ESL Games :A Collection of Games For ESL Classes. | Nikolas John Cakebread | Skillshare

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ESL Games :A Collection of Games For ESL Classes.

teacher avatar Nikolas John Cakebread, Experience is the teacher of all things

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Games Games Games Intro

    • 2. Under The Table.

    • 3. Around The Chairs.

    • 4. Elimination Game.

    • 5. Find the Colours.

    • 6. Flappy Fish.

    • 7. ABC Song!

    • 8. Greetings Activities.

    • 9. Last to Touch.

    • 10. Passing Pairs.

    • 11. Paper Skiing.

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About This Class

In this course, I will showcase a collection of games from some of my ESL classes.

As well as this, I will provide variations and suggestions on how to tweak and alter each of these games to make even more games. More bang for your buck so to speak. If you have been through my other courses here on skillshare, you will now be aware of the 'Variation methods' that I suggest for teachers when creating games for classes. Using these simple techniques you can easily create 20+ games from the 10 I have provided here! And I will suggest even more as the videos are playing so stick with them to the end!

Finally, I will provide some games lists and PPT games/Handouts for you to make use of. All in all, there are easily 50+ games in this course. This is a great package, make sure to take advantage of it!


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Nikolas John Cakebread

Experience is the teacher of all things


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1. Games Games Games Intro: Hi there guys. Well done on making it this far. Welcome to games, games, games. Now the first thing I want to say is we're going to focus a lot on the games that work best for me. I will explain the methods and the rules and go through each of these games. Tried to categorize some aluminum to reading, writing, listening, and speaking games. However, you have to bear in mind that this is a subjective view and there can be arguments made for each of these categories. The main thing I want to do here is give you an idea of how to expand each game with minor tweaks. Variation is key, is the key to the game success, and it's the key to the games longevity and usefulness in your classroom. Every game I give you our suggests at least two or three ways you can tweak it. So that seems like a new game, but it's actually just the same game with a slight over. Students will not notice this. And as you go through your teaching career, you will realize how valuable the skill actually is. When you end up playing ten to 15 games every single week with multiple classes, you see it becomes a chore and it actually becomes unsustainable. It becomes harder and harder to remember what games you played with previous classes weeks ago. And it becomes harder and harder to think of new, interesting and unique games. Weekend, week out. This is y variations on the Sing games that you've used before is a key skill. Finally, one thing I see all the time as teachers overthinking games and trying to make these complicated and detailed gains for their classes. Now don't get me wrong. That's absolutely fine. If you want to do that, especially for a new or Random class and for time to time is absolutely appropriate. But for a consistent and regular classes, you need to think simple thing, age appropriate, and you need to think variations. Okay, let's get to it. 2. Under The Table.: Okay guys, welcome to the games. The first one is called under the table race. This one is one of the first games I'll use with any of my new younger classes. It's a perfect warm up game and as a good way to review previously learned vocabulary, especially easy greeting sentences like watch your name, How old are you? How do you feel today? It's easy to explain and it's fun for the kids. Make sure that you act excited and they will be to. The reason I start with this game is, is so easy to execute and it is great for classes are unsure of what they're doing. They don't need to think. Everybody knows how to raise, everybody knows how to try and beat someone else, is exciting, is engaging, and it's fun. Okay, so let's take a look at the method. The rules are very simple. One, we set up two tables. Two, we pick two children to stand facing with tables. Three, we drill a vocabulary or sentence with the children. That is obviously the most important part. For we shall go and the students must run, crawl under the table and raced back to their seats than five, reward with stars or high files. As you can see in the video, I am concentrating on the students. I'm encouraging them, I'm getting them to speak the sentences. I'm correct in pronounciation. I'm making them speak loudly and clearly. I have a TA on the other side who is giving out stars and doling out the rewards, which is positive reinforcement. It's easier obviously to have two people in the classroom, one to do the rewards and stars, and one to focus on the students. If you do not have that, then you will need to develop your own technique or system so that you can give them positive reinforcement and they can see actual rewards on the board to help motivate and encourage them. Some obvious variations that spring to mind for this particular game are making a relay race, have them run under than give the next kid a high-five and so on until the whole team has finished. You can also add extra tables. Have three kids for kids, even five kids. Oh, you can add tables onto the tables to make it a longer underneath part, or you can get into through and 2s, maybe threes. But obviously, this is class dependent. You need to decide what works with your particular children. 3. Around The Chairs.: Hey guys, welcome to gain number two, around the chair race. This is a great quick fire and easy to do gain for any young level students. I use it mainly for breaking up greetings and encouraging attention when practicing student-student interactions. Again, I cannot emphasize enough. These games are great for young learners who are in the classroom for the first time. They are unassuming and they are simple. Moreover, like I've been talking about, these games are easily tweaked to make harder and more interesting as the class's progress. But to start with, we start with the basic format. The rules are, of course, very simple. One, students that up to the answer and speak the relevant sentence or vocabulary. Three, teacher shelves go for. Students, race around the chairs. Five, the first to sit back down wins. At this point, you want to positively reinforce what happened to give them high fives. Make sure you're happy and excited, give them some stars, and you can even reinforced the sentences or vocabulary as you see fit. This game is quick and it's used as a reward system and motivation for speaking loudly and clearly in the classroom. If you build