Are you looking for some fresh, new ideas for clothes ESL activities or games? Then you’re certainly in the right place as we have 25 of them to choose from, along with ESL clothing lesson plans, worksheets and vocabulary lists. Keep on reading for everything clothes ESL lessons!
ESL Clothes Activities and Games: Top 25
Without further ado, let’s get to the clothes ESL games and activities.
#1: Flashcard Clothing Activities
In my opinion, flashcards are one of the most useful ESL teaching tools, especially when teaching children. There are just so many things you can do with them and they’re an obvious fit for the clothing unit because the vocabulary is concrete and easy to show with a picture.
For all the ideas, tips and tricks for using them in your TEFL classroom, be sure to check this out:
#2: ESL Clothing Hot Potato Game
If you want to create some fun and excitement in your classes, then I strongly recommend playing this game! The way Hot Potato works is that students pass around an object of some kind and when the timer goes off or the music stops, the person holding the object has to do something.
For absolute beginners, you could show them a flashcard or a clothing item or point to something that someone is wearing and they have to say the word. Slightly more advanced learners could add a color to that. Or, they could have to make a full sentence or ask a question to their classmate. You can see all the variations along with the rules here:
#3: Clothing Dialogue Substitution
Have you ever noticed that in ESL textbooks, new vocabulary is often introduced through a dialogue of some kind. And then I’m sure you’ve also noticed that students just read them with their partner without really paying attention to the words!
One of the best ways to prevent this and get the most value out of dialogues is to remove some of the key words. In this case, it may be the clothing or adjectives to describe them. Then, students have to read it with a partner and fill in the blanks from a word list. Find out more about it here:
#4: Comparatives, Superlatives and Clothes ESL
Have you ever noticed that comparatives (bigger, brighter) and superlatives (biggest, brightest) are often taught in conjunction with clothing in ESL textbooks. That’s because they’re a natural fit and it’s a context which just makes sense. There are also so many possibilities for conversation, practice and games. Find some great ideas here:
#5: Clothing Songs and Chants for Kids
If I’m teaching young learners, I love to use songs in my classes! They’re a fun way to help students remember new words, and I will often catch my students singing the songs to themselves after class. Success! Here’s one example of a good one that you can find on YouTube:
#6: Predict the Fashion Future
It can be fun to prepare a short presentation or find a video on YouTube about various fashion trends throughout the last few decades. Then, get students to make some predictions about the future of fashion. What will come back in style and what will be left to the relics of history?
#7: Picture Prompt for Teaching Clothes ESL
Unless you teach absolute beginners, it’s likely that your students already know some of the clothing and fashion vocabulary. If this is the case, it can be very useful to help them activate this prior knowledge before jumping into the new stuff.
One way to do this is to show them a picture of people wearing interesting things. Then, depending on the level of your students, elicit some things from them. Words of what people are wearing, words + an adjective, of full sentences. More advanced students can talk with a partner about what each person is wearing.
Find out more details about this simple TEFL activity here:
#8: ESL Category Games and Activities
There are lots of excellent ESL category activities that you might want to try out for things like clothes or fashion, food, animals, weather, hobbies, sports, etc. Clothes is an obvious one that most beginner and intermediate students learn in their textbooks. Here are some of the best ideas:
#9: ESL Cup Game for Clothing
#10: Conversation Starters for Clothing
You may want to give your students a chance to do some “free-talking” about clothes and fashion in your class. However, have you ever noticed that if you tell your students to “Talk about clothes,” you’ll often be met with dead silence? It’s not that students don’t want to talk, it’s just that they’re usually not sure what to do.
To combat this, I like to give my students a list of questions related to the topic. I encourage them to not follow them slavishly and strongly encourage follow-up questions, but they have this list in case they need it. The results? Students are able to talk with a partner for the entire allotted time! Success.
Here are some ideas:
#11: Include Clothes in the Starting Class Routine
It can be really useful to have a routine to start your classes off, particularly with younger learners. I like to include things like:
- Day of the week
You can also choose one student and them talk about what they’re wearing. “Tommy is wearing a green shirt, jeans and a black hat.”
Want to try out a routine in your class? Here are some tips about getting started with that:
#12: Task Based ESL Clothing Activities
There are a number of reasons why you might consider incorporating some task-based activities into your classes:
- They are extremely student-centred
- Students have a lot of freedom to learn what they want to learn
- They encourage teamwork
- They’re a nice change of pace from the regular classes
In terms of tasks, there are lots that would work with the clothing or fashion unit. Check out some of these ideas:
#13: Clothes ESL Show and Tell
This requires a bit of planning, but it’s worth it! If you know that your unit on clothing is coming up, tell students to wear one of their favourite things that day. Then, for the last part of class, have a fashion show/show and tell. Students can stand up and talk for 20-30 seconds about why they like that item so much, where they got it, how much it costs, etc.
