FREE Edutainment Games ( all the original and *best* are only in the book, so buy it now, it's 110% guaranteed ! )

The students always enjoy games where money is used. Set up a shop and have them make purchases.

In small groups I play "Dollar Awards." The teacher reads out a question. The student who answers it correctly is awarded play money from all the other players. The amount awarded can vary dependent on difficulty.

For example:

Teacher: This is a ten dollar question. What colour is my shirt?
The student who answers correctly receives $10 from each of the other players.

Teacher: This is a twenty dollar question. What time do you eat lunch?
The students must give $20 each to the student who answers correctly.

If a student answers incorrectly they must pay a penalty of $5 to all the other players.

You can copy the play money supplied (pages 33 and 34 of the book) and have the students cut them out.

Fast Games

You might already know these games but this is the way I use them.

Last Letter

("Shiritori" in Japanese)

The last letter of the word must be the first letter of the next word.

You will need a ball, but a screwed up piece of paper is fine.

The teacher throws the ball to one student and says a word, such as "dog".

The student must reply with a word starting with "G," such as "girl".

When answered, the ball is thrown back to the teacher and it is then thrown to the next student, who continues.

The sequence may then be (for example):

girl, look, king, go, octopus, student ... and so on.

You can have the students throwing to each other.

i.e., student A = "Cat," throw to student B = "Today," throw to student C = "Yes," etc.

Please be warned, you may have some fastball pitchers in the class!

Chinese Whispers

Divide the class into even rows.

The last member of each row (at the back of the class) is taken out of the classroom. A "key" letter, word or sentence (depending on level) is given.

The students run back inside, and whisper the "key" to the next student in their row. It is whispered down through the row until the last member writes it on the board.

The first student to write it on the board correctly wins the point for their team/row.

Fast Words

The class is arranged into rows. The first person in each row is given a piece of chalk. The blackboard is divided into sections. No more than six teams.

The teacher calls a letter and the students must write as many words as they can beginning with that letter, in the allocated time. Their team-mates can call out hints, but be warned, this is very noisy.

Next, the second member gets the chalk and goes to the board and the teacher calls out a new letter.

The team with the most correct words is the winner.

Word Association

The teacher starts the game by saying a word, such as "Hotel".

For example:

Teacher: Hotel
Student A: Bed
Student B: Room
Student C: Service
Student D: Food
Student E: Restaurant
Student F: Chinese

As you can see, any association is ok.

If the student can't answer (5 second limit) he or she must stand up. The last student seated is the winner.

If the association is not obvious, the student is asked to explain the association.

Songs/Music Cloze

Songs are a good way to teach in an "Edutainment" way because they incorporate all the language skills:

(1) Listening (to the song)
(2) Reading (following the lyrics to determine the words)
(3) Writing (filling in the blanks)
(4) Speaking (singing the song)

Lower Level:

(1) The song sheet is handed out to the students.

(2) The teacher reads each word (at the bottom of the page) and the students repeat. This is done twice.

(3) The tape is played twice in a row, with the students trying to fill in the blanks.

(4) The students are invited to discuss it with their classmates for one minute.

(5) The song is played again and students complete the missing words.

(6) The teacher calls out the correct words. The students mark their papers themselves with a red pen, and record their scores.

(7) The students with a perfect score receive a round of applause.

(8) The song is played, one last time, with everybody singing.

Medium Level:

The same system is used.

However, for the first playing the words are folded under, as shown on the song sheets.

Only at the second listening, are the words revealed.


You can have a lot of fun seeing what the students come up with, before they are allowed to see the correct words.

Higher Level: :

Complete sentences are deleted (liquid paper?), so more words must be recognised.

The words are folded under for the entire listening while the tape is played.

Only after all the listenings are the correct words revealed.

With a little experience, the teacher will easily be able to adjust to the level of difficulty required.

The songs have been chosen for their pronunciation and because they are familiar to most students.

Variety in the types of songs, for instance, rock, ballad and so forth, is supplied.

The song sheets (lyrics) have been made for the lower levels, and need to be modified for higher levels.