these types of quick pace activities into your lessons, then the students will be much more eager and willing to participate with enthusiasm. They will understand that when they speak well, they can play the game. Some basic things to remember. One, always reward and encourage. Don't have winners and losers as this constraints the younger learners out always reward participation was stars, high fives. Encouragement to the focus is the language, not the actual activity. Always make sure they're speaking. They are drilling there, repeating the language that you want them to learn. Three, be excited and happy. If you look or some port, they will be two. And the same goes if you look at sound happy and excited, they will be 24. Bury your methods, find out what works for your class, maybe jumping or groups by know the variations that make the game exciting for your class. What more can I say about this particular game that haven't already said? The point I want to make is that these games can be as simple as anything. The most simple games you can think of can be the most fun and productive games within the class, especially for young learners. We're just happy and excited the out of their chair and doing something fun. This game as an icebreaker game, it's for those new classes are unsure about the teacher, they're unsure about the classroom. Everybody knows or races, everybody knows how to run. And everybody can pick up the basic concept of log around the chair and sit back down from there. You can build on this. You can build the variation is to be harder and more intricate as you go along. Have them pick up bean bags and the way around the chair, have them zigzag around two or three chairs, have three or four students WHO have them go around a bunch of chairs and do a jump or some star jumps at the end. Wherever you decide, there are hundreds of variations in tweaks that you can make this game exciting for every single class that you use it. 4. Elimination Game.: Hey guys, welcome to game number three, days of the week, elimination game. This is a good review game for drilling days of the week, but it can also be used for months of the year, numbers or alphabet or similar. I like to write the words on the board and help remind the students. I also assigned TPR actions to each and every word. So the first part of this game is very simple. We stand in a line. The first student says Monday, Tuesday, and so on. If the say wrong or if they're too slow down, if Sunday lands on a student, then they sit down. And the last standing students is the winner. Solar. Light fast. First. This is another one of those games that even the slightest tweaks and variations can make it seem like a whole new game. I could use this type of game for a whole class, and it would never be the same game. For example, I could use a ball, get them in a circle and chanting the words as they go around in a circle with the ball and eliminate the person who says Sunday. Or I could assign elimination works such as Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday are the elimination words or you can make it numbers, fruits, colors, transportation wherever you decide. You can also use sounds like Phonics or actions and adjectives and verbs. And you can get into say, after every second word. This is just the simple version that I'm using here, but there are multiple ways to do this. You can do it individuals, groups, or 2233 for teams wherever you decide. The method of this particular game is very simple. The kids standard align, the fortunes is Monday, the next is choose the, and so on. If someone says it wrong or if they're too slow, they sit down. And if someone says Sunday at the end, they also sit down. And you can adapt throughout the weeks. You can start off nice and easy, give the kids heads, don't be too strict. There'll be two unfair. And as the weeks go on and they should know the vocabulary better and better, you can become harsher and more strict and becomes more competitive. 5. Find the Colours.: Hey guys, welcome to gain number four. Find the colors. This is a great game for colors Review and the addition of sentences. I use it for sentences like, what color is it and what color do you like? Little to no preparation is needed for this game. Just a room, some colors. I'm a lively atmosphere. The rules here are really simple. One, drill the sense sees or the vocabulary. To stand up. Three, teacher says, Go and the students must find the color in the room and touch it. Then you can drill the sentence vocabulary again and then repeat. This is a great game for young learners, and there are many different variations that you can use here. If you think about it, you could use it as a group or you can use it as individuals. You could have a race for 11 or 22 and gave up points individually or for the groups as well. You could have it so they can only find the colors on the walls, are only find the colors in their books are only find the colors on the floor. Whoever you decide. And what I like to do is I like to introduce this game early, as it's a nice, easy to understand gain from everybody in the class. Then as the class develops, I like to make it a little harder, little bit more difficult. I will have one student out and the class can use student-student interaction to ask that student questions like, what color do you like? And that students can say, I like green. And then all the students must run and find green. And then someone will swap with that student and asked the same question, what color do you like? I like pink. Everyone wants to find pink. 6. Flappy Fish.: Hey guys, welcome to gain five floppy fish. This is one of the first games I learned for ESL and one of the first games I used on a regular basis is a classic ESL game and it's perfect for most types of sentences or vocabulary review situations. It's easy to prepare and a suitable for older or younger learners. Trust me, all age groups loved this game. As you can see from the video, the objective of the game is very simple. You blow the fish and the first across the finishing line wins. The rules are also very simple. Two or more shoes come out. Say the words, say the sentences. Teacher says, go, they blow the fish across the finish line, and whoever wins gets a high-five or some stickers or some points for their team. There are many variations for this. You can even change the animal. It doesn't have to be a fish. It can be an airplane or it can be a worm or a snail. Wherever you choose to draw, you could even get the children to draw for you. They will love that. You can get them in pairs Lee below it once and then the other person has to blow it the second time. Or you can get them in groups and do as a relay race as well. There are many options for this game where you've got dropped. Whereas your dad was quite a shock. Okay, baby is so just go. 7. ABC Song!: Game number six, the ABC song. While this is such a classic song for younger learners, make