The following games can be adapted to help students practice and review a wide variety of cultural concepts, grammatical structures, language functions, and vocabulary.

General Games

  • Battlegraph Game - Template by Sarah Grabowski
  • Battleship
  • Battleship Verb Review-- pumer30 pumer30
  • Bingo Card Generator
  • Bluffarama - By Margaret Cottrill
  • Bubblewrap - Could be used to keep score for games--class v. teacher, right answers = pop a bubble, wrong answers = start w/ a new sheet? (Site shared by Isabelle Jones on Diigo) - chericem1 chericem1
  • CarQuest - Each student has a car. In order to advance, they must answer the questions on the Post-it Notes in their path. The circular pieces can be used as "gas stations," "rest stops," or "road blocks." Students must "fill up" at least once, rest a turn if they land on a "rest stop," or take a detour if they run into a roadblock. You can also tell them that they must wait until a teammate has passed them in order to continue to move when they reach a roadblock. - chericem1 chericem1

  • Chuck the Chicken -

    Hey everyone,
    I know that you are all done by now but I thought I would share this game with you for further reference. I don't know that I have ever laughed so hard with my kids and probably 90% of them named it as their favorite activity. It is called Chuck the Chicken or to make it appropriate for Spanish class: El Pollo Loco.
    1-you need a rubber chicken (can't you tell this is going to be an excellent game?)
    2-take the kids outside
    3-divide them into two teams
    4-one team is circled around the teacher. They have a task that the students have to complete. This can be singing a song in Spanish, passing off vocab words, making sentences, playing charades, etc. While they are completing their task one member of their group is running around them in circles (I have found it effective to have the really smart, know everything, kids be the runners. That way they feels like they are participating, yet the other kids are learning Spanish and not just relying on their answers.) Once they have completed the task they yell "El pollo loco"
    5-During this time the other group has been in a single file line passing the chicken over their heads and under their legs. Once the front person passes the chicken they run to the back of the line. This time is mainly used for them to catch their breath. You could give them a task like having them count off or name countries, or list clothing articles as the chicken passes by. They continue with the over-under routine until the other team yells "El pollo loco" then they chuck the chicken wherever they want and run to the teacher.
    6-the group that was with the teacher runs to find the chicken and form a line.
    7-it continues in this manner.
    I didn't have any sort of point system or a winner/loser technique. When they asked what the point was I said, "to learn verbs" or "to run around and be tired" or "to chuck the chicken" or "it's a surprise". The chicken chuckers got creative by hiding the chicken, or pretedning to chuck it one way and really running with it in the other direction, etc. Sometimes I would hide or run away so that the team that was running to me had to find me or run in circles or whatever.
    I hope this is clear and helpful. I wish I could have shared this sooner. Have fun!
  • Concentration
  • Creative Crossword
  • Dice
  • Dominoes
  • Family Feud - Divide students into teams. Teams take turns answering questions. "Top 5 answers are on the board." Students gain points for guessing what those answers are. Good for cultural trivia.
  • Fly Swatters - Divide students into pairs, give each pair a set of flashcards to spread between them, and give each student a flyswatter. Teacher asks a question, describes an object, or show a picture, students swat the appropriate word. Can also be played as a whole class (easier to prep, but less simultaneous student engagement):

  • Pop the Balloon - Put questions into balloons. Students take turns popping the balloons to answer the questions.
  • Popsicle Sticks - Put a question or the first half of a sentence on the top of a tongue depressor or popsicle stick and the second half on another. Mix up the sticks, have students take turns reading them aloud, and then see if they can match them up
  • Printable Games & Game Parts
  • Prompt - Commercially-available game
  • Puzzles - Discovery School's Puzzlemaker allows you to create a wide variety of word puzzles online and print them for classroom use
  • Rey de la fila - Form groups by rows. Teacher shows a picture. Students write the correct word or phrase in Spanish. Teacher projects correct answer in Spanish. Students who got it correct move forward one space. Students who got it incorrect move backwards.
  • Round Robin Dice Game
1) Give each student a worksheet.
2) Ask them to form groups of 4-6 people.
3) Give each group only ONE pen and 2 dice.
4) Students take turns rolling the dice--passing them from one student to the next as quickly as they can.
5) When a student rolls two 6s, the student takes control of the pen and works on the worksheet as fast as s/he can.
6) The other students continue to pass the dice (skipping the student who is writing) until someone new rolls double 6s and assumes control of the pen.
7) The game continues in this way until the teacher calls time.
8) The goal of the game is to be the student who completes the most conjugations (or whatever is on the worksheet) in the allotted time.
  • (Idea by Amy Kutsulis & Todd Lagerberg)
  • Ring Toss - Put lollipops into pegboard (or just stab them into the bottom of a sturdy cardboard box. Put a sticker with a number on top of each lollipop. Give students canning lid jars to try to toss around the lollipops. Whatever # they ring is the question they must answer in order to eat the lollipop.
  • Scattergories - Give students a letter of the alphabet and 30 seconds to list as many vocabulary words in the target language as they can think of that begin with that letter. At the end of each round, students gain/lose points for every answer they have that someone else has.
  • Sodoku - cartierm cartierm
  • Snake
  • Spaz-So this is a card game that could be used with advanced language learners. Groups of 3-4 work best. The students compete to say a word that begins with the same letter as the card (so, a four would be anything that starts with F) BUT they can not use ANY numbers. (This sounds very easy but under pressure it is difficult, even in your native language) Whichever student says a word that works, wins that card. The deck is controlled by the winner of each round (playing each group member in a circle) until a new winner is declared. Then, the deck moves on to the winner. Students end up shouting words (and sometimes the numbers on the card!) very enthusiastically. You CANT repeat words, and the objective is to get through the entire pile and whoever has the most cards when the deck is finished is the winner. This game may need adaptations or changes based on the language that you are working with. I have only tried this with English, and with very advanced students because they need such a wide range of vocabulary to play. But its really fun and the kids start expanding their vocabulary, and remember it for the next round.- cartierm cartierm
  • Speed Scrabble
  • Spinner
  • Spoons
  • Sports Games (Baseball, Football, Trashketball)
  • Taboo - Give a student a stack of words. The student describes a word from the stack. Their team tries to guess the word being described. The student describes as many words as they can within a specified period of time. You can make the game harder by giving the student several words they CANNOT use in the description.
  • Telephone
  • Ten Ways to Turn Lessons Into Games
  • ¡Toca la Boca!
  • Tools for Educators - Great site with links to all sorts of printable board games, dice (you select the topic, such as adjectives, and it will add the images), dominoes, word searches, etc. - chericem1 chericem1
  • $20,000 Pyramid
  • Vocabulary Games
  • Weakest Link - Template by Mark Damon
  • Who Wants to Be A Millionaire - Template by Mark Damon
  • Who Wants to Be A Millionare - PowerPoint Template in French by Helen Blow

