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The Bell Game


The Bell Game challenges students to pronounce target lesson words correctly in a competitive game. You'll need a deck of cards that contains each target word for the lesson(s), and two small bells. The goal of the activity is given a written regular word, the student can say the word with automaticity.

Aim: Word form recognition together with pronunciation

Activity: Competitive bell game in small groups

Level: Children


  • Divide students into two teams.
  • Have the first player from each team come up to a desk at the front of the room. Place two bells on the desk, one for each player.
  • Use the following introduction: Today we are going to play The Bell Game. When I show you a word card, the first person to ring her bell and read the word correctly gets one point for her team.
  • Make sure that you read the word before you ring your bell. If you ring your bell, but cannot read the word immediately, within one second, your team will lose a point. Therefore, it is important that you read the word silently before you hit your bell.
  • If you read the word incorrectly, the player on the opposite team gets a chance to read the word, but this time for two points instead of one.
  • If both players miss the word, call on someone else in the class to give the players a hand. In this scenario, no points are awarded.
  • Have a new set of players come to the board every round or every other round.

This activity has been adapted for ESL classes from a lesson at Free Reading Net under the Creative Commons license Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.

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