Sample Song:


"Bus Stop" (1)
(The Hollies) Bus Stop, wet day, she's there,

I say, please share my __________________(1)

Bus stop, bus goes, she stays,

Love grows, under my umbrella

All that summer we enjoyed ______________(2)

Wind and rain and shine

That umbrella, we employed it

By ___________________(3) she was mine

Every morning I would see her waiting at the ______________(4)

Sometimes she'd shop

And she would show me what she ________________________(5)

All the people stared

As if we were both quite insane

Someday my name and her's are going

To be the ________________(6)

That's the way the whole thing __________________(7)

Silly, but it's _____________________(8)

A thinking of a sweet romance

Begin and end with you.

Came the sun the ice was melting

No more sheltering ___________________(9)

_______________________(10) to think that that umbrella led me to a vow.
(** Chorus)

Your score__________/10

------- Fold here, for the first listening at higher levels -------

now, stop, nice, August, true, bought, it, same, umbrella, started

Let It Be (Lennon, McCartney)

When I ______ (1) myself in times of trouble

Mother Mary ________(2) to me

Speaking _________(3) of wisdom, let it be.

And in my _______(4) of darkness

She ____(5) _________(6) right in front of me

_____________(7) words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be.

___________(8) words of wisdom, let it be

And when the broken hearted ___________(9)

_________(10) in the world agree,

There _______(11)be an answer, let it be.

For though they may be_________(12) there is

Still a chance that they will _______(13)

There will be an _________(14), let it be.

Let it be, let it be. Yeah

There will be an answer, let it be.

And when the night is ___________(15),

There is still a ________(16) that shines on me,

Shine on until ____________(17), let it be.

I wake up to the sound of __________(18)

Mother Mary comes to ________(19)

Speaking words of ___________(20), let it be.

Let it be, let it be.

There will be an answer, let it be.

Let it be, let it be,

Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Your score_________/20

----------------------- fold line -------------------------

will, wisdom, see, Whisper, hour, light, me, parted, speaking words,
tomorrow, answer, living, standing, comes, music, cloudy, people, is, find

Edutainment- there's 100 pages of material
that you can use to lighten your teaching load and brighten your classroom,
and more importantly, make your English teaching more effective. No preparation required, all materials ready to photocopy !

Following are some games and ideas, I have found " out there ". I like them, hope you do too ! These will be updated from time to time, so bookmark, *now* !!

L & R
Pronunciation Practice/Especially For Japanese Students

(1) Can you hear the difference between ( R ) or ( L ) ?
Please circle the word the teacher says.

A - B

1 right - light

2 read - lead

3 Paris - palace

4 crime - climb

5 grass - glass

6 arrive - alive

7 correct - collect

8 crowd - cloud

9 pray - play

10 red - led

11 free - flee

12 ride - lied

13 fry - fly

14 river - liver

0-6 Keep trying 7-8 OK, alright, not bad ! 11-13 Very good ! 14= Perfect !

(2) Identify the sentence your teacher reads.

A) 1. Don't touch the grass.

2. Don't touch the glass.

B) 1. I'll correct them.

2. I'll collect them.

Oral Charades

Write occupations and emotions on slips of paper: one each per student. Have students draw papers from a hat (or two) and have them describe the emotion and the job on the papers WITHOUT using those words.
The rest of the class must guess the emotion and the occupation,
e.g. "Happy Postman," "Frustrated Teacher."etc

I like to take my ESL "Newcomer" students (middle school) on "mini-field trips".

Yesterday we went on a tour of the school store. Before the trip we practiced saying,
"How much is ...?" and "How much are ...?" Then each student prepared a question for our tour guides, such as "Is the store school open during lunch?" and "How much are the Snickers?". In addition to asking questions, students did a sketch of something they saw during the mini-field trip. They will turn these sketches into postcards on large index cards. Eventually they will each create a photo album of their incredible mini-field trips.

Upcoming trips include, a local park, the cafeteria, the gym, the office, my car, a nearby store, a neighbor's garden, etc. Also, writing thank you letters to our tour guides is a good follow up activity.

Heres a warm-up exercise to wake up a first or second class meeting. Have the students line up by alphabetically order. DON'T help them. DON'T organize it.

Have the students ask each other their names and figure it out together (In English). Then you check it.

Write the names on the board. Round Two, line up by Last name, alphabetically. Then check.

Other variations. Line up by Birthday, Language, Distance from School, Size of family. Avoid obvious things like physical size, weight, hair color, etc...

