Are you looking for some recommendations for the best superlative games or comparative activities, plus worksheets, lesson plans, and more? Then you’re most certainly in the right place.
You’ll often see these kinds of adjectives in beginner or intermediate ESL textbooks. Here are some of our top activities, along with worksheets, online practice and questions that you can try out with your English learners. Keep on reading for everything you need to know!
Top 15 Superlative and Comparative Games
#1: Comparative Pairs
This is a simple activity where you put students into groups of two. Then, they need to come up with five true sentences using a comparative adjective. For example:
“Jenny is shorter than me.”
“My bag is bigger than her bag.”
#2: The Hot Potato Game
This is ideal for beginners who need some work on making sentences with either comparatives or superlatives, or both. The way it works is that students pass a “potato” around the class. When the timer goes off, the person holding it has to make a sentence based on a flashcard you show them.
For superlatives, show them one flashcard (alligator). Their sentence might be, “Alligators have the scariest teeth.”
For comparative adjectives, show them two cards (Alligator and dog). Their sentence might be, “Dogs are friendlier than alligators.”
You can find out more details here: ESL Hot Potato Game.
Oh yeah, this works well for body parts for ESL too.
#3 Comparative Activities ESL: Picture Prompt
If you know that students have seem this grammar point before, use a picture as a warm-up to help activate their prior knowledge. Or, you could also consider doing this activity at the end of class as a nice review activity.
Find a picture that could lead to many sentences using these kind of adjectives. Then students have to make sentences using them. For example:
“The man is taller than the woman.”
“The boy looks older than the girl.”
Do you want to find out more about this quick ESL warmer? Check it out right here: Using Pictures for an ESL Warm-Up.
#4: Dialogue Substitution
You know how in ESL textbooks that there’s a dialogue to introduce the unit? Most students just read through it mindlessly without really focusing on what they’re reading. A way to change that is include some blanks into it where they have to figure out the correct word to complete the conversation.
This is ideal for superlatives and comparatives. Just leave them all out and students have to use context to figure out what goes where. Learn more about this conversation activity for beginners right here: ESL Dialogue Substitution.
#5: Comparative Adjectives Card Game
This is a fun way to get students to use this vocabulary and grammar. The way it works is that you make sets of cards with common vocabulary on them. For example: Dog, cat, pencil, cell phone, apple, cucumber, etc. You’ll want to make a set of 24 of them for every 4 students.
The first students draws the first two cards and then has to make a sentence using a comparative adjective. For example, “Dogs are more interesting than apples!” If they can do it in the allotted time (I usually get other students in the group to count down slowly from 10 using their fingers), they keep the cards and get a point. The teacher can act as a referee for this and I’ll usually allow it as long as it makes some sort of sentence.
If not, the cards go back into the deck and the next student goes. The winner is the person with the most cards at the end.
#6 ESL Comparatives: Board Games
I LOVE to play board games in real life, so like to use them in my classroom as well. Except that I make my own to fit whatever grammar or vocabulary that I’m teaching my students. It’s very easy to do this activity with these kinds of words. Just fill the board with, “tallest, more interesting, shorter, best, etc.” Then, students have to make a sentence with the word in it.
Do you want to find out more about how to do this? Check this out: ESL Board Games.
#7: Superlative Groups
This is a simple activity where you put students into groups of three. They have to come up with five sentences that are true using superlatives or comparatives. For example:
“Tim is shorter than Tina, but I’m the shortest.”
“Johny has the most pets, but I have more dogs.”
#8 Superlative Activities: Flashcard Sentences
If you teach kids, flashcards should be one of those things that you bring to every single class! They are so versatile in terms of what you can do with them, but this is a simple activity to get students making sentences.
The way it works is that each student has to make a sentence using the target vocabulary or grammar based on a card that you show them. Or, they could pick out a card from the center of the table. You can find out more details right here: ESL Flashcard Activity.
Oh yeah, you can use this activity to teach just about English grammar point. Do you want to know more about how to teach grammar in style? Then you’ll need to check this out: How to Teach ESL Grammar.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 100 Pages - 11/12/2019 (Publication Date)
#9: Conversation Starters
If you want to give students some opportunities to practice comparatives and adjectives in a conversation, then you’ll want to consider using conversation starters. The way it works is that you give students the beginning of a conversation, with some blanks in it that they can continue on.
In this case, you’d want to try something like the following:
A: It’s been the WORST day ever!
B. Oh yeah? What happened?
A. First, I was _________
You can find out more details about this English conversation activity right here: Conversation Starters.
#10 Superlative Games: Taboo
I’m sure you’ve played Taboo with your friends or family before. You have to describe a word without saying it, along with a list of other related words. In this case, you can choose comparatives or superlatives. A student may get the word, “tallest.”
They could give hints like Mt. Everest, basketball player, etc. Find out more about playing this fun party game with your ESL/EFL students right here:
#11: Just One Question
This is an excellent speaking and conversation activity for intermediate or advanced learners. The way it works is that students go into pairs and then think of just one question about a certain topic or theme. In this case, you’d want to make sure students used the target vocabulary. Some possible questions might be:
“What the best movie you’ve seen lately?”
“What’s better for a vacation: Canada or Thailand?”
Then, students have to interview at least 10 of their classmates to find out what they think and record the results. Finally, the compile the results to find trends and report back to the class. Learn more about this ESL speaking activity right here: Just One Question Interview Activity.
