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.

Basic Info

Time: 5 - 10 minutes
Level: Elementary grade 1 - 4
Works with: Vocabulary sets
Class size: Any size

You will need:

  • Lots of energy
  • Flashcards (or the students should already know the words you are using)
  • A clear area (ie. move desks to the back of the room)


  1. Introduce the new vocab
  2. Introduce an action or gesture for the new vocabulary. (Ask for actions or gestures from the students to increase involvement.)
  3. Get the students to do the action and say the words with you.


  1. Set a "FREEZE" word from the vocabulary set. This is the word that makes everyone freeze. (This game is a very similar concept to the keyword game.)
  2. Call out each word and the students repeat, doing the action at the same time.
  3. When you call out the "FREEZE" word, the students freeze, making no sound and not moving.
  4. If a student moves or makes a noise, they are out and should stand with you and help you spot other students who don't freeze.


  • Make students repeat each word twice (so they have ample time to do the action/gesture).
  • If you are doing a vocab set that doesn't easily have gestures, students should just march around the class, swinging their arms and lifting their knees up high. Alternatively, make up gestures with the students suggestions.
  • If you are teaching with the class teacher, try alternate each round with them, so the students get to hear their teacher speaking English too.
  • This English lesson activity works really well with action words - ie. Stand up, sit down, turn around, etc


  • Instead of setting a "FREEZE" word, just use the word freeze. - If you are teaching with the class teacher, you can call out the vocab words to have the students repeat after you and get the class teacher to call out "FREEZE!" at any point.
  • Any student that moves is out. You can make it that students stay out or are just out for one or two rounds.




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