Divide the class up into teams. Have one student on one team come up to the front of the class and give him/her a piece of paper with about 7 words on it centered around a theme.

For example, you could have 7 words that start with M, or several words that are parts of the body.

In two minutes (let the other teams watch the clock for you), the student with the paper must try to get one of the students on his/her team to say as many of the words on the list without using the word itself.

One point is scored for each word guessed.
The challenge here with a class full of students who all speak the same language is keeping them from giving hints in their native tongue. Usually, the other teams are vigilant about policing this for you, but when they are lazy, you'll have to lay down the law on your own.

I can't take credit for coming up with this idea, it came from a book called ESL Classroom Activities. They call it "Just a Minute".

Hi everyone! This is a simple first-day icebreaker that I've found works really well, with both small and large classes:

The students think of three sentences, two are facts and one is a lie.

One by one, students introduce themselves and say their three sentences. The rest of the class has to guess which one is a lie.

It's best for the teacher to go first, not only to provide an example, but also to let the students know that the teacher is interested in interacting with them.

Here is a variation on Hangman I have heard called WORD SHARK.

Instead of a man being hung, you can draw a man dangling from a cliff, with the ocean, complete with one ravenous shark, underneath him. When the first incorrect letter is guessed, the man begins his descent toward the shark, who, five or six wrong guesses later, will eat him.

Graphically, I find Word Shark to be more interesting than Hangman.

These days, I'm doing full sentences, not just single words. It is a good way for beginning classes to Preview grammatical models, one letter at a time, while still having fun. And, it gives the teacher an incentive to challenge the students, because it's fun to draw the stick figure being eaten by the shark.

I have started something new with my class. I have the students fill out a "Learning Log" at the end of each class to help them keep track of what they've learned throughout the month.

I think this is important for both teachers and students. If the student says he never learned omething in class, a quick look through the Learning Log might give different information.
Also, it s something concrete that the student can take home as " proof" to themselves that they have and are) improving their English. This is always good encouragement for them.

This idea is for overseas teachers. We all are familiar with the idea of taking ESL students on field trips in the USA. Why not ask your EFL students to take YOU on a field trip?

You can have the students work as a team or students can individually be responsible for a portion of the trip. his gives the students a chance to 'show off' their own town, and be the 'expert' on familiar territory. It also introduces you as the teacher, to places and facts in and about the town you are living in which you may never have otherwise looked at or realized.

I read a couple of ideas about tic tac toe and Bingo! Remember, bingo can be used for just about everything: colors, numbers, vocabulary, letters, verbs, occupations, etc.

Also, I play Wheel of Fortune with my elementary school kids that can read. A great way to review vocabulary and verb tenses that you are studying.

Also, if you can, buy a game of Scrabble (you remember that game you hated as a kid!) It's great.
We play it with our middle school kids and elem. 5 kids once a week. They love it and their vocabulary is always increasing. You can even make a list of all the words made and then either have the students write sentences with them, or look them up in a dictionary, what ever.

My advanced middle school kids are getting really good. They actually beat me last night!
By the way, it's best if you have the kids play in teams of 3 or 4 so that they can work together. Have fun!

I'm currently teaching EFL class at a bank using self-help books, and found it is very helpful and rewarding. The book I'm using is "Chicken Soup for the Soul" by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.

I believe that students pick up the language with feelings, not grammar. Sometimes, we share ideas and have a good laugh together after reading a humourous story.

Not only to learn language, but also to have a better understanding about life. It's easier to solicit shy students to talk.

Plant sunflower seeds in your classroom, using peat pots and plastic, store-bought, greenhouse containers. The kids, mine are 13 and 14, get quite excited and even chip in for the cost. When they get big enough they take them home and replant them in bigger pots and finally out doors. Next fall they bring in the heads and you remove seeds for roasting and eating. Great ideas for writing how to paragraphs.

Whenever you have an activity that students write, Do not correct it.

Type the written assignments out WITH the errors. Photocopy. Place students into groups, and give them the papers. As a group let them correct the errors themselves. They like the interaction, and seem more interested because it is their own actual work that is being corrected.

After this group activity is finished, as a class go over the possible correct answers together. This is a great activity to do once a week to get the students able to become their own editors.

