Games in the classroomPlaying games in your classroom are an important part of being an english teacher. Games can be used to get students engaged into a lesson from the beginning, can be used during the study portion of your lesson, or used as an activity for the students to apply
what they have learned that day. This article will break down the kinds of games you can play during the engage, study, and activate stages of a normal ESA lesson.
During the engage portion of an ESA lesson, no student wants to hear “Good morning class, today we are going to study modal auxiliary verbs.” Instead, try opening your class with a game. There are plenty of simple games you can play with your class at the start of your lesson, or the engage phase. If you will be studying foods that day with your student, you can play a quick game of Pictionary to get the students thinking about foods and interested in the topic. If you will be studying the weather that day, you can play a memory game where the students say a weather word, then the next student adds a word, and so on. A game in the engage stage doesn’t have to be long and elaborate, it should be just enough to get the students interested and ready to learn that day’s lesson.
Next are the games you can play during the study phase. Students, especially young learners, are going to get bored simply having a book open the entire class and hearing you speak for the entire lesson. Instead, try a game to liven up the study phase of your lesson. You can use the material you are teaching them that day and turn it into a game. One good game to play during the study phase is hangman. You can split the class into two teams and use the words they have learned that day for a game of hangman. Another good game to play is a word unscrambling game. Use the vocabulary words you have covered that day, scramble them, and split the class into two groups where students have to unscramble the word. These are some of the examples of games you can play during the study phase, to liven up your study portions of your lesson.
Last, you can play games during your activate phase of your lesson. This is probably the most important phase of the lesson in terms of choosing whether to play a game, because by the end of your lesson you students (if they are young) might be eager for something fun to do after studying. One very useful game to play during the activate stage is role playing. Have the students act as people such as a doctor, and a patient then act out a scenario that uses the material they learned that day. There are also plenty of competitive games you can play with your students. If you have a TV in the class, you can play games online with your students from ESL websites. If you do not have a TV, simply having a ball is enough for a game for your students. Use the ball to pass it around in class with the students saying something that relates to a category. Have students say this as there is a timer going on. When the timer expires, whoever has the ball is out. And scattergories is a great game to play in class. Write various topics such as “animal, place, thing, people” and under these topics students choose a letter and in a set time period have to write a word that begins with their chosen letter under the categories. This game gets students working together and thinking fast. These are some of the games you can play during your activate stage.
As you can see there are plenty of games you can play with your students during all three phases of an ESA lesson. It’s important to use a variety of games to keep things fresh in your class. You students will enjoy your class more and you will have more fun as a teacher with these games.