Charades ESL Game | Fun ESL Game for Kids

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charades esl speaking game

Charades: An ESL Speaking Game

If your recent classes have been filled with learning new vocabulary, considering using Charades as a fun review game.

Charades ESL Game: An Introduction

Skills: Speaking
Time: 20-30 minutes
Level: Beginner to Advanced
Materials Required: White board

You can use this charades ESL speaking game to review whatever vocabulary you’re studying. For example, verbs work especially well. Write out some phrases or words that can be easily acted out on small pieces of paper and put them in an envelope.

It’s an excellent way to review vocabulary and help students learn the English language while having fun at the same time!

Related: Top 10 ESL Review Activities

Divide the class up into two teams. The first team sends one person, the captain up to the front and they have to act out and describe in English as many things as they can in two minutes. Alternatively, you can have each team member rotate through the captain role during a single 3-4 minute round.

The first person describes the first word and after their team guesses it, they go to the back of the line and the next person is up. Then the next team goes. You can do as many rounds as you want with different captains.

Teaching Tips for Charades ESL Game:

To add even more fun, if there is a team that is behind by a lot you can have a double and then a triple bonus round to give them some hope that they can catch up and maybe even win.

If you have a big class, you can reverse this game for some more action for the audience. Instead of the audience guessing the word or phrase, the captain can. The audience has to act it out.

Also consider the size of your classroom. The students from each team should be able to see the person acting it out. You can have students move their chairs closer to the front of the classroom if necessary.

Procedure for Charades ESL Game:

  1. Prepare some words or phrases beforehand, based on whatever you’re studying.
  2. Divide the class into two and each team can choose their first captain.
  3. Team A sends their captain to the front who randomly chooses a paper and then must describe and act it out to their team who can guess what it is.
  4. When the team guesses correctly, the captain takes another word and the game continues. Alternatively, you can have the students rotate the captain role amongst themselves during the course of a single round. In this case, make the round a bit longer—maybe four minutes instead of two.
  5. Each round is 2-4 minutes and each team tries to get as many words as possible.
  6. The next team goes, using different words.
  7. You can play as many rounds as you wish, but make sure you have different captains for each one so everyone gets a chance to describe the words.

Like this ESL Speaking Activity?

101 ESL Activities: For Kids (6-13)
List Price: $15.99
Price: $15.99
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If you like the charades ESL game, then you’re going to love this book, 101 ESL Activities: For Kids (6-13). This is the book that belongs on the bookshelf of every single English teacher of kids. It’s filled with engaging, fun, and interesting ESL activities and games that your students will love. It’ll make lesson planning easy and your students happy!

The book covers a wide range of activities for all skills-reading, listening, speaking and writing. There are ESL icebreakers and warmups, as well as 4-skill activities. Check out the book for yourself on Amazon today. It’s available in both digital and print formats. The digital one can be read on any device by downloading the free Kindle reading app.

Learn More About ESL Charades

Check out this short video below for another take on playing charades in the ESL classroom.

Have your Say about ESL Charades

Do you use this fun activity in your classes? Any tips or tricks? Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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