ESL for Primary School/Activities

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For Younger Students[edit]

Learning the alphabet[edit]

Write a capital letter on the blackboard then get a student volunteer to write its equivalent in a small letter. For example, if you write “D” on the board, the student should write “d”.

Learning numbers[edit]

Call out a number like “nine” and get a student volunteer to write the number (9) on the board.

Comprehension and execution[edit]

Grade ones should know some basic vocabs like “apple”, “banana”, and “pencil”, numbers up to 10, as well as simple adjectives like colour, “big”, “small”, “soft”, “hard” and “long”, “short”. After handing out each student some paper, get them to draw what you describe. For example, “Three big oranges”.

“I see…”[edit]

This is similar to the game “I see with my little eye…”. However, since the whole sentence is too long for young children to comprehend, just say “I see” followed by “something (color/size/texture)”. For example, “I see something big and red”. Students should be able to point out/guess what object you’re talking about.

“Bring me…”[edit]

This is a variation on the “I see” game. Instead of merely pointing out what you’re describing, allow students to bring you the object you’re talking about. For example, “Bring me something soft.” This means there can be more than one object.

Nose, nose, nose[edit]

This game involves learning the names of body parts. For examaple, mouth, nose, eyes, ears, head, hands. Start the game by tapping your nose as you say, “Nose, nose, nose…”. The students should follow and tap their nose likewise as they say, “nose, nose, nose” along with you. Then say a body part, for example, “mouth” but point at a different part, like your head. The students should recognise the word “mouth” and should point to their mouth even if you are not. Students who can’t are eliminated and must sit down. Repeat.

Chinese whispers[edit]

Get students to line up in two lines then whisper a different sentence or a word to the two students at the front of the line. They relay the whisper and the last student in the line comes forward then either act out the sentence (for example, “I can sing”) or pick out a picture card of that word. The first team to correctly relay the sentence and act out the sentence/pick out the card, wins.

Colors[edit]

Call out a color and get the students to lift up/show me something of that color.

Weather[edit]

Get a volunteer to come forward then whisper a weather, eg. it’s raining, and get the volunteer to draw it. Ask another student to say how the weather is according to the picture.

Drawing[edit]

Describe something simple and get students to draw what you describe. Eg. Five small apples.