Comparative adjectives and superlatives with Venn diagrams and dice

This is a fun way to practise comparative adjectives and superlatives using Venn diagrams. Introducing and sorting adjectives In the first part of this activity, adjectives are sorted into one of two areas on a Venn diagram. If they could apply to both areas they are placed into the overlapping middle area. See the examples […]

The world in 2035 – to practise will for predictions

This simple to set up activity, which you can use to practise will for predictions, gives students free reign to speculate on any changes they think which might be coming down the pipe. Give each student a copy of this making predictions worksheet and elicit a few ideas about one of the topics. Write down a couple of […]

Past tense stories – getting creative with verb cards

This storytelling activity is very simple but it forces students to use the past simple in a creative fashion. For each group of two to four students, you will need a sheet of verbs in the infinitive form. For example here is a deck of the Top 50 Verb Cards. You can create your own […]

Question Time: A simple activity to promote group discussion

Ask students to each think of three topics that might be interesting to discuss. Topics could range from nice weather or favourite foods to the political situation in Uganda, etc. Stress that the subjects are anonymous, nobody knows who contributes which subject. Students write their topics on small slips of paper, fold them and drop them […]

Bring vocabulary to life with Scatter Sheets

Scatter Sheets can be used as warm up, theme introduction, vocabulary presentation and fluency exercises. This activity also works well in online teaching situations. See the online scatter sheet maker. A Scatter Sheet is a page of randomly distributed lexis based around a theme, for example In the Office, At the Supermarket. Students take it in turns […]

What’s in your fridge? – a vocabulary guessing game

This is a vocabulary guessing game for practising is there and are there questions, as well as quantifiers like some, any, a lot of and vocabulary related to food, the home, the workplace, or any other suitable category. Write the name of each student on the board and underneath their name mark three lives, like this I I I. Students […]

Ask the middle man

This activity is good for practising asking questions in the first and third person, important for helping students distinguish between using do and does. It looks a bit complicated at first but everyone should have it worked out after a couple of practise rounds. When to play Asking questions in the present simple is one of the trickier […]

Describe the (imaginary) picture

In this activity, students describe a picture using useful vocabulary such as, there is, there are and the present continuous tense. It’s good for practising asking questions and stretching your students’ creativity To save you searching for suitable pictures and cutting up bits of paper, this web-app allows you to play the game with a smartphone, tablet or PC. […]

Alphabet and spelling games

Alphabet and spelling games to help students with their A to Z. Hangman Think of a word and draw some dashes on the board, one for each letter __ __ __ __ __ __,  each student in turn names a letter that they think might be in the word.  If the letter is in the […]


This ESL classic is often given as a suggested activity for practising the past continuous tense. However, in my experience, students often revert to the past simple in the heat of the moment. Nevertheless, it’s still an often hilarious game which encourages inventive thinking while posing and answering questions. Inform students that a terrible crime […]