Wh Questions ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

First to Ask

ESL Wh Questions Game - Speaking: Matching, Forming Questions from Prompts - Group work - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this free Wh questions game, students race to use question words to make questions that elicit specific answers. In groups, students take it in turns to pick up an answer card and read the sentence on the card aloud, putting emphasis on the words in bold. The student then places the card face-up on the table. Next, all the students check their cards to see if they have a question word that can be used to create a question that elicits the answer. The first student to create a suitable question, say it, and place their card down on top of the answer card wins. The two cards are then removed from the game. If the other players think that a question is incorrect or doesn't match the answer, the student takes the card back and the game continues. The first student to get rid of all their question word cards wins the game.
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Information Line Up

ESL Asking Wh Questions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this fun asking questions game, students line up in teams as quickly as possible, according to a series of instructions. To do this, students ask each other Wh questions to establish the correct line up. The students line up in their teams, according to the criteria you call out. For example, if the instructions were 'Line up as quickly as possible by age', the students need to ask each other the question 'How old are you?' The first team to line up correctly scores three points. The second team gets two points, and the third team scores one point. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Question Correction

ESL Wh Questions Activity - Grammar Exercise: Error Correction - Speaking Activity: Asking and Answering Questions from Prompts, Controlled and Freer Practice - Pair work - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this Wh questions error correction activity, students correct mistakes in questions. Students then use the questions to interview a partner. Working alone, students find mistakes in seven questions on their worksheet and correct them. The students then take it in turns to check their corrections with their partner who has the answer key. Next, students interview their partner using the questions on their worksheet. Afterwards, students tell the class what they found out about their partner.
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Tell me more

ESL Wh Questions Game - Speaking: Asking Questions from Prompts - Group work - Elementary (A1-A2) - 20 minutes

In this Wh questions speaking activity, students play a game where they ask Wh questions in order to find out more details about a sentence. Write a sentence on the board, e.g. 'The report is on the desk'. Tell the students that they are feeling inquisitive and want to find out as many details as possible about the sentence. Teams then take it in turns to ask a Wh question about the sentence, e.g. 'What is the report about?' For each grammatically correct question a team asks, they score one point. When teams run out of questions, write a new sentence on the board and continue the game. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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What type of question is that?

ESL Wh Questions Worksheet - Grammar Exercises: Categorising, Matching, Unscrambling, Writing Questions, Error Correction - Speaking Activity: Asking and Answering Questions - Pair work - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this Wh questions worksheet, students practice Wh questions in the present simple and present continuous. To start, students review two types of Wh questions. Students then read questions and decide which are 'Type A' questions and which are 'Type B'. Next, students match the questions with answers. Students then match the question words from Exercise A to their functions. After that, students unscramble words to create Wh questions. Students then move on to write Wh questions that match answers. Next, students rewrite questions, correcting errors. For the last exercise, divide the students into pairs. Working alone, students complete sentences by guessing information about their partner. Then, students write the Wh questions they need to ask to find out the correct answer. Lastly, students ask the questions to their partner to see how many of their guesses were correct.
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Guess the Question

ESL Wh Questions Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this Wh questions activity, students complete missing words in questions and then use the questions to interview a partner. In pairs, students have ten minutes to complete the questions on the worksheet by deciding what the missing words are in each question. When the time limit has been reached, check the questions with the class. After that, the students take it in turns to choose a topic and use the questions to interview their partner. When all the questions have been asked, the students give feedback to the class on what they found out about their partner.
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Mike's Life

ESL Wh Questions Activity - Speaking: Information Gap, Forming, Asking and Answering Questions - Pair work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this free information gap activity, students complete a text about someone's life by asking and answering Wh questions. In two groups, students write the Wh questions they need to find out the missing information in the text on their worksheet. Students then pair up with someone from the other group and take it in turns to ask their partner the questions they have prepared. Students complete the gaps in the text with their partner's answers. Afterwards, students check their texts and spelling by comparing worksheets.
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Mystery Interview

ESL Wh Questions Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this entertaining Wh questions activity, students practice forming interview questions. Students then ask and answer the questions in a mystery celebrity interview. Each student starts off by thinking of a famous celebrity. Students then use prompts on their worksheet to create interview questions. Students also create an interview question of their own at the end. Next, in pairs, students interview their partner using the script and questions and the other student answers the questions as their chosen celebrity. Students note down their partner's answers in the second column of the worksheet. At the end of the interview, the interviewer guesses the name of the famous celebrity their partner is pretending to be. Finally, students do their interviews in front of the class and the class guesses the mystery celebrity.
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Questions and Answers

ESL Wh Questions Worksheet - Grammar Exercise: Writing Questions From Prompts - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

In this Wh questions worksheet, students practice writing Wh questions for a set of answers. Working alone, students write Wh questions for 20 answers on the worksheet. When the students have finished, they swap worksheets with a classmate for marking. Students score one point for each correct question. The student with the most points wins.
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The Past and Present

ESL Past and Present Simple Questions Activity - Grammar and Speaking: Forming, Asking and Answering Questions from Prompts - Pair Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this past simple and present simple questions activity, students use the past and present simple to ask about a partner's habits as a child and now. Each topic on the worksheet contains three questions. The first two questions deal with past habits. The third question is a present simple question to find out information about their partner's habits now. In pairs, students ask a past simple yes/no question and then a past simple Wh question to find out information about their partner's past childhood habits. Students then ask a question about their present habits and write all the answers on the worksheet. When everyone has finished, the students tell the class what they found out about their partner.
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The Question is...

