Tag Archives: games

** I’m a little Snowman **

11 Dec

I LOVE snowmen!!! I find them very sweet ūüôā Maybe, my interest towards snowy things is increased because I live in Barcelona, where we hardly ever get some snow. I am 31 years old and as far as I remember, I have only experienced snow in my city 4 or 5 times!!!

Due to my interest towards snowmen, I planned a Christmas unit for my 2nd Primary students focused on them. I have to say, snowmen are also very popular amongst my students ūüėČ So we all enjoyed this unit!

To start with, we present our snowman:


We comment on the accessories that he wears, and we focus on 3 of them:

Right after, I present this Snowman song by “Super simple songs”which I adore. The song is simply perfect because it focuses on describing the snowman and what he wears.

When singing the song, I add some body movements to help the students understand better what the lyrics are about. This way, we sing the song but also dance it ūüėÄ

Another day, we play a game called “Do you want to build a snowman?”. Each group of 3 or 4 students recieves the sheet with the game, a dice and a white sheet of paper.


The goal of the game is to build a snowman all together. The first roll chooses the body shape, the second roll the face style, the third roll the type of arms, the forth roll the hat or hair and finally what the scarf looks like. Once they are all built, they have to be coloured and we display them on the walls.

The following day, we watch the lovely Frosty’s winter wonderland film. It is not very long, which makes it ideal for one session ūüôā


On the last two days, we focus on making a snowman themed Christmas card.The idea is to make a collage snowman using coloured papers and making sure each snowman wears a hat, buttons and a scarf. This is the example I showed my students:


Instead of writing the message on the front as it is done here, I suggested my students to write the Christmas wishes on the back of the coloured construction paper. This way, the snowman is not covered ūüôā


\\ The Simpsons //

2 Oct

Using popular tv characters is usually one of the best ways to get your pupils attention. This is way I based most of the¬†family members unit plan on “The Simpson Family”.

We start making a family tree using images of The Simpsons. Then, we name each member depending on his/her position in the family.

This is what I use:


Right after that, we play this multiple choice game where they have to say who is who in The Simpsons family. First, from bart’s point of view and then from Herb’s. It is a very popular game and very useful!

The first writing activity I ask them to do, is this family tree seen from Lisa’s perspective. Once they have done Lisa’s, they can do their own family tree including their closest relatives.


Using again the flashcards and wordcards of The Simpsons family member, we play some TPR games. This way, they acquire the spelling while having fun.

One TPR game they really enjoy, is when I display on the board the image of one family member and three possible wordcards. Two pupils wait facing back to the board and they can only turn around and touch the right wordcard after the rest of the class says “ready, steady, go”. The winner stays there and plays against another classmate. The pupil who stays more turns wins.

The following writing activity includes whole sentences. They have to write a mini book about 8 family members the same way Lisa introduces her relatives in this presentation.

Each slide would be a page of their mini book. They draw the face of the family member and write about him/her. The mini book is made using a DINA4 sheet and folding it so you have 8 squares. Then, you cut it using the folds as a guide to the the pages of your book. Once each page has been written, you staple them to give them the book look.

Even though this song is not about The Simpsons, I really like it and my pupils love how catchy it is. Besides, it is possible to ask many different comprehension questions about the video.

[Warm Up Games & Activities]

9 Jan



For all those teachers who need some new ideas after this fantastic winter break, here you have some wonderful warm up games and activities that can be used in the ESL class.

I was surfing the internet and I can came up with this great website sharing lots of useful ideas.



19 May

It is always useful to refresh our activity bank ūüėÄ



Ammon Shea, a 37-year-old former furniture remover in New York, spent 12 months conquering what he describes as the Everest of dictionaries, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), by ploughing through 20 volumes, 21,730 pages and 59 million words (read more here). We can only guess how much of what he read has stayed between his ears, which is, at times, quite a challenge for our students. Luckily for the latter, though, their word lists are much shorter.

We can use some magic formulae for helping words stick in the head trying to come up with clever associations, getting students to use definitions, determining¬†a rate at which words should be learnt without falling out of their heads, creating some ‚Äúbrain surprises‚ÄĚ (see more here), or resort to some oldies but goldies ‚Äď word games.

