Games for EFL Classes

My awesome co-teacher Erica shared a new game with me. Games are a great way to reinforce learning in a fun way.

The new addition to the arsenal is The Pizza Game.

Draw a big circle and then another just around the outside (to mark the crust). Divide the pizza into wedges, one for each child. Write their names in the wedges.

Have the children take turns. They must answer a question, and then get to throw the ball. If it lands in their wedge, they get an extra line (extra topping). If it lands in someone else’s wedge, the student gets to “eat” some of the pizza (erase a line). Two bites and the student’s wedge is out (but they can to continue to throw). The last one with a wedge wins!

Spelling Battleship and variants

The easiest way to play spelling battle ship is to split the class into two teams and have the children take turns answering a question or reading a passage before they can make a guess. You can either use a battleship game if you have it, or make a board and photocopy as needed.

If the children are unfamiliar with the game, you may choose to have the class simply try and find all the hidden “ships” as a group.

For older students, I like to play the following variation:
List 8-12 words on the board. Each student or team must choose 5 or 6 of the words and place them in a battleship grid (backward and upside down are ok but no diagonals). They then take turns guessing, and can fill in any letters they can figure out themselves. The first to find all the words must verify them and provide definitions to be the winner.

The Piggy Game
This is the absolute favourite game of my class of 7 year olds. Create a 4×4 grid on the board. In this grid are hidden the following objects:

  • Pigs
  • Switches (two arrows pointing at each other)
  • Bombs
  • Super stars
  • Stars
  • Money ($)

The super stars, stars and money are all worth positive points. The finding a pig results in a loss of points, and the bomb resets the player to a score of 0. The switches allow the player who finds it to swap their score with someone else’s.

As always, the students must answer a question before being able to choose a location on the grid.

Bingo and a variant
You can make up bingo cards ahead of time with vocabulary words. I like to have the students take turns pulling a word out of a hat and reading it to the class. To make the game last longer, we play until someone has 3 or 4 “Bingos”.

Especially with older students, you can play this game on the fly. Have them draw a 5×5 grid and then as a class come up with 25 words (put them on the board). Then each student may write these words anywhere they want on their grid. Finally, each student takes turns calling out a word (instead of pulling them from a hat). It adds some strategy to an otherwise simple game of chance!

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