Below is a long list of ideas compiled by previous OCSEP employees which can be used as games during the sessions for a variety of purposes, such as ice-breaking or testing vocabulary and sentence construction. This is for your reference and may be used or adapted as you wish. OCSEP will request feedback on lessons and how different activities go.
1. Chinese Whispers. Get the students to stand or sit in a line or semicircle and pass a message from one end to the other. It must be whispered so that no one else can hear. This could be made into a competition if the class is divided into two; the quickest and most accurate half wins.
2. 2 truths 1 lie. Get each student to stand up and tell two truths and one lie about themselves. Ask everyone to guess the lie.
3. Bingo. Ask students to draw a 3x3 grid and write a new word that they have learnt during the lesson in each of the 9 squares. The teacher then chooses words at random and the student crosses out those that they have written. The first person to have crosses in each square say ‘Bingo’ and win. This could be extended if the teacher asks for definitions, checking that the students have understood the meanings.
4. Naughts and Crosses. Draw a 3x3 grid on the board and write new words that have been recently taught into the squares, saving the most difficult for the middle square. One team is Os and the other Xs; the aim is for the Os a to have 3 Os in a row (horizontally, vertically or diagonally), and likewise the Xs. To do this they must make a sentence using the word in question; if this is done successfully an X or O is written in the square.
5. Stop. Make a grid on a piece of paper with 4 or 5 columns and 4 or 5 rows depending on how many rounds you want to play. In the first column right ‘Letter’ and in the others write different categories, such as food, country, English name, and clothing. The teacher then chooses a letter, which is written under the ‘Letter’ column in the second row and the students must think of an example for each of the other columns which begins with that letter e.g. B, Bread, Britain, Bill, Belt. The first person who writes down an example of each column shouts Stop! and then reads aloud their answers. Keep playing until you have filled all of the rows.
6. Categories. One person (either teacher or student) names a category and then every class member must go around in turn and name a different object that fits within that category. For example, for fruit it might go apple, banana, orange, mango and so on until you run out. The person who is unable to continue must start a new category.
7. Word Cloud. Write a series of letters on the board. The number of letters should depend on how difficult you want to make the game. Then explain to students that they must use the letters on the board to make as many different words as they can. The student with the most words or most difficult word will win. Letters can be used more than once in a single word. This game can last from between 5-15 minutes depending on the letters given and the ability of students.
8. Scrambled Words. Write recently learnt words on the board with the order of the letters mixed up (eg ‘words’ as ‘srowd’) and ask students to work out the word.
9. Riddles. Find some simple riddles online and ask students to work out the answer. You could also make up clues about an object and ask them to work out the answer. For example: ‘This is sweet and creamy, and may taste like fruit or chocolate. People might have it for dessert or on a hot day.’ [Ice cream] Students can also make up their own clues for the class to guess.
10. Sentence Scramble. Write a series of words on the board and ask students to make them into a few sentences or even a short story.
11. Battleships. Prepare 2 identical 10x10 grids with words in each square, and print this twice. Give one to each team. Each team has 6 ships (1x5 squares, 3x2 squares, 2x3 squares) which...
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