Elementary

English games and activities for ALTs teaching elementary classes.

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.

Blackboard memory is a vocab drilling activity that uses a memory challenge to let you vary how you are learning the lesson's English vocabulary. A great way to keep the students focused when they need more drill time.

Students play a new variation of janken but instead of winning with paper, scissors or rock; they win by doing some simple math the quickest.

This is straight out of the elementary school textbook. Place an eraser in the middle then beat your partner to snatch it away and get a point.

Students practice introducing themselves (Hello, my name is ~.) and pretend that each time they shake hands they change bodies (or names). A lot of fun and to be honest, quite mentally challenging (but in a completely fun and hilarious way).

Here are some free-to-download, bingo sheets with a super simple layout. 3x3, 4x4 or 5x5 layout with either one or two per A4 sheet.

A classic for practicing numbers is the count around the circle game. Easy in concept, but because students tend to learn numbers once then not have much chance to use them after that, they fall out of practice. For that reason, count around the circle is also a good review warm-up for any lesson with many variations.

Row racing uses the rows of desk as groups and the element of competition to bring some excitement to new vocabulary or dialogue practice.

"When is Christmas?" is a natural extension to the Hi, friends! "When is your birthday?" lesson.

As a younger ALT, I noticed students could ask and answer the birthday question fine, but didn't quite understand the "when" component of the question well enough to carry it over to a question like "When is New Year's Eve?"

Students ask each other about what they have in their fridge at home, right now. A mundane daily recall activity for all us home cooks but in the English class this becomes a fun thing for students to ask each other about. This activity also includes writing the English words.

There are a few things you can do when teaching the "My name is _______" lesson at elementary school in Japan, like creating name cards/ tags, etc but many require paper and take a bit of time. Here is a quick little game to play that requires nothing except the students and that they can say "My name is _______".

With the goal of eliciting a response of "Me too.", students walk around and talk to many different students in the class. Use this activity to practice using "I like ~." or "I don't like ~."

In this game, the teacher's pen (and other stationary) is missing. Luckily, the students know where it is and can direct the teacher to it.

This activity has students pairing up to say different numbers then confirm them by showing the numerals with their fingers. A simple activity where students teach each other.