Find out more information about this fun activity here:
#14: Listening Lesson Plan for ESL Clothing
I love to do some dedicated listening lessons in conversation classes. After all, listening is half of the conversation but it’s a skill that’s often neglected. It’s also a nice change of pace for students who are often used to cherry kind of speaking activities!
Do you want to know how to plan this style of lesson? Then you’ll want to check this out:
#15: Clothing and Adjectives
You’ve probably seen the clothing unit and adjectives combined in many an ESL textbook. That’s because they’re just a natural fit, especially when it comes to shopping. Things like, “too big, “too bright,” “not big enough” are very common things to say when you’re looking at, or trying on clothes.
For some of the best activities to use for teaching adjectives, be sure to check this out:
#16: ESL Clothes Quiz
#17: Just One Question
I LOVE this activity because it’s interactive, engaging, covers a wide range of skills and also gets students out of their seats talking to their classmates. It’s basically a survey activity but pairs of students choose just one question to ask a number of their classmates related to clothing or fashion. Then, they compile the results and report them to the class.
Want to give this intermediate and advanced level activity a try? Find out all the details here:
If you want to give your students a serious challenge, then consider trying out dictogloss. Find a story or passage about fashion or clothing. Then, read it out to your students at a faster pace than normal. In pairs, students have to try to recreate what they just heard.
Read it again and students do the same. Finally, they can compare their version with the original. Sounds like something you want to try out. Learn more about it here:
#19: The Memory Circle
This is a fun memory game that you might want to try out with your beginner students. It lends itself particularly well to clothing. Depending on the level, there are a number of variations. The first one is to simply say the name of a piece of clothing, while more advanced learners may be able to make complete sentences about what people are wearing.
Find out how to play it here:
#20: I’m an Alien
A fun thing to do with kids is to pretend that you’re an alien and know nothing about clothes. Then, elicit some answers to questions from them. It can range from the very practical (What’s this? A t-shirt) to the silly (Why do you wear clothes?).
Learn more about it here:
#21: ESL Clothing Chant for Kids
#22: What am I?
You’ve probably played this party game before with famous people. You have a secret word and then have to ask other people yes/no questions to try to figure out who it is.
In this case, it’s possible to play the game with clothing. Students can ask questions like the following:
- Can I wear them on my hands?
- Is it for winter?
- Do I put them on if it’s sunny?
Check out all the details:
#23: Guessing Game
Try out this fun warmer activity with your students. Put up a bunch of pictures of various articles of clothing on a PowerPoint slide. Then, students have to describe one of them to a partner who has to guess what it is. Then they can switch roles and continue the activities.
It’s a nice activity for reviewing things like stripes, polka-dots, colours and names of various articles of clothing. Have a look:
#24: Taboo Game for Teaching Clothes
You may have played this party game before. The way it works is that someone has to describe a certain word but they can’t use a set of related words. I’ve adapted it a little bit for my English learners to make it a bit easier. But, the idea is the same.
Want to try it out? Find out how to do it:
#25: Body Parts ESL Activities
Clothing and body part vocabulary is a natural fit. Whenever I teach one of these things, I generally do a quick review of the other.
If you like to do the same, have a look at some of my favourite ideas:
ESL Clothes Vocabulary
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 76 Pages - 11/28/2015 (Publication Date)
There are a number of ESL clothing vocabulary words that you may wish to teach your students. Here are the most common ones:
- Tank top
Clothes ESL Worksheets
It can be a huge timesaver to print off some ESL clothing worksheets that you didn’t make yourself, right? There are lots of excellent resources to be found online so have a look here:
Clothes ESL Lesson Plans
If you’re a busy teacher, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. There are lots of great ready-made lesson plans for teaching clothing. You can print them off and go. Here are the best ones we’ve found:
Did you Like these ESL Clothing Activities?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 57 Pages - 10/26/2015 (Publication Date)
Yes? Thought so. Then you’re going to love this book over on Amazon: 39 ESL Vocabulary Activities for Teenagers and Adults. The key to better English classes is a wide variety of games and activities and this book will help you do that in style.
There are dozens of engaging, student-centred activities that are ideal for vocabulary lessons. If you’re serious about helping your students learn new English words, then this is the book you need!
Keep a copy on the bookshelf in your office to use as a handy reference guide. Or, consider taking the digital version with you to your favourite coffee shop on your phone, tablet, or laptop for some lesson planning on the go. It really is that easy to have better TEFL classes.
Sounds like the right option for you? Click below to pick up the book for yourself, but only if you want a serious dose of ESL teaching awesome in your life:
Have your Say about Clothes ESL
What’s your top pick for an ESL clothes activity or game? Have you tried out any of them from list or do you have another that you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other busy teachers, like yourself who are teaching clothing to English learners.
Last update on 2020-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API