Vocabulary Tic Tac Toe (noughts and crosses)

My learners love this review of vocabulary. It can be used at all levels from A1-C2.

  1. Ask the learners to look at their notes for the last few lessons and write down 8 words (you can make this more or fewer) on a slips of paper you distribute.
  2. Collect the slips of paper and lay 9 of them in front of you on the table (make sure there are no doubles). This is for your reference so you remember which words are in which box. Alternatively, just draw a board on a piece of paper for yourself with the words. Draw a large tic tac toe game board # on the whiteboard.
  3. Divide the class into two teams and you are going to play tic tac toe (review the rules of normal tic tac toe if necessary: i.e. that you need three X or O (your teams mark) in a row to win.).
  4. Explain that there is a word in each box and before their team can make a mark, they must first call the box they want, listen to the description/translation of the word from you and then say the correct word in English. Then they can make their mark in the box. If they do not get the word (I set my phone timer for 30 seconds), the box remains unopened.
  5. Then the next team chooses any box and repeat until one team wins.

NB: The first two times a box is attempted I usually give the same description. The third time, I add a little and the fourth time a little more (like the translation, a sample sentence, antonym and finally the first letter, then the second letter).

Because the learners choose the words, it is very relevant to them and they enjoy it. It is NOT as fast as you might think. I usually do 3 rounds which might take 20 minutes total.

I also review phrases like: top left, top center, top right, bottom left etc.

1-1: This game can not be adapted for 1-1. A minimum of 2 participants is needed to play in addition to the teacher who moderates.

Adverbs of Frequency

This is good for A1-B1 levels. I am attaching the two worksheets I used below, but you can also create your own phrases. I use this as controlled practice after having introduced the a) meaning of adverbials and b) the position of the different ones (quick rule: short adverb phrases before the verb, longer phrases at the end of the phrase).

  1. print the worksheet, cut the phrases and put them into a container (bag, box etc.). Print the wheel worksheet, and fix the arrow using an envelope clasp.
  2. Explain that when the music starts (I use my phone), the bag/box of questions should be passed in one direction and the wheel in the other. (like in the other post I described called “Ball and Bag”).
  3. The person with the bag/box ¬†takes a strip, for example “buy flowers for your mother” and asks “How often do you buy flowers for your mother?”. Then the person spins the wheel and must answer with the adverb phrase the arrow stops on. Sometimes this creates funny examples. As a follow-up, you can allow stronger classes to answer with their real answer.

 

  1. come to work on time
  2. FREQ

Who has my phone?

This is a good review of questions and can be used form A1-B1 levels for best results.

  1. Explain that one learner will leave the room and the teacher’s phone will be given to another learner. The learner will then reenter the room and ask questions to find out who has the phone.
  2. You may need to board some question forms to remind them at this point.
    1. A1 level: Does a man/woman/person with brown hair/green shoes/etc. have the phone?
    2. A2 level: Is the person wearing…/Does the person …/Has the person got…
    3. B1 level: Did this person arrive late today?/ Is the person wearing…/Does the person …/Has the person got…
  3. Send one learner out and give a learner the phone.
  4. When the learner from outside returns, allow them to ask as many questions as possible until they can find out who has the phone (I encourage them NOT to ask “Does Maria have the phone/Do you have the phone, Maria” unless it is their very last question.).
  5. Repeat with a new learner leaving.

1-1: This could work with 1-1 if you print out a dozen pictures of different people and then place a card UNDER one of the pictures that says “phone” and have the learner play as above. You can start the game to show the learner how it’s done and to build confidence the first round (so the L “hides” the phone under a picture and you ask).

Guess my job

This is good for A1-B1 levels and can be used for general English or business English.

  1. Brainstorm jobs in English and write about 12-15 on the board.
  2. Elicit some yes/no questions about jobs with the learners, for example:
    1. Do you wear a uniform?
    2. Do you work inside?
    3. Do you work alone?
    4. Do you study at university for your job?
    5. Do you work in a team?
    6. Do you earn a lot of money?
    7. Do you use a computer in your job?
    8. Do you drive as part of your job?
  3. Put the learners in pairs or small groups. Explain that one person will choose a job from the board, but will not tell their partner/group.
  4. The partner/group may ask 4 questions from the brainstormed questions (or others) before they can guess the job.

1-1 The activity works well for 1-1 as described.

What has changed?

This is good specifically for the present perfect in the passive or active. You may need to pre-teach some vocabulary depending on the learners.

  1. Divide the class into two groups.
  2. One group will leave the room for a few minutes while the other group changes a few things in the classroom (you might give an exact number, say 8).
  3. When the group outside returns to the room, they need to identify the things that are different using target language such as: The picture has been hung upside down./The dictionary has been moved. (active voice: You have hung… /Someone has moved…)
  4. Award points for the correct answers/grammar.

For 1-1: Play as described above.

Interview Bingo

This one is great for groups (at least 9 participants or more) and lower levels (A1-A2). It can be adapted to any grammar point or vocabulary.

  1. Distribute the handout. (see sample handout below called “can you”)
  2. Ask a learner to model the dialog/interview. Explain that if the person answers with YES, the asker may write the answerer’s name in the box below the picture. For groups that can handle it, you can request that they ask a follow-up question. If the person answers NO, then nothing is written. They may ask another question to the same person.
  3. The learners move around the room interviewing their classmates (The trainer can also take part). When they have completed their BINGO card, they sit down.
  4. The trainer then calls out the learners names one at a time at random. Those who have that person’s name, should mark the box with an X. Whoever has a row (vertical, horizontal, diagonal) shouts BINGO! Then, to confirm the win, they read out their row, e.g. Marco can repair cars, Teresa can swim, and Paulo can ride a horse. The winner can get a point or a candy/sticker or other reward.

Alternative: Instead of using a photo, use a photo AND a word/phrase or only a word/phrase in the box.

This is game can not be adapted to 1-1.

can-you

 

Word Circle

This is a variation on the vocabulary cards I wrote about in other posts.

  1. Create vocabulary cards with the English on one side and the translation/definition on the other. Lay 6 cards on the table (you decide which side goes up).
  2. Using a die (or dice app), one learner roles (you decide arbitrarily which card is “1”) and the learner moves to that card and needs to give the translation/definition. If it is correct, the learner keeps the card and a new card is put in its place. If it is not, the card remains.
  3. Continue playing for a certain number of rounds or minutes.

Variation: For an extra point, the learner can create a grammatically correct sentence using the word/phrase.

1-1 variation. This works well with 1-1 if the trainer is familiar with the learner’s L1 and the cards have only translations.