Review Games by Topic

Speaking Games

Tito Torro is a bull that I use in my class and I have them come up with some questions they want to ask him. I usually start off asking a question and then toss it to another student. The student then answers for Tito and asks him the next question, then passes him on. This can be used for different grammar tenses, or different vocab. This takes the pressure off the students to tell what their real answer would be. This also becomes fun having a fun character in our classroom. - gerouxje gerouxje

Vocabulary Games

Alphabet Game
For this game you write the alphabet up on the board and decide on a category like nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc. Split the students up into three or four groups. During the groups turn they can choose a letter and they have to think of a word that starts with the letter they chose and fits into the category immediately (Ex. If the category is nouns they could choose "d" and say dog). If they say something that doesn't work or they take too long then they lose their turn. If they get it right then you cross off that letter and right their group name or number above their letter. The group with the most letters wins! ~ Taken from Dave's ESL cafe - lucasme lucasme

Drawing Vocab Review: This isn't so much a game (although it could be easily transformed into one), and it's a great review for reviewing vocab without any English! All you need is whiteboards, markers, and erasers! The teacher stands at the front of the room with their own whiteboard, and says a vocab word out loud. Then, the whole class draws what they think a representation of the word is. For instance, if the word is "acampar" (to camp), then they'll draw a tent, or a fire, or something that represents camping. The teacher draws a picture of the word, too. Everyone holds their pictures up to see if they match the teacher's. It's really simple, but the kids loved it! It also works backwards: the teacher draws a picture, and the kids have to write the corresponding vocabulary word.
My mentor said he had done this with pens and paper before, but it was much more successful with the whiteboards. I don't know what it is, but kids seem to pay attention more with them! - armst136 armst136

Hangman: When introducing new vocabulary I like to split the class into two teams (or for a small class we do it all together) and play hangman. I write a simple definition of the word and the number of spaces. The students guess letters based on what they think the word might be. It also forces them to look at and read the definition multiple times. Obviously this works best with just a couple of new words. - lucasme lucasme

Real Life Guess Who!: If you've ever played Guess Who, then you can apply it to your classroom. This is a good game to play when learning words to describe how people look (glasses, eye, hair color, bald, etc.) Students are the pieces in this game and must all stand up. Split class into two teams. Each team picks a name of someone on the other team (have all students' names on pieces of paper). The team who has the turn can ask one question at a time and it must be a yes or no question: does the person have blond hair? The students are to be listening to what the other team asks, so they know when to sit down if the answer is no or yes. Eventually one person will be standing and the opposite team can guess who! - pumer30 pumer30
¡Toca la Boca!

"Writing" Games

Board Races - This is a simple writing game that I modified slightly to help keep things under control! For Board races, divide students into 2 [or more] equal teams. I give each student a notecard, and tell them that they have 6 minutes to write down notes. The notes can be vocabulary, grammar notes... anything that would be useful for the current unit. Teams should divide & conquer - that is, decide WHO will write WHAT on their card. Once the 6 minutes are up, we begin the races. I sit on a desk in the back of the room, with the teams sitting in clumps to my right and left. For each "race", I say a sentence in English for them to translate and start a timer for 10 seconds. NO ONE may move until the 10 seconds are up, but students should confer with their teammates regarding the answer. Once the 10 second bell sounds, ONE student from each team may run [from a predetermined starting point] up to the chalkboard and write the answer on the board. Students can advise their scribe as they are writing, but they run the risk of the other team hearing their advice! Whichever team has the correct answer on their side of the board first wins a point! - knappla1 knappla1

Spy Game - This is REALLY easy to do in class, but my kids loved it. We used it with clothing items. One person does a charade of going into a store, trying on a clothing item, deciding whether or not they like it, then either buying/leaving/STEALING it! (Teacher models the charade first time, then students can volunteer to pantomime later). All other students are sitting in groups of 4. As a team, they observe the pantomiming student, and must take notes on what they did. They did so on class whiteboards, then held up their answers. When we played, students had a sequence of 4 things to report about. This sort of game could be used with a bunch of different sentence practice, but the "spy" framing made kids sit up & pay attention. Teams raced to write down correct sentences the fastest, and the winners got a point. (The best spy team won candy too.) ps: Let me know if you need any clarification! - knappla1 knappla1

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