This is a take on the classic you might remember from your childhood with the letters of the alphabet and numbers. This activity requires a little bit of preparation if you want a very nicely made worksheet. You can also have the participants hand draw one on paper. I love to use this one for any grammar practice especially using the question form, but also for prepositions of place. It is so much fun!

  1. In the column on the left side, put names or pronouns such as “you/Jeremy/your brothers/she etc.”
  2. In the row above put verbs (depending on the ones the participants have been learning). With a pre-intermediate group focussing on business situations I might have: reply to emails, speak with colleagues, take a break, answer the phone etc.
  3. The participants are given a certain number of ships, e.g. 4 (battleship with 5 boxes, cruiser with 4 boxes, submarine with 3 boxes and a tugboat with 2 boxes). Which they place in their ocean (coloring in the boxes with a highlighter) in a straight line (no diagonals or bendy boats!).
  4. If they are unfamiliar with the rules, quickly explain them or have one of the participants explain or show a short youtube video as an example. Then explain that you are going to play with questions instead of numbers and letters.
  5. In pairs, they ask questions and try to find their partner’s ships. For example if we are doing the present simple with the verb phrases above, one person will ask “Does Jeremy take a break every day.” If there is a ship in that box, the partner answers “Yes, he does”. If there is no ship, he answers “No, he doesn’t”. (see video)
  6. The winner is the first person to find all their partner’s ships.

I always congratulate them on their sentences. They literally create dozens of questions and answers in this game in a structured but fun way!


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