#12: Disappearing Text
If your students are absolute beginners, then you’ll want to try this one out. It can be useful for getting students to remember the correct word order for these kinds of sentences.
The way it works is that you write a sentence on the board. Students say it together. Then, you can erase 1-2 words and students have to say the sentence again. Eventually, the entire sentence will be gone, but students will be able to say the entire thing. Find out more details here: The Disappearing Sentence for ESL.
#13 Comparative Adjectives Games: Running Dictation
If you’re looking for the ultimate 4-skills ESL game then look no further than running dictation. The even better part is that it can be adapted to just about any topic or level of student. It’s so good that you should really just find out all the details right here:
#14: Whiteboard Games
For some reason, students just seem to love writing on the whiteboard. Maybe it’s the novelty factor of it? Whatever the case, try some out in your classes today! They lend themselves very well to comparatives and superlatives. More details here:
#15: A-Z Alphabet Game
This activity makes the perfect warm-up to this unit because it helps students activate prior knowledge they may have about adjectives.
The way it works is that students write the alphabet on their piece of paper. Then, then try to think of adjectives (one per letter) that begin with each one. For example:
The winner is the team with the most words at the end of the allotted time. Then, take this activity to the next level by requiring that students turn each adjective into a comparative or superlative, using the correct rules.
More information right here: ESL A-Z Game.[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h2″ question-0=”What are some ESL Superlative Questions?” answer-0=”Who are the best and worst looking celebrities in your opinion? What’s the most delicious thing you’ve ever eaten? Who’s the greatest sports star who even lived? What’s the best place to shop for birthday or Christmas gifts around here? What’s the most difficult thing about studying another language for you? Where’s the best place to go for vacation in your country? What’s been the happiest period of your life? Which country is the best place to live? What’s the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to you?” image-0=”” headline-1=”h2″ question-1=”What are some ESL Comparative Questions?” answer-1=”Which is worse: smoking, drinking or eating junk food? Which subject is harder: science or English? Would you rather be the worst athlete in the class, or the worst student? Is it better to be rich and famous or rich and not famous? Do you think technology makes the world better or worse? Are there some people who are luckier than other?” image-1=”” count=”2″ html=”false” css_class=””]
What is a Superlative Adjective?
A superlative adjective describes something to the highest degree. For example: best, highest, worst, latest, dirtiest.
Regular one syllable words end in “est”. A 2+ syllable word has “most” or “least” added to the front of it.” Two syllable words ending in “y” change the “y” to an “i” and add “est.” For example: dirtiest. There are also exceptions like best and worst.
An example of a superlative adjective used in a sentence is the following:
“My mom is the best cook in my family. And, she’s always wears the most interesting clothes.” (more ideas here: ESL Clothing Activities).
What is a Comparative Adjective?
A comparative adjective compares one noun to another. For example: better, higher, later, dirtier.
Normal one syllable words end in “er.” A 2+ syllable word has “more” or “less” added to the front of it. Two syllable words ending in “y” change the “y” to an “i” and add “er.” For example: dirtier. There are also exceptions like better and worse.
Here are a couples of examples:
“My Dad is more handsome than your Dad. He’s also taller.”
What are some ESL Superlative Questions?
Do you want to get the discussion going? Here are a few superlatives questions that you might want to try out with your students:
Who are the best and worst looking celebrities in your opinion?
What’s the most delicious thing you’ve ever eaten?
Who’s the greatest sports star who even lived?
What’s the best place to shop for birthday or Christmas gifts around here? (more ideas here: ESL Christmas Games)
What’s the most difficult thing about studying another language for you?
Where’s the best place to go for vacation in your country?
What’s been the happiest period of your life?
Which country is the best place to live?
What’s the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to you?
What are some ESL Comparative Questions?
Here are some of my favourite comparative questions to try out with your students.
Which is worse: smoking, drinking or eating junk food?
Which subject is harder: science or English?
Would you rather be the worst athlete in the class, or the worst student?
Is it better to be rich and famous or rich and not famous?
Do you think technology makes the world better or worse?
Are there some people who are luckier than other?
Comparatives and Superlatives ESL Worksheets
Do you want to find some worksheets to practice this important skill? Here are some of my go-to sources:
The textbook you’re probably using is also another great source, along with the homework or workbook.
Superlatives and Comparatives Online Practice
If you’re looking for some online practice for this type of English grammar, refer your students to the following resources:
Comparative and Superlative Lesson Plans
Okay busy teachers, we know that you probably want a ready-made lesson plan for these kinds of adjectives, right? Who doesn’t want something that they can just print and go? Nobody! Then you’ll want to check out our top picks for ESL lesson plans for superlatives and adjectives:
Did you Like these ESL Games and Activities to Practice Adjectives?
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 146 Pages - 03/10/2016 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Yes? Thought so! Then the book you’re going to love is this one over on Amazon: 101 ESL Activities for Teenagers and Adults. The key to better English classes is a wide variety of interesting and engaging games and activities. This book will help you get here.
The best part is that the book is well-organized into various sections. You should be able to find what you’re looking for in just a minute or two. If that’s not some ESL teaching awesome, them I’m not really sure what is.
So, if you’re ready to level-up your teaching game, then you’ll need to pick up your copy of the book today. It’s available in both digital and print formats. Find out more right here:
Have your Say about ESL Comparative and Superlatives
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Last update on 2020-04-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API