Active Games to spice up your class

Why is it important to teach with active games?

It is a way to keep the students engaged and avoid boredom by changing the pace of the lesson. As the students are physically active, it can also help them reduce anxiety or shyness and help build their fluency. 

Here are 7 of the active game I  like to use in my classroom .

1-Find Someone Who…

Purpose : practice question forming , getting to know each other.
The teacher prepares a chart with : « Find someone who… » using the vocabulary you want to practice
The students prepare the questions to ask.
They go around the class and Interview their classmates.
They write the answers in each box.

2- Board Race

Purpose : An active way of reviewing a grammar structure or verb tense.
2 teams stand in 2 lines.
The teacher writes the target language on the board
Example: adjectives that have to be put in a comparative form.

Students one by one should write the correct word as fast as possible

Example :               

1 2
long longer
difficult more difficult

3-Speaking Race

Purpose : an active and competitive way of practicing speaking skills.

2 teams standing in 2 lines.

The teacher has cards to use with the target language.

Each student in each team should make a correct sentence with the word on the card using the target language.

  • Example : target language : just + Present perfect
  • Card1 : ‘see’
  •  The student says : ‘I have just seen a dog/ a ghost…’

One point is given to the team whose student could utter a correct sentence the fastest.

4- Charade

Purpose : An active way of practicing a target language
In teams or individually
Teacher has cards using the target language.

One student picks a card and makes her team or class guess what it is by miming the action on the card.

  • Example of target language : present continuous.
  •  Card1 : « you are washing a blue cat »

5- Mingle

Purpose : An active way of practicing a target language

The students are in 2 lines facing each other

Each student gets a card and ask a question with the target language. Their counterpart answers with the target language.

After that they mingle to make new pairs and exchange their cards and do it again.

  • Example :  Target language : present perfect in questions . 
  • Answer : Yes I have/ No I have never xxxx 
  • Card1 : « drive a car »
  • Student 1 says :Have you ever driven a car?
  • Students 2 says : Yes I have / or No I have never driven a car.
6- Tap the Word

Purpose : An active way of reviewing vocabulary.
2 to 4 teams.
The teacher calls on a student to write on the board 3 words that have been learnt . She does so with other students so as to get 20 words on the board.
Then the teachers calls on 1 student per team to come to the board.
The teacher gives a definition and the students have to tap the correct word as fast as they can.

7- Chinese Whisper

Purpose : an active listening, review of structured sentence
2 teams
They stand in 2 separate lines

The teacher says a sentence to the two first students of each team.

Each student passes on the sentence to the next student, whispering.

The last student writes the sentence on the board.
The team whose sentence is the closest to the initial sentence wins.


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