These are some pen and paper games that require next to no time to prepare and might…

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8 Mar

In most schools there are campaigns to promote eating fruit as an alternative to junk food as snacks during break time. Therefore, I thought it would be very useful to choose the fruits topic as the centre of interest in one of my didactic units. This way, my pupils can see that besides being healthy fruits can also provide fun!

Next, I’m going to share with you all the resources I use for the “I like fruits!” didactic unit. As always, I like using flashcards, songs, stories, games, worksheets and short conversations.

These are the¬†flashcards I use to play some TPR games so they get familiar with the vocabulary they are going to see during the following lessons. I chose these 10 fruits because most of them are the ones that they can see in the song and stories. They love being able to recognise words when we are singing or telling a story, it puts them a smile on their faces ūüėÄ

The story I tell is called Monkey Bonkey. They absolutely love it! After the day I tell this story, they keep asking me when Monkey Bonkey is going to visit them again ^_^. The story is quite repetitive which allows them to anticipate the lines and tell it with you. It is fantastic!

Here you have the video I made telling the story, I hope you like it ūüôā

After telling them the story, I ask them some comprehension questions such as: why is Monkey Bonkey sad?what colours are the bananas? what animals appear in the story? Etc.

If you have a monkey soft toy and some toy fruits, it would be great to role-play the story with them. Moreover, you can make Monkey Bonkey come back every lesson to greet them, they will be delighted!

The¬†song¬†I choose for this unit is a lovely one by DreamEnglish.com¬†called¬†“I like apples”. ¬†My pupils totally adore it. Listen to it and you will understand why.

I made a worksheet where they have to circle and colour the fruits that are said in the song. You can doanload it in here, where I share most of my worksheets:  https://en.islcollective.com/resources/printables/worksheets_doc_docx/i_like_apples_song/food/77842

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One of the classroom games we play is the memory game. Its rules are not very difficult which lets them enjoy the game. One rule I add is that when they turn a card up they have to say the name of the fruit correctly, otherwise they miss their turn. These are the memory cards I use:

Sense títol Sense títol1


I also created an online memory game so I can upload it to the class blog and they can play at home with their parents. This is the link to it: http://matchthememory.com/ilikefruit

Once I see they are quite familiar with the vocabulary, we have some short conversations. First I ask them but then they speak among themselves. They feel so powerful when they realise they can express themselves in English!

–¬†What’s your favourite fruit? My favourite fruit is…

– Do you like ____? Yes, I do / No, I don’t


I hope you like it, and if you decide to use any of my resources let me know ūüôā

Classroom GAMES with very young learners

21 Sep


As I already mentioned in a previous post, I keep most of my university classnotes and I often check them to come up with new ideas or refresh them. I’m very happy not to be one of those people who feel like they didn’t learn anything at all at university ūüôā

This time, I would like to share with you some games that you can play with your preschoolers when teaching English. They are very simple and short games, but very effective! Little children need clear instructions to feel confident when doing the task they have been asked to do.

Here there are 10 classroom games that I was told at Didactics class:

1. Follow the leader: Get the children to stand in a line behind you. Say e.g.Walk … now jump! Move round the classroom and the children follow imitating¬†everything you do.

2. Maracas: Say We‚Äôre … , name an animal and clap your hands or shake a¬†maracas. Children pretend to be the animal you name and move around the¬†classroom. As soon as you stop clapping or shaking the maracas, children¬†stop and freeze.

3. Colour dice: Make two large dice by covering two boxes with paper and colouring a circle of red, yellow or blue on each side. Children take turns to throw the dice and call out the colour. When the colours on both dice are the same, everyone claps.

4. Changing places: Children sit in a circle. Go round the circle and give each child a name e.g. apple, banana, biscuit, sandwich etc.. Say one of the names. Children with that name respond by exchanging places with another child in the circle with the same name.

5. Pass the secret: Children sit in a circle. Whisper a word to one child e.g. Mouse! That child whispers the word to the child next to them and so on round the group. The last child says the word that they have heard.

6. Listen and count: Clap, nod, or stamp your feet one, two or three times. Children repeat the action and call out the number.