sure that you introduce the alphabet letters and even include TPR actions to help with memory. This is such a classic song, you do a few times and the kids will be so used to, they will love it and they will be waiting to do at each lesson is a good warm-up, but is also a good brain break in the middle of class if you feel the kids are getting a little lethargic, little tired. After a few times, you can start speeding up, getting faster and faster. They will absolutely love it and make sure you're using your TPR actions as well. As far as variations goal, you can start handing out cards amongst the students when the letter is Sunday holder cardo and show out the name. Or you can get into shout it out individually and try it that way. You can even use the song with numbers. There's no limit to your imagination here. 8. Greetings Activities.: Gain number seven, greetings activity. This is one of the many ways I start my classes. I always like to use basic greetings in the beginning. And I've been trying to find as many different ways to encourage student-student interaction as possible. This is one of the methods I've used recently and it has been surprisingly affected. How? There are three easy questions. One k comes out, sits on the chair, and the rest of the group asks the questions. Now, obviously, you start off as the group encouraged them what to say. And it can lead to individual children standing up and asking that individual child the question. But you start off with the group to make it easy. Now, from the outset, this can seem a little dull, and obviously you have to push the children to do what you want them to do. And you have to encourage with positive reinforcement. And you have to seem like you're enjoying it to make sure that they enjoy it. Although it could be quite hard to keep them focused and motivated for this, as long as you're giving a positive reinforcement in the form of stickers and high fives. I assure you all your children will want to participate in this. As it goes along, you can start introducing more fun aspects such as playing paper scissors stone, or maybe throwing a sticky ball target wherever you want to do to keep them engaged. But just remember, the student, student aspect of this is vitally important to their language development on the road. It's these beginning stages where they are learning to ask and answer questions that will help them in their English journey. 9. Last to Touch.: Gain number eight, last to touch. This is a good game for reviewing body parts vocabulary. Also a really good game for using with actions, verbs, easy and effective to do as a warm-up or a brain break activity. The rules for this game are very simple. Everyone must copy or listen to the teacher. The last to respond is out. You can keep doing this until all but one students are eliminated and then give that student points for their team or stickers, or just a high-five. As the students get used to this, and as they get better and better, these types of games, whether using actions or just commands, you can make it harder and harder for them, variations would be things like have a student as the teacher and they must follow the student. Or you can just say, rather than doing the action and the students have to follow that. Or maybe you could even do as I do not as I say, type of game where you do something different than the actual action and they have to listen rather than copying. As well as this, another simple variation would be teacher says, instead of Simon says, Mm-hm. 10. Passing Pairs.: Game number nine, passing pairs. This is one of these games that develop through my own variations of a simple gain. It started as a timed game for one student where they would run and put the balls on the chair and I would see how long it took. Then I started adding teams, then I started adding pairs, and then I started adding more competitive aspects. As you can see, this is a fun, exciting game for younger learners. All you need are some balls and some chairs is a good game for reviewing and making drilling vocabulary or senses is more interesting. This particular variation of the gain, but you can see in the video is very simple to pairs of students come out and you drill the words and sentences, then the teacher will show go and the first student will want pick up a ball, pass it to the next June. We will run and put it on the chair and so on. We keep going until all the balls are gone. And then at the end, you add up the balls and each chair and see who won. Now, this game is already a variation of a simple game. So there are many different ways of playing it. Just remember, the objective is for the students to be motivated to produce English sentences and vocabulary. The game is secondary to that. Make sure they are encouraged to speak before and after the activity so that it is effective. This game is useful for many types of sentences. You can be using colors or counting at the end, you can get them to count their balls together. Or you can say how many blue balls are there, how many red balls are there? And individually asked the students who participated for this particular game, I would like you to think of as many variations as you can. Have a think about how you would change it for your class, depending on your class style, with class size, and depending on the age group that you're teaching, it can be done many different ways. You can have it timed once you see how many balls they can do in a certain amount of time. Or two students, three students and do the same thing. Or you could have in groups or teams, you decide what works for your class. 11. Paper Skiing.: Game number ten, papers, skis. This is a classroom favorite and it's so easy to set up and it works really well with most vocabulary and most sentences. There are many different variations as well. So let's take a look. Me, How do you go to school? How do you go to school? I go. How do you go to school? I go to school. Go go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go go. The rules for this game are as follows. One, students have a piece of paper for each food. These are the skis to students must repeat the vocabulary or the sentence structure. Three students raised to the chair for the first sit down wins, and five, students must not touch the floor. This game works best on smooth floors, and obviously, it works better if you have a bit of space to play the game. As you can see, this is a log file and the students loved this game. Variations include, you can have multiple students or just one and tying them how long they can get to the other side. You can have many different chairs are just a few or just one. You can extend the course to go around the room or around the table and back to their original position. You can have teams passed the skis to the next person and make a really, you can even have each ski with a word or a picture on it, so the players must see each word at the end of the game.