL Defining Relative Clauses Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

In this fun relative clauses activity, students practice describing words using defining relative clauses with who, where, which and that. Divide the students into two groups (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Both groups have the same crossword, but Group A has the words across and Group B has the words down. The students' task is to write definitions for the words using defining relative clauses. Working together with the other people in their group, students write down definitions for the words on their crossword. When the students have finished, they pair up with someone from the other group. Students then take it in turns to ask their partner for a clue to one of the missing words on their crossword, e.g. 'What's 1 down?' Their partner then defines the word that appears on their half of the crossword using a defining relative clause. The student then tries to guess the word. If the student guesses the word successfully, they write it in the crossword. If not, their partner continues to give more clues until the student is able to guess the word. When the students have finished, they check their answers and spelling by comparing worksheets.
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Relative Clause Interactive Crossword

ESL Defining Relative Clauses Interactive Breakout Room Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

Here is an interactive PDF version of the above activity for people who teach English online. In the breakout room activity, pairs of students complete a crossword by describing words using defining relative clauses.
 

The Relative Clause Chain Game

ESL Non-Defining Relative Clauses Game - Matching, Speaking and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this challenging relative clauses game, students extend a sentence with non-defining relative clauses to make the longest sentence possible. Give each group of three or four a set of relative pronoun cards and a set of picture cards. The students deal out four relative pronoun cards and four picture cards to each player, placing the rest of the cards face down in two piles. The first player chooses one of their picture cards and places it face up on the table. The player then begins a sentence about the picture, e.g. 'My father...' The players then take it in turns to add additional information to the sentence by adding a non-defining relative clause with a picture card or adding an appropriate relative pronoun. If the next player puts down a relative pronoun card (e.g. who), the player after must put down a picture card (e.g. pilot) and add a non-defining relative clause as the next part of the sentence. For example, 'My father, who is a pilot,...' If the next player puts down a picture card (e.g. school), he or she says the next part of the sentence. For example, 'My father works in a school'. The player after must put down an appropriate relative pronoun card to extend the sentence, e.g. 'My father works in a school, where...' Players write the sentence down as they go, e.g. 'My father, who is a pilot, works in Singapore, where he met my mother, who owns a shop, which sells cats', etc. When a player has completed their turn, they pick up another card from one of the piles. The game ends when no one can go and there are no more cards left to pick up. The groups then read out their sentences to the class. The group with the longest grammatically correct sentence wins.
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What's the word?

ESL Relative Clauses Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

Here is a free relative clauses game to help students practice using defining relative clauses with who, which and where. Give each group of three or four a set of word cards, which they shuffle and place face down in a pile on the desk. The students then take it in turns to pick up a card (e.g. library) and give a definition of the word on the card using a defining relative clause, e g. 'It's a place where people read books'. The first student to guess the word keeps the card. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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Word Bluff - Printable Version

ESL Defining Relative Clauses Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

In this engaging relative clauses classroom activity, students invent false definitions for words using defining relative clauses and then play a game where they guess which definition for a word is correct. Divide the students into two groups (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. The worksheet shows correct definitions for words. The students' task is to invent two false definitions for each word by completing the defining relative clauses on the worksheet. Working with the people in their group, students write their false definitions. When the students have finished, they pair up with someone from the other group. The students then play a game where they guess which definition for a word is correct. Students take it in turns to read out three possible definitions for a word on their worksheet, without saying which definition is correct. Their partner then guesses the correct definition. For each correct guess, students score a point. The student with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
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Word Bluff - Interactive Version

ESL Defining Relative Clauses Breakout Room Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

This is an interactive PDF version of the above activity for people teaching English online. In the breakout room activity, students use defining relative clauses to create false definitions for words and then play a game where they guess which definition for a word is right.
 

Defining Relative Clauses Worksheet

ESL Defining Relative Clauses Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 30 minutes

Here is a printable story-based relative clauses worksheet to help students practice defining relative clauses with who, whose, that, which and where. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by reading an unfinished story. Students then match phrases together and write out sentences about the story with defining relative clauses. Next, students do a gap-fill exercise where they complete more sentences about the story by choosing one of the relative pronouns in brackets for each part of the sentence. If no word should be used, students write a dash in the space. After that, students combine sentences together using relative pronouns. Finally, the students have a class discussion to talk about what might happen next in the story and possible endings.
Defining Relative Clauses Worksheet Preview
 
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Defining Relative Clauses Interactive Worksheet

ESL Defining Relative Clauses Interactive Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 30 minutes

Here is an interactive PDF version of the above worksheet for online English teachers. In the interactive worksheet, students complete online exercises to practice defining relative clauses with who, whose, that, which and where.
 

Non-Defining Relative Clauses Worksheet

ESL Non-Defining Relative Clauses Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 30 minutes

This printable relative clauses worksheet helps students to learn and practice non-defining relative clauses while reading and writing about famous actors, actresses and films. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by reading through an introduction on non-defining relative clauses. Next, students read a text about famous actors and films and do a gap-fill exercise where they complete sentences with a non-defining relative pronoun. The students then underline the additional (non-defining) information in each sentence. Students then choose phrases to go with sentences and rewrite each sentence using the phrase in a non-defining relative clause. Afterwards, students use their own ideas to complete sentences with non-defining relative clauses. When the students have finished, review their sentences and give feedback.
Non-Defining Relative Clauses Worksheet Preview
 
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Non-Defining Relative Clauses Interactive Worksheet

ESL Non-Defining Relative Clauses Interactive Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 30 minutes

This is an interactive PDF version of the above worksheet for English teachers who are working online. In the interactive worksheet, students do online exercises to help them learn and practice non-defining relative clauses while reading and writing about famous actors, actresses and films.
 
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