7. Musical bumps: Play any music and children dance. Every so often pause the music and say a colour e.g.Red! Children with red on their clothes sit on the floor. Repeat the procedure several times naming different colours the children know.

8. Smiley or sad: Put a picture of a smiley face on one side of the classroom and a sad face on the other. Say e.g. I like bananas! Children repeat the sentence and go to the smiley face if they like bananas. They say nothing and go to the sad face side if they don’t like bananas. Repeat the procedure naming different foods or other familiar vocabulary.

9. Louder and softer: Children say a rhyme or sing a song they know in a whisper. Raise your hands to indicate they should say/sing it loudly; lower you hands to indicate that they should say/sing it softly. Use your hands to vary the volume with increasing frequency as the children become familiar with the game.

10. Circles in the air:¬†Move your index finger in large circles in the air and get the¬†children to do the same. Say e.g. Touch your ….nose! and move your finger to¬†touch your nose. Repeat the procedure several times alternating instructions¬†for children to touch different parts of their body and to repeat the word each¬†time.


–> Remember not to play the same game for a long period of time, otherwise they get bored and lose their interest. It is better to have a couple of games ready and change them as soon as you see they lose their interest. Keeping them amused and interested is the best way to have their attention and motivation switched on!

The GiNGERBREAD MAN helps us learn some movement ACTIONS!

13 Sep

As you may have noticed, I love using popular characters from stories and cartoons which act as my little helpers when teaching very young learners. When little children recognise the characters they instantly enjoy anything related to them. This way, you can encourage them to do almost anything because they really believe it is the character who is asking them. That is my little cheeky trick ūüėČ

In this post I would like to share how through the story of The Gingerbread man my little pupils learn some movement actions at the same time they have a lot of fun.

First of all, I present the action flashcards. Some times I use a box and they have to take them out and other times I hide them around the classroom and they have to find them. Once they have them all 6, we decide what the images are about and then we play some movement games. These are the flashcards I use: walk, stop, skip, run, jump and dance.

actions screenshot


The movement game they love the most is one where I tell them the actions one by one and they have to do them, if someone doesn’t do the correct one he/she is eliminated and has to sit down. They love competitions!!! It is also great when one of the pupils acts as the teacher and you take part in the game.


Second, we read the¬†book of The Gingerbread man. Afterwards, the pupils answer some comprehension questions such as what animals appear in the story and what actions from the ones we’ve seen the Gingerbread man does. At some other point, we also watch the video version of the story. I quite like this one:


Third, there is also this song that I adore using. I found it in a CD that belongs to a classbook called FunTime and I made the video to use it in my classes. It is simply perfect because in it the gingerbread man¬†runs, jumps and stops, so we can add two more of the actions we presented at the beginning. Besides, the tune is super catching and easy to dance ūüôā

Once we have listened to the song a few times, the pupils should be able to recognise which of the 6 actions the gingerbread man does and which ones he doesn’t. I do it this way: I show the flashcard and ask “Does the gingerbread man dance?” and they answer “Yes, he does or No, he doesn’t”. We classify in 2 different groups the 3 he does and the 3 he doesn’t do.


Fourth, If you are lucky enough to have a tablet, computer or smartboard in your class, then you could use this online memory game I created so the pupils can practise the movement actions at the same time they play. They love memory games!

CLICK HERE http://matchthememory.com/gingerbreadmanactions


Finally, If you wanted your pupils to do a written task about the Gingerbread man, there is this cute worksheet that they could do:


What time is it?

30 Aug

Today I would like to share with you all some resources that can be used in class with your Primary level pupils or even in private lessons or with adults as well.

I like having a variety of resources so I can adapt the lesson to the necessities of my pupils. For example, in a class about telling the time you could use a powerpoint to present the topic,  some online games to practice what has been introduced, a worksheet to reinforce, some classroom games to play altogether and even a song to have a lot of fun!



Powerpoint presentation:

Online games:

Download it here

http://en.islcollective.com/resources/printables/worksheets_doc_docx/clock/time-timeclockdraw-the/841worksheet time

Classroom games:

Wonderful ready to go activities ūüėÄ




Learning some colours with… Pocoyo!!!

