Elementary

English games and activities for ALTs teaching elementary classes.

The parachute game is a fun and less morbid interpretation of hangman. The mechanics of the game are very similar to hangman - students have a set number of guesses to get the answer but there are a few different ways you can play the parachute game in an elementary class.

Fruit basket is a wonderful game for reviewing vocabulary in elementary school English lessons. Wonderful because the students know the rules and wonderful because they love to play it (obviously not the older ones). With one less chair, the game revolves around changing where you sit while trying not to be the last one left without a seat.

The fly swatter game is kids whacking the blackboard with (clean, I hope) fly swats. Every teacher knows this game and students love it. Good for reviewing vocab and just having a good time.

Karuta is a Japanese game similar to snap. It's a fun way to test listening recognition for vocabulary sets and students love this game. The bonus is that every Japanese student knows karuta so you barely have to explain the rules.

The bomb game is good for drilling vocab or basic conversation phrases. Students must say the target word/phrase before passing the "bomb". Everyone gets very excited playing this game but watch out because tensions can get high.

This is a great way for students to practice their fluency using numbers. It's the type of game that once students learn how to play it, you just have to say "Let's play number shiritori!" and students can get started by themselves.

Who am I isn't really an activity more than it's a way to cap off a talking activity where students have been sharing information about themselves. Students need to recall what others have told them and they really have a lot of fun recognizing their classmates' from the information you give. Who am I?

Students walk around drawing things for their friends. First they ask what their talking partner wants, then beat the clock drawing it for them. Lot's of fun and simulates real use of the language.

Guess the number is a fun game, useful for practicing numbers one to one hundred. The good thing about this game is it gets the kids to think of the numbers they want to say in English.

The freeze game is a fun way to get the younger, energetic (or rowdy) classes to expend some energy while drilling new vocabulary. Chanting English with a lot of movement and "Freeze!" thrown in to challenge students.

The relay gesture game is a combination of running and gesturing as a group. It is a fun game to competitively practice any vocabulary or phrases that can be gestured.

Perfect for the turn left, go straight (directions) English lesson, the maze game is a popular activity. Arrange the desks and have students directing other students through the maze to find their goal.

Find your partner is one of the most basic games for English lessons around and so simple that you can adapt it to fit pretty much any lesson's target phrase/language or vocabulary set.

In human bingo, each student is assigned a number, animal, etc and becomes a square in a bingo game. When all students in a group have been "crossed out", that team wins. You can use this game to practice various vocabulary sets, such as numbers, colors, animals, fruit, etc.

The gesture game seems to have fallen out of fashion around my neck of the woods but I think it can still serve a purpose. The gesture game activity is simple and requires no extra preparation so can be used as planned or on the fly when you need to fill in an extra 5 or 10 minutes.