It’s June, the most wonderful month. For students, but mostly for teachers. We really need that break.
But before you start sipping that cocktail by the pool, have some fun with your students if you can. In some countries, students returned to school at the beginning of June to wrap things up. Use the last couple of days to connect with your students and enjoy your time together. Here are some quick and simple last days ESL activities and games.
- Picture dictation
Students work in pairs. One has a picture (any picture from a textbook, their own photos on phone, whatever) and describes the picture to their partner who has to draw the picture as accurately as possible. Entertaining activity for future artists.
- Picture description
A variation of the previous activity. Students choose a couple of photos(appropriate) from their phones and describe it to each other. Works great as a quick warm-up.
- Write a survey
Tell the students to each write 10 questions for a class survey. Give them a topic (summer holidays, hobbies, habits, future, etc). When they have written the questions let them survey each other and report their results at the end of the lesson. They love to talk about themselves! Who doesn’t, right?
- Dictionary game
Tell the students to use a dictionary(an app, online, paper) and find a couple of words they don’t know. For each of the words they need to write down the original definition of the word and make up two more definitions that are false. Thy then work in groups of three or four and read their definitions to their classmates who have to guess the right definition. They get a point for every correct guess. This is a fun guessing game which is also great for learning new vocabulary.
- Draw a giraffe
This is another activity for aspiring artists. Two students sit with their backs to each other. Each will have a paper and a pencil/pen. Their task is to draw a giraffe or any other animal or an object, but each of them has to draw only a half of the final image. They can’t see what the other one is drawing so they have to communicate, how to draw it. It’s a lot of fun and the students can have an exhibition of the finished drawings and comment on them.
- Plan a holiday trip
Put the students in pairs and tell them they have to plan a trip for the summer. They have to plan the whole itinerary and come with a budget for that trip. Hiking in the French Alps? A cruise in the Caribbean? Everything is possible!
- Guess who I am
You’ll need a self-stick pad and a pen. Put the students in groups of four. They will write a name of a famous person or literary character(on anything else) on the self-stick note and stick it onto the forehead of a person sitting next to them so nobody know what is written there. They have to ask yes/no questions to guess the personality. A classic!
- Mini presentations
Give each student two slips of paper. Tell them to write down a topic they would like to discuss. When they are done, take ale the slips of paper, put them in a bin or a hat and have students each draw a slip. Tell them that they will have to give a short presentation on the topic. Give them 2 minutes to think about the topic, then put them in group of four. They will have each five minutes to present their topic. If there is time at the end of the lesson, have them ask follow up questions.
Print and play activities
- One minute talk
This is a very simple, no-prep activity. In pairs, students give each other a topic to talk about and they have to talk uninterrupted for a minute. It is more difficult than it sounds, especially with topics such as egg yolks, armpit hair o or shoe laces. If your students lack imagination, you can use these ideas: One Minute Talk Cards.
- Role plays
Role-plays are fun, educational, great for shy students, creative, fun, and did I mention fun? You can create your own, look for some online or download these:
- Discussion questions
Another classic activity. If you don’t want to waste time googling, you can download this 120 Conversation Starters activity.
- Picture description
I’ve mention no-prep picture description activities above, for this activity you can download my free PDF resources:
- Stories with a twist
This activity is a cross of telling a story, inventing your own and acting. I use famous stories with three or more characters so the kids can work in small groups. Then I assign the story and let them draw a card with a specific genre. You can download the activity with my stories here or prepare your own, using stories well known in your culture.
A fun game of vocabulary dominoes. Students can work individually, in pairs or in teams. Great for vocabulary revision.
Everybody knows Jeopardy. So far, I was able to find any grammar or vocabulary revision quiz I needed. Lots of quizzes on many topics, but beware as the quality varies. You can create your own Jeopardy quiz and you can also assign your students a topic and let them create their own quiz to test their classmates’ knowledge.
I use this site mostly with my younger learners as it doesn’t have many higher level grammar or vocabulary quizzes.
My tip: put your students in teams (max number of teams is 4), choose a quiz and let them play the Classic mode with the power up, it’s much more fun!
My favorite online quiz tool can be used to assign homework (this works great) or do solo practice. Very useful during lockdown, but also anytime. Assigning homework online in just a few clicks? The system checks it? The students see and track their progress? It gamiefies the learning process? What’s not to love!
If you don’t know Kahoot, you should definitely start using it. Right now! Kahoot is widely popular and it’s good to know that its creators made Premium available for free for the rest of the academic year. Try it out!
Here you can find plenty of simple, family-friendly games. I mostly use the Word Generator for charades, pictionary and other games. The great thing is I only need my laptop and I project the words on the whiteboard, so the students don’t need computers.