24 Aug

Using our pupils interests to catch their attention in class is the best way to create motivation. The days I keep an eye in the playground during break time, I like speaking with them about the tv programs, songs and films that are popular at the moment. Believe it or not, it is precious information! Moreover, they will look at you differently if you can have a chat about the singer,  tv character or whoever is most popular at the moment. It is a good investment of time doing a little research on the internet or even watching some of episodes of the cartoons or tv series they like in order to be updated on what is cool for your pupils.

I remember a few years ago when some students asked me to play some Miley Cyrus songs (when she was still cute!!!) and I was able to sing one by heart and even dance the choreography. For a few days I was the star of the school, they couldn’t believe their teacher liked the same music! I must say I love dancing, so it wasn’t much of a hassle for me ūüėČ

In the case I want to share today, I use the adorable and cute Pocoyo TV program to help my little pupils learn the name of some colours in English. At the moment, Pocoyo and Dora are the stars, so I try to include some of their episodes in my lessons.

This is the episode about colours that I use in class:


Once we have watched it, I like playing some TPR games. For these games I prefer to use some colourful scarfs but it is also possible to use flashcards.



Some of the games we play are:

“who is wearing something…?” They have to put their hands up and say “ME!” if they are wearing the mentioned colour.

– ¬†“If you wear….”¬†Depending on the colour I show, they have to do certain movements such as stand up, twirl, jump, clap hands, etc.

–¬†“Find something…”¬†I show them a colour and they have to find an object in the classroom that is the same colour.

–¬†“Colourful catwalk” I tell them to put one of the colourful scarfs on and if they choose the correct one they can model around the class showing the scarf off. (Girls love this game!)


If you have a computer, a tablet or a smartboard in class, you can play these online games altogether:





There is also this song that I like using when teaching colours to very young learners because it is quite repetitive and they easily learn it and sing it along with me. I saw the song written somewhere ages ago and I think I modified the lyrics a bit. Since there wasn’t any video I made my own ūüôā


I’m a party person, and I also enjoy having parties with my little pupils. This is why I like organizing the Balloon Party with them. What does it consist of? Very simple, I give them some balloon templates that they have to colour and then punch out. When everybody has finished their balloon, we display them on a wonderful poster to decorate the classroom.

Our Face

8 Aug

With my very young learners, I start focusing on the parts of the face instead of dealing directly with the whole body. However, if during the lessons any other body part needs to be included because they are curious about it, I do it naturally.

I always try to ¬†introduce new topics through a story, it helps them to have a context. Besides, they simply love being told stories and never get tired of them ūüėÄ ¬†Usually, when I finish telling them one, there is always a child asking ” Can you tell it again?” and the rest of them join agreeing with him. It always makes me smile ūüôā

Anyway, the story I use in this case also belongs to the Hello Rabbit classbook and it is called “Buzz Buzz Buzz”. I find it quite cute and suitable for them. Next, you have the video I made using the storycards and the audio that comes with the teacher material:


To be able to roll play the story and pretend that a bee is actually on their eye, ear, nose or mouth; I have a fantastic BEE soft toy that I make fly around the classroom and it falls on their little faces making them giggle like crazy.


Using soft toys in class is a great idea when you teach very young learners. It helps them being connected to what is going on and they will relate the soft toy to the knowledge that they are meant to acquire. I try to find soft toys related to the topics I teach as often as I can, but I know it cannot always be possible.



Another material are the flashcards, with which you can play some TPR games with the pupils until you see they start feeling confident enough to play other games where they need to start saying the key vocabulary.

You can use these flashcards focusing on the parts of the face that are mentioned in the story: ear, nose, mouth and eye.

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Obviously, there is also a great song that will help your pupils integrate this vocabulary. They have so much fun dancing and singing this catchy tune that they will noe realise they are acquiring knowledge! This is a good moment to use the soft toy as well. As they sing, they can pass the bee and place it where the songs says it is.


If you are able to use a smartboard in class or any other device with internet connection that your pupils can use, I have these two links with a couple of online games that they will enjoy playing:




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