ESL Guess the Question Game - Grammar: Guessing, Forming Questions - Pair work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

In this Wh questions game, students listen to a set of answers and try to guess the questions being asked. Student A starts by reading the first answer on their worksheet to Student B. Student B listens and tries to guess the question. If Student B guesses correctly the first time, they score three points, on the second try two points, and on their last try one point. Student B then reads out their first answer and Student A tries to guess the question and so on. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins. Alternatively, you can make the game more competitive by having the students try to complete all the questions on their partner's worksheet in the fastest possible time.
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What's the question?

ESL Wh Questions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

In this Wh questions game, students race to make questions from answers. Divide the class into two teams. Choose one player from each team to come to the front of the class. Read an answer to a question, e.g. 'I normally arrive home at 6 p.m.' Then, ask the two players 'What's the question?' The first player to respond with the correct question scores a point for their team, i.e. 'What time do you normally arrive home?' Then, two new players come to the front of the class and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Ask the Right Question

ESL Wh Questions Game - Grammar: Writing Short Answers, Guessing, Forming Questions from Prompts - Group work - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

In this free asking Wh questions game, students guess Wh questions from short answers written by other students. The students write down a one or two-word answer for each question on their card and then cut the card so the questions and answers are separate. One student begins by placing their answers on the desk for the other two students to see. These two students read the first answer and take it in turns to guess the Wh question. The first student to guess the question scores one point. If the two students are having problems thinking of the right question, the student who wrote the answer gives them a clue, e.g. 'It’s a question about learning, etc...' The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Get it Right

ESL Wh Questions Game - Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this entertaining Wh questions game, students ask questions in order to receive a specific answer. The first student begins by picking up a card and asking a question that will make someone in the group answer with the word or phrase on the card. The student who answers with the word or phrase keeps the card and scores one point. If no one answers correctly, the student keeps asking questions until someone says the word or phrase. The next student then picks up a card and so on. The student with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
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I know you

ESL Wh Questions Game - Grammar and Speaking: Writing Questions and Answers from Prompts, Answering Questions, Freer Practice - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

This fast-paced Wh questions game is ideal for practicing or reviewing question and answer forms. This game can be easily adapted to practice Wh questions and answers in any tense. On each card, students use the Wh question word to write a question about another student in the group that they know the answer for. The students then write the answer in sentence form underneath the question in the space provided. Students then fold up the card and put it in an envelope. Next, students compete against each other to answer the questions. Students take it in turns to draw a card from the envelope and read the question to the group members. The student who is the subject of the question is not allowed to answer. The first student to put up their hand can answer the question. The student's answer is checked against the one concealed behind the question. If the answer matches, the respondent wins the card. If not, someone else may try to answer. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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Questions Crossword

ESL Wh Questions Activity - Crossword: Forming, Asking and Answering Questions - Pair work - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

In this Wh questions crossword activity, students create questions in order to elicit specific answers in a crossword. In two groups, students write down questions that would elicit the words and phrases on their crossword. Next, students pair up with someone from the other group. Students then take it in turns to ask their partner for a question to one of their missing words or phrases. Their partner then asks them the question for that word or phrase, indicating the number of words in the answer, e.g. one-word answer, two-word answer, etc. The student then tries to guess what it is. If the student guesses the answer successfully, they write in the missing word or phrase on their crossword. If not, their partner continues to ask more questions until they are able to guess the answer.
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Questions Tic-Tac-Toe

ESL Wh Questions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

In this imaginative Wh questions game, students play Tic-Tac-Toe by creating questions. Draw a four by five grid on the board. Number the squares and write a question word in each square. Next, teams take it in turns to choose a question word from the grid. The students in the team use the question word in the square to make a Wh question. The team then asks the question to the next team. To win the square, the Wh question must be grammatically correct and contain a minimum of six words. The next team must answer the question appropriately or they lose their turn to choose a square. If a question is grammatically incorrect or less than six words in length, play passes to the next team, without them having to answer a question. The aim of the game is for the teams to get three squares in a row. The first team to do this wins the game.
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Opening Statements

ESL Wh Questions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 30 minutes

In this challenging questions game, students practice asking questions to find out further details about an opening statement. A student from Team A picks up a card and reads the opening statement on the card to Team B. Team B then has two minutes to ask the student as many questions as they can to find out further details about the opening statement. The student replies to the questions with short imaginary answers. Team B scores one point for each question. After the two-minute time limit has been reached, the teams swap roles and a member of Team B gives an opening statement. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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