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.

Basic Info

Time: 5 - 10 minutes
Level: Elementary grade 3 - 6
Works with: Vocabulary sets
Class size: Small to large

You will need:

  • Nothing

Lesson Description

  1. Excitedly tell the class "Let's play the gesture game!". Encourage an excited response, such as a cheer of "Yay!" by leading the cheer. (This is up to you, if it fits the class and your style.)
  2. Ask for a volunteer or select a student to come to the front of the class as the student to gesture.
  3. Show that student a flashcard (if you have been using F.C's in your lesson) of the word you want him/her to gesture, or whisper the word to them, or let them choose a word.
  4. The students in the audience raise their hand then guess what the gesture is. Repeat.


  • After one student gets the right answer, have the whole class repeat the word so everyone has the extra practice speaking that word.
  • If you are teaching with a class teacher, have the class teacher select the student to come to the front.
  • Let the student gesturing choose the next student (making boys choose girls and vice-versa can help get a variety of students up the front) or let the person who raised their hand be next.
  • Encourage the student who are raising their hand to call out "I know!" or "I've got it!".


  • Sometimes shy students have trouble making big gestures once they are in the front of the class. Encourage big gestures by applauding all students, but giving note to the ones that give great gestures. ie."Nice big gestures! Big gestures! Very good!"


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