Me before

1. Ask the students to write 5 things on a piece of paper that they did between the ages of 10 and 15. If you are teaching younger people get them to write about an earlier time in their life, e.g. from 5-10, or write statements about a weekend or holiday.
2. Collect all the papers and redistribute them making sure that nobody gets her/his own.
3. Ask the students to mill. They ask each other questions about the statements they have in order to find the writer.
4. When the students have found the owner of the paper they can talk to each other long and fill in any details or give further information as they wish.

Adjective match

1. The teacher thinks of an adjective; the aim is for the class to guess it. The teacher gives as a prompt a noun which the adjective could describe. Students make 2 or 3 guesses at the adjective, using it with the noun. If the do not guess correctly the teacher provides a further noun prompt and elicits further guesses. With each additional noun prompt, the choice of adjective becomes narrower, as each previous noun must be kept in the mind, e.g. teacher's word flat:
Teacher: (prompting) Table.
Student 1: (guessing) A square table?
Teacher: No.
Student 2: (guessing) A wooden table?
Teacher: No.
Student 3: (guessing) A round table?
Teacher: No. (prompting) Road.
Student 4: (guessing) A straight road?
Teacher: No.
Student 5: (guessing) A level road?
Teacher: No, but very near.
2. After the initial teacher/student phase, the game can be played by students in pairs or groups. The students choose their own words, or are given words by the teacher so that their collocation practice is guided.

Erasing words

1. Write on the board about ten words which are difficult to spell, and give the class a minute to 'photograph' them.
2. Point to one word, then erase it; the students write it down from memory. And so on, until the words have been erased. Check the spelling.


1. The class is divided in two teams. On the right and left side of the blackboard equal sets of numbers are written.
2. Teacher calls out numbers and representatives of both the teams have to cross them off.
3. The winner is the quickest team to cross the numbers out.

May I...?

1. Ask the student to write some questions to you about their rights at the lesson. Ex.: May I smoke at the lesson?
2. Answer the questions: Yes, you may. No, you may not.

Tail to head

1. Student A thinks of a word and says it;
2. Student B has to find a word beginning with the last sound of Student A's word, e.g. edge - join -noisy - evil - look - catch - cheese.


1. Divide the class in two teams. Two students from each team are judges. They get lists with a story and go to another team.
2. All the members of the teams except for one student from each leave the classroom.
3. The judges tell the story to those two who stayed in the classroom.
4. These students try to remember the story and retell it to those two who are invited from the corridor, and so on until all members are in the classroom. The judges must note the mistakes and missing parts of the story while students are retelling.
5. Then judges announce the results of the competition.

Hidden sentence

1. The class is divided in two teams. Each team sends a representative to sit in front of the class.
2. Each of them gets a card with a sentence. Teacher presents a topic. Players start a conversation. They must use their sentences for nobody to notice them in their speech.
3. When teams think they recognize the sentences they shout stop.
4. Each time the team is right, it scores a point.

I say, you said, he said

1. The students work in groups of three. One person (A) tells about an incident in his or her life (a recent event, or a particularly interesting memory). The second person (B) listens carefully, taking notes if necessary.
2. When A has finished, B has to retell the story as accurately as possible. When B has finished, it is the turn of C to correct any errors of fact or omissions which B may have made. Each person (A, B, and C) has a turn in each role.