ESL charades is a fun vocabulary activity for all ages and levels. Charades in English makes a nice party or review game, so try it out today. Keep on reading for all the details that you need to know.
If your recent classes have been filled with learning new vocabulary, consider using Charades as a fun review game for the classroom. It’s the perfect way to add some fun and variety to your ESL classes, both for children as well as adults. You may know it as the game where you act out words, but the official name for it is charades!
You probably already know charades from playing it with your friends or family members, right? With a little adaptation, it’s easy to use with your students as well. Keep on reading for more details about how to use Charades in your English classroom.
What is ESL Charades?
ESL Charades is a fun, interactive game that’s ideal for helping to develop language learners’ speaking and vocabulary skills. Students can review and practice word sets that they’re learning in class, or general English vocabulary words. Students act out phrases or words and their teammates have to guess what is it.
Charades ESL Game: An Introduction
Time: 20-30 minutes
Level: Beginner to Advanced
Materials Required: Whiteboard
Age: Kids, teens or adults
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 a nice way to review the present continuous tense as well.
Fun + Review Together!
It’s an excellent way to review vocabulary and help students learn the English language while having fun at the same time! My favourite kind of activities are those that are fun and that get my students learning English without even realizing it. It’s certainly better than just powering through a textbook, right?
Related: Top 10 ESL Review Activities
How Does it Work?
Divide the class 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.
How to Play the Charades ESL Game
- Prepare some words or phrases beforehand, based on whatever you’re studying.
- Divide the class into two and each team can choose their first captain.
- 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.
- When the team guesses correctly, the captain takes another word and the game continues. Alternatively, you can have the students rotate the captain’s 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.
- Each round is 2-4 minutes and each team tries to get as many words as possible.
- The next team goes, using different words.
- 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.
- I usually bring in a small prize for the winning team. For example, some treat-size chocolate bars. Or, I sometimes have a prize bag filled with things like erasers, pencils, and other common school supplies for the kids to pick from.
There are a number of common questions that people have about easy charades for ESL. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What is charades in an ESL context?
Charades is a word-guessing game where players act out a word or phrase without speaking, while others try to guess what it is.
Why is playing charades beneficial for ESL students?
Charades enhances vocabulary, encourages nonverbal communication skills, and promotes active language use in a fun way.
What language skills does charades help develop in ESL learners?
Charades primarily develops nonverbal communication, listening comprehension, critical thinking, and vocabulary recall.
How does charades work in an ESL class?
One player silently acts out a word or phrase while others guess. The actor can’t speak, and there’s a time limit for guessing.
Can charades be adapted for different ESL proficiency levels?
Yes, by adjusting the complexity of the words or phrases used and offering additional support for beginners.
What types of words or phrases can be used in ESL charades?
You can use nouns, verbs, idiomatic expressions, or even sentences related to the current lesson’s vocabulary or grammar.
How can charades be incorporated into specific ESL lessons?
Align the words or phrases with the lesson’s theme or vocabulary, making the activity more relevant and educational.
What tips can help ESL students effectively act out words or phrases?
Encourage using body language, facial expressions, gestures, and pantomime to convey the meaning without speaking.
How does charades contribute to ESL learners’ confidence?
Charades allows students to express themselves in a creative and supportive environment, boosting their self-assurance.
Can charades be played in groups or pairs in ESL classes?
Yes, charades can be adapted for both group and pair settings, offering opportunities for different interaction dynamics.
Are there variations of charades that can be used in ESL classes?
Yes, variations like “reverse charades” (one actor, multiple guessers) or “dictionary charades” (using random dictionary words) can add diversity.
Easy Charades in English List
If you’re looking for a list to get started with English learners, try this one out:
Do you Like this ESL Speaking Activity?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Smith, Jennifer Booker (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 134 Pages - 03/31/2016 (Publication Date)
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!
Cover a Wide Array of Activities
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. The best part is that the book is very well organized into various sections so you should be able to find what you’re looking for in minutes.
Available in a Variety of Formats
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. Keep a copy on the bookshelf in your office to use as a handy reference guide. Or, take the e-version with you to your favourite coffee shop for lesson planning on the go.
Pick up the Book Today
It really is that easy to have better English lessons. Get yourself a copy of these ESL activities and games book for kids on Amazon:
Have your Say about ESL Charades
Do you use this fun charades activity in your English classes? Any tips or tricks for doing it well? Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API