An immense help to me as a language learner has been taking fun songs (whatever kind you like and is available: classics, drinking songs, pop songs, opera, show tunes, whatever) in the language I'm learning and transcribing the Lyrics so I know them.

Then I listen to those songs and sing along either aloud (assuming I'm not in a situation where there's anyone around to be disturbed by me crooning in Haitian; don't try this on the El) or silently following along and recalling the meaning of the lyrics.

This won't help much if you're trying to learn Innuit, but folks learning English are lucky, in that wherever they are on Earth, there's probably tons of English-language music of every kind for them to listen to.

Especially as lyric transcription is sometimes pretty hard, it's sometimes a worthwhile exercise to lead a class through the lyrics of a song.

Now, Madonna's CD's might not go over great with everyone, but I'm sure everyone in a class would at least put up with, say, Tony Bennett. "I've got music, I've got rhythm", anyone?


Want/Have/Need Tic-Tac-Toe

Time Required: About 30 minutes

Students' Level of English: Beginner Intermediate Advanced

Materials Needed: The attached handout


Practice using the words "want," "have," and "need"


Read through activity with students and explain that they are to fill in the answers to numbers 1 papers with a partner.

Ask partner A to guess partner B's answers by using the sentence patterns on the bottom of the handout. If they guess correctly, they get to mark "X" on the answer. If they guess incorrectly, they mark a "0" on the answer. The goal is to get a line of three "X".

When they are finished, then partner B tries to guess partner A's answers using the same sentence patterns.

Want/Have/Need Tic-Tac-Toe

Write your answers in any order in the boxes below:

Make sure that you only write nouns.

1. Something you want (*).

2. Something you have (*).

3. Something you need (*).

4. Something that you had(*), but don't have anymore.

5. Something you have (*), but don't have anymore.

6. Something you don't have (*) and don't want.

7. Something you have (*), but don't need.

8. Something you have (*), but seldom use.

9. Something you have (*) and often use.

Now exchange papers with your partner. Look at his/her sheet and guess what the objects are. Use the following:
e.g. Something you have(*), but seldom use.

You say: "I'll bet you have *a bicycle*, but seldom use it."

e.g. Something you have (*), but don't want anymore.

You say: "I'll bet you have *a toy doll*, but don't want it anymore."

If you guess correctly, put a big X in the square. If you guess wrong, put a big O in the square.
Try to get a line of three X's.


To get students to think about and practice adjective-noun combinations.


This game works well with all levels. Lower level students can make up simple sentences and higher level students more complex ones.
The Game

The purpose of this game is to give students the chance to practice adjective-noun combinations. Begin by giving them a male or female first name. They must then invent a sentence similar to the following:

Albert likes awful apes.

Betty likes baby boys.

Linda likes little limes.

Richard likes roaring racecars.

Wendy likes wiggling worms.

The game should move fast, so you should be prepared with a list of names to fire at your students.

You should go through the list ahead of time to make sure that you can think of matching adjective-noun combinations within the vocabulary range of your students.

It is sometimes helpful to have a large list of alphabetized adjectives xeroxed off and ready to hand out,

especially for lower level students.

Following are names for every letter of the alphabet to get you started:

Andy, Betty, Carmine, Daniel, Ed, Francis, Grover, Harry, Ingrid, John, Kris, Linda, Mark, Norman, Orville, Patty, Quentin, Rachel, Sam, Tom, Ursula, Victor, William, Xavier, Yolanda, Zelda.

THE PICNIC (For Intermediate to Advanced Level Students)

This is a simple game that requires students to generate vocabulary in English. The class is asked to imagine that they are going on a picnic. Their job is to suggest things to bring along. The teacher says yes or no to each suggestion. What the students do not know is that the teacher says yes when a student suggests something whose first letter is the same as the first letter of the name of the student. The teacher says no if the first letter of the suggested object and the first letter of the name of the student do not match. For example:

Alicia: I want to bring apples.

Teacher: You can bring apples, Alicia. Alicia can bring apples. What do you want to bring, Marco?

Marco: I want to bring a radio.

Teacher: Sorry, you cannot bring a radio.

If students need a hint after a while you can interject something like:

Maria: I want to bring bananas.

Teacher: Sorry, you cannot bring bananas. Why not ask Barbara to bring bananas?

