Categories

Activity Name: Categories

Areas of Practice: Listening
Source: Five-Minute Activities: A Resource Book of Short Activities, by Penny Ur and Andrew Wright
Setup: Prepare a list of words that students have already learned that can be broken into two categories (e.g., food/drink;
big/small; months/seasons)
Procedure: Write the title of each category on the board, separated by a vertical line, to make two columns. Have students copy this on a piece of paper. Model the game for a few rounds by showing how to play on the board: call out a word and choose which category it belongs in, then simply mark with an x under the appropriate column. For example, if the categories are food and drink, and you call out “water,” “hot dog,” and “apple,” you’d have 2 x marks under food and 1 under water.
Once you’ve demonstrated this a few times, have the students continue to mark independently. This requires them to listen to the words, understand what they are, and choose the correct category.

Adaptations:
Beginners: If reading the columns and making marks will be difficult, you can also hand out printed cards and have students hold up the correct card for the category.
Advanced: Have students write each word, rather than just marking an x.
Virtual: This can be done quite easily virtually; just be sure that each student has a piece of paper. Use the whiteboard feature on Zoom screenshare (or similar feature on another videoconferencing platform).

Activity adapted by Rachel Sloan, originally published in Roanoke Valley English Ministry Bulletin, October 2021. Reposted by permission.

Flyswatter vocabulary practice

Fly Swatter Vocabulary Game

A fun and active game to help your students practice vocabulary.

This is a great way to practice vocabulary and can be used with words or pictures (or both!) on the cards.

Flyswatter Game

Areas of Practice: Vocabulary 

Source: MNA ESL Training

Setup: Write 9 vocabulary words on a posterboard or whiteboard (tic-tac-toe style). Have 2 (clean) flyswatters ready.

Procedure: Line your students up into two teams, with one members of each team holding the flyswatter. Call out one of the words on the board. The first person to swat the word wins a point for that team!

Adaptations:
Beginners: Use pictures instead of words. You also might have the other students shouting directions on the board (especially if you space the words out) “go up! to the left! down!” – this promotes whole-class engagement.
Advanced: Call out definitions, synonyms or antonyms instead.
Virtual: Have students use the annotate feature on zoom to put a stamp on the word.

Activity adapted by Rachel Sloan, originally published in Roanoke Valley English Ministry Bulletin, September 2021. Reposted by permission.

I have You have card samples

“I Have, Who Has?” Game

A fun activity to help your students practice vocabulary by hearing, speaking and reading the vocabulary words.
I have You have card samples

This is a great way to practice vocabulary and can be used with words or pictures (or both!) on the cards.

Areas of Practice: lists of vocabulary (alphabet, months, days, etc.); reading; speaking; listening
Setup: You’ll need to create cards for this activity or print some off like these. Each card says “I have __. Who has ___?” For example, “I have A. Who has Q?” The next card has the answer and the next question, like “I have Q. Who has M?” The cards should continue through your list of items until the last card goes back to the very first “I have” statement to cover each item.

Directions: Pass out all of the cards to the students. If you have more items than students, they may get several cards, so try to mix them up well! Keep the first card and read it to start (for example, “I have hat. Who has jeans?”), then have students go through all of the cards. The student with the card that has the word reads that card aloud (for example,”I have jeans. Who has shirt?”) The game moves around the room until all of the cards have been read.

For a short video explaining the game, click here.

Adaptations:
Beginners: You might need to use exaggerated gestures (like a shrug and quizzical expression for “Who has?”) and help students read the words on the cards. This is a vocabulary review and shouldn’t be used for introducing new vocabulary.
Advanced: When a student has said the word (e.g., “I have koala,”), s/he should make a sentence with it (“Koalas live in Australia.”) before reading the next part (“who has kangaroo?”).
Virtual: This is possible virtually, but will require extra setup, either sending a file of individualized cards by email or through chat before the game. You might want to save this one for an in-person lesson

Activity adapted by Rachel Sloan, originally published in Roanoke Valley English Ministry Bulletin, November 2019 & December 2021. Reposted by permission.

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