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Christmas Stocking Relay

This is just like an egg and spoon race, but Christmas themed.

Before class, prepare one bowl, one spoon and one Christmas stocking per team, as well as at least one candy per student and a few extras just in case.

To play the game, students must use the spoon to pick up a candy from the bowl, carry it across the classroom, and put it in their team’s Christmas stocking. The first team to have every student successfully put the candy in the stocking is the winner.

For fun, you can also have the students use chopsticks instead of spoons to pick up the candy.

As a variation, you can have one team sing or recite a lesson while the other team is filling the stocking. Then both teams switch, and whichever team puts more candy in their stocking is the winner. I’d award both teams their own stocking, plus the winner gets the leftovers in the bowl.

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Situation

This is a great short activity for an intermediate to advanced class. I use this as an ice breaker, warm up, or time killer at the end of class.

Before class, have a list of “what would you do if…” questions prepared. For example, “A dog is chasing you – what do/will/would you do?” Phrase the question according to the grammar your students are familiar with – low intermediate students can answer in simple present tense (I run away), upper intermediate in future tense (I will run away), and advanced students in conditional (I would run away). Send two students outside of the classroom, and ask the rest of the class what they’d do in a particular situation. Help them come up with a variety of creative answers that hint at but don’t spell out the situation. Bring the two missing students back in, and have them wander the room asking their classmates “What do/will/would you do?” Using the other students’ answers as clues, the two students race to guess what the situation is.

Some situation ideas include:

  • A dog is chasing you.
  • Your teacher yells at you in front of the whole class.
  • Your mother asks you to cook dinner tonight.
  • You find a wallet on the ground.
  • Your friend gets hit by a car in front of you.
  • You see a classmate steal something.
  • You can’t find your schoolbag.
  • Your friend starts smoking cigarettes.
  • You spill your drink on your clothes as you’re walking to school.
  • You win a ticket to Paris at the same time as your exams.
  • You receive two identical gifts for your birthday.
  • Your parents suggest moving to Russia next year.
  • Your friend’s fly is down and you can see their underwear.
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Trick AND Treat

This is a fun way to liven up a class Halloween party!

Before class, write down silly actions on slips of paper, and put them in a plastic Halloween Jack-O-Lantern. (If you trust your students to choose appropriate tricks, you can let them make the slips themselves.) Make sure you have lots of candy on hand, too!

Students come to the front of the classroom, say “Trick or Treat!”, and draw a slip of paper from the pumpkin. This gives them instructions on what trick they have to perform to earn their treat! Good tricks might include:

  • Sing a song (with actions).
  • Walk like a chicken, making chicken noises.
  • Pretend to die, violently.
  • Hop on one foot across the classroom.
  • Lead the class in singing “head, shoulders, knees and toes”.
  • Pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time.
  • Make the ugliest face you can!
  • Pretend to be a monkey eating a banana.
  • Walk like a zombie.
  • Try to make the teacher laugh.
  • Stand on one foot while you recite the alphabet.
  • Spin around five times, then walk in a straight line.
  • Go to the class next door and ask to borrow the teacher’s lunch.
  • Say something nice about every classmate.
  • Open the next class’s door and shout boo!
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Pin the Face on the Pumpkin

Before class, cut out several eyes, noses, and mouths from black paper and glue magnets to the back of them. Prepare two witch hats or sets of blindfolds. Draw two pumpkins on the board.

Divide the class into two teams. One member of each team comes to the front and gets blindfolded (or has a witch hat pulled over their eyes). Each person grabs an eye, nose, or mouth, spins around, and tries to attach it to their pumpkin’s face. The rest of their team can scream advice at them if you like. An assistant hands them the next piece of the face, they spin and attach it, and so on, until they’ve pinned the whole face on the pumpkin. The team with the better pumpkin face is the winner. Repeat the game until each person has a chance to pin the face on the pumpkin.

For beginner classes, you might want to coach the kids in how to yell advice at their teammates before the game starts. For example: Higher! Move left! Turn the nose!

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True False Quiz

This is a great getting-to-know-you game for a new class, and can be made simpler or more complicated depending on the students’ level.

Before class, the teacher prepares a list of ten statements about him or herself. They can be funny, obscure, unusual, or mundane statements.

A few question ideas for True False Quiz.

A few statement ideas for True False Quiz.

During class, the teacher writes statements on the board, one at a time, and asks the students to decide if the sentence is true or false. To make this an active game, the teacher can have students stand up for true and sit down for false, or point to the right for true and to the left for false. Then the teacher reveals the correct answer. All students who got it wrong must ask a follow-up question to elicit more details about the statement.

Variation: Divide students into groups of 3 or 4, and make a handout with the statements on it. Groups must discuss each statement and agree on which ones are true or false, giving reasons for their answers. Each group presents its choice and reasons before the teacher reveals the correct answer.

An answer handout for the True False Quiz

An answer handout for the True False Quiz

After you’ve played the game once using your own statements, let students prepare their own statements. I usually do this as another day’s activity, a few weeks later.