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ESL Children's Games

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These classic children's games have been adapted for use in ESL classrooms. Each lesson includes instructions on how to use the game to achieve effective ESL instruction.

1. ESL Tic-Tac-Toe

Tic-Tac-Toe games are a fun way for students to practise their English while enjoying some competition.

2. Newspaper Crazies

Newspaper Crazies takes newspaper or magazine articles as the starting point for regular and irregular verb recognition. You'll need some newspapers or magazines

3. 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.

4. Slap That Word!

Slap that Word is a fun game you can play with children that will help them associate and reinforce written and spoken words that have been introduced during your lessons. You'll need these materials: fly swatter, word wall (words written on a chalkboard or white board). The goal of the activity is that given a spoken word, the student will quickly be able to recognize the word's written form.

5. Simon Says

A fun, classic young learner's game is "Simon Says". In this classic game, one student tells the other students what to do by beginning: "Simon says ... touch your nose / count to five , etc.". If the student says "touch your nose" and the students perform the command they are out. Of course, this game takes a lot of attention on the part of the teacher.

6. Cops and Robbers Tag

This game helps young learners work on various objects vocabulary and practice the use of the present perfect while having some fun and blowing some steam off. The basic concept is that of "cops and robbers" with each student being either a cop or a robber. Young learners try either to steal objects or catch the thief.
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