Usually someone figures out the game. Knowing the secret forces them to narrow their suggestions to words beginning with the same letter as their name.

This activity is based on an activity by Annalisa Trapani.

Post-it note Game Preparation: On several Post-It notes, write in large letters a single word of recently learned vocabulary.

The activity is easiest with simple nouns, though more advanced students can play it with any vocabulary.

Method: Students are put into groups of 3 or 4; 1 student is the 'subject' and sits facing the others.

Place a Post-It note on the forehead of the subject who then 'becomes' that item of vocabulary but,

not being able to see the note, does not know what they are.

To find out they must ask the other students in the group who can answer with reasonably helpful replies.

The activity is best played with a class who know each other well.

The teacher should be responsible for distributing the items of vocabulary as sometimes discretion should be shown in assigning vocabulary to students.

It is a fun activity ideal for a few minutes at the end of a lesson.

This is for teaching Mr and Ms,He, She , likes, doesn't like and where do you live?...

It is best for early beginers usually 12 to 13 year old junior high school.

Students interview their classmates. Students have been taught to answer " I like .........." , " I don't like ........ " and "I live in .............."

It sounds a bit unnatural, but it practises the vocab they should know,( and they like it! ) Feel free to print out this worksheet.
Interview Game ( Part One )

Interview your classmates and fill in the blanks. (You may need to ask their name first! )

* = sport, animal, food, music

(Q) Excuse me Mr/Ms............................, what * you like? (A)........................

OK, what *......................... don't you like? (A)..............................I see, where do you live? (A)........................

Thank you.

(Q) Excuse me Mr/Ms............................, what *...................... do you like? (A)......................

OK, what * .........................don't you like? (A)..............................I see, where do you live? (A)........................

Thank you

(Q) Excuse me Mr/Ms............................, what * .................... do you like? (A)........................

OK, what *......................... don't you like? (A)..............................I see, where do you live? (A)........................

Thank you.


Boy/Boy 1 point, Girl/Girl 1 point, Boy/Girl 2 points, Girl/Boy2 points Student/ Teacher 3 points

Your Score........................./ 7

Part Two

Complete these sentences, then stand up and tell the class !

Mr/Ms............................likes..........................He/She doesn't like ................................and He/She lives in ......................................!

Mr/Ms............................likes..........................He/She doesn't like ................................and He/She lives in ......................................!

Clothing Race

Purpose: Practice the names of clothing items

Materials Needed: Two sets of clothing items, a judge for each team.

Students are divided into teams of 4 or 5 members. Two teams compete against each other at a time.

Each team lines up by a pile of clothes. When the teachers says "Go!" the first person in line, puts on a clothing item,

says what it is and then takes it off and hands it the next person. That person puts it on, says what it is and hands it the team member behind him.

While this is going on, the first person grabs another item, puts it on, says what it is and takes it off, handing it to the person behind her/him.

When the last person on the team has put on all the clothes, said what they are and put them back in a pile, that round is over.

The team who is faster, advances to the semi-finals or final round to compete against another team in the class (if the class has more than 2 teams).

The judges can be students who are on teams not currently participating or student helpers.

CH or SH ?

Time to drive some of your hispanic students crazy. Follow the procedures above.

1.chair --- share --- sheep

3.cheat --- sheet

4.cheered --- sheered

5.shin --- chin

6.chines --- shines

7.chirt --- shirt

8.chip --- ship

9.shuck --- chuck

Here are some sentence sets with the same vocabulary. Some of them test the bounds of metaphor.;-)

Follow the same procedure as above:

1.I like to chair at a meeting. --- I like to share at a meeting.

2.He thought the cheese was cheap. --- He thought the cheese was sheep.

3.The cheat failed the strength test. --- The sheet failed the strength test.

4.The crowded cheered when she began walking. --- The crowded sheered when she began walking.

5.I hurt my shin. --- I hurt my chin.

6.We are finished when the bell chines. --- We are finished when the bell shines.

7.The geologist brought a chirt. --- The geologist brought a shirt.

8.The engineers made a better chip. --- The engineers made a better ship.

9.Shuck some of the new corn. --- Chuck some of the new corn.

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If you would like me to e-mail you another set of similar lesson ideas, (with another "plug" for the book of course ;-))
Just click below and include the level you teach.

Ian Hewitt