Teach vocabulary fast with this easy game

kids learning English through a vocabulary game
12 Apr Shelley Vernon No Comments

Here is a fantastic game for beginners.


It's ideal for:

- new vocabulary

- vocabulary revision

- getting rid of inhibitions, even shy students can join in with this one.


This game is so easy to do and needs no preparation. Play in small groups of 15 students. Split your class into two or three groups if you have too many students.


How to play


Circle set up: Ideally have children sit in a circle with one pupil in the middle. The child in the centre calls out someone’s name three times, for example, ‘Maria, Maria, Maria!’ Maria must react and say her name quickly before the child in the middle has finished saying it three times. Use the game with names the first time you play it and at the start of a new class where children do not know each other.

Classroom set up: If you have a cramped classroom, play with students at their desks. Place 5 children at the front, each with a word. These 5 take turns to say their word while the class members try to interject before the three repetitions are up. This way kids can see the faces of those speaking, which is easier than having no visual clues. Bring 5 kids at a time to the front to keep the pace up. If you switch kids over one by one this game will be a drag.


Once the children know the game, use it for vocabulary. Give out picture flashcards to the children. The children hold their cards so the child in the middle can see them and play as above. The child says one of the words three times and the child or children holding that picture must say the word or hold up the picture quickly before the three repetitions are up.


The teacher can go in the middle if the children do not know all the words.


If the same students jump in time and again:

- Put them in a group together and let them work together as a "fast" group in future.

- Or simply tell them that they cannot win every time and must play one turn and take one turn out.

- Or make them judges and in charge of a group.


This game is taken from Fun ESL Games for Preschool, available in instant download and paperback.

For kids from age 6-12 this book instead: ESL Games, 176 English Language Games for Children


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