If you’re looking for some of the best ESL feelings and emotions activities, worksheets, vocabulary items and lesson plans, then you’re definitely in the right placeboa. Keep on reading for all the details you need to know.
ESL Feelings/Emotions Activities
Are you ready to get into the best ESL activities and games for emotion and feeling adjectives, a very important part of speech? Here are all the details you need to know about our top 20 ESL feelings games and activities.
#1: Dialogue Substitution
Most ESL textbooks introduce feelings and emotions with a dialogue of some kind. But, have you ever noticed that most students just kind of mindlessly read through them and don’t really pay attention to what they’re reading? It’s normal, but it doesn’t have to be the case in your case!
Instead, take out some of the key words. In this case, it’d be the feelings or emotions, or perhaps the cause of the feeling. Then, students have to work together to read the dialogue while filling in the blanks. It turns something that’s really quite easy into something far more challenging.
Do you want to try it out with your students? Check it out right here: Dialogue Substitution for ESL.
#2: Flip-Chart Vocabulary Review Game
If you want to review emotion or feeling vocab in a big way, then you’ll want to consider using the flip-chart game. The way it works is that you write a bunch of feelings in a notebook. Then, the first team sends their captain up to the front of the class and you stand behind them.
The team has to describe situations where someone might feel this way. For example, if the word is angry, their team might say something like, “When I get cut off in traffic.” Teams take turns and the team with the most points at the end of the time is the winner.
You can find out more details about it right here: Flip-Chart ESL Vocabulary Review.
#3: Conversation Starters
If you tell your students to talk about their feelings with each other, you’ll most definitely be met with blank silence! Instead, it’s best to give them some conversation starters to help get the conversation ball rolling. The best one for this topic is, “When do you feel _____?”
Do you want to find out more about this? Check out some tips and resources here: ESL Conversation Starters.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 94 Pages - 06/18/2020 (Publication Date)
#4: Feelings and Emotions Board Game
I LOVE to play board games in real life and so like to use them in my classes too. They lend themselves very well to feelings and emotions. You can write a whole bunchy of sentence starters that students have to finish. Most of them will probably be something like, “I feel _____(sad/angry/confused) when ______.”
Do you want to give an ESL feelings board game a try? You can find out all the details you need to know right here: ESL Board Games.
#5: Would you Rather Feelings/Emotions Activity
You’ve probably done this fun game with your friends before. The way it works is that you have to choose between two negatives, or two positive things. For example:
- Would you rather die by fire or drowning?
- Would you rather go to the beach or forest for a vacation?
This activity also lends itself well to feelings and emotions. For example:
- Would you rather feel tired or hungry?
Do you want to find out more? Check out this fun ESL warmer activity right here: ESL Would You Rather.
#6: Picture Prompt
I love to use pictures in my classes to introduce a unit. In this case, you’d want to find a picture that has people who have strong emotions. Then, depending on the level of students, you could do a few things:
- Get students to shout out some feelings words that they see
- Make some guesses as to why the people feel the way they do
- Predict what might happen next
Check out all the ways you use pictures in your classes here: Picture Prompt ESL Warmer.
#7: Agony Aunt Problem and Advice
Feelings and problem/advice vocabulary are often combined in ESL textbooks. If this is the case for you, consider trying out this activity. The key is finding (or writing) a problem that’s heavy on the feelings. Find out more details here: Agony Aunt ESL Activity.
#8: Comparative and Superlative Adjective Activities
Emotions and feelings lend themselves very well to comparative and superlatives. For example:
- The boy looks sadder than the girl.
- I’m feeling the most excited about my whole family.
There are a ton of activities that you can do with these. To check out some of our top recommendations, you’ll want to check this our: Comparative and Superlative Activities for ESL.
#9: ESL Role-Plays
One of my favourite activities that I like to do related to feelings/emotions is role-plays. They’re ideal for beginning level students who want to get some practice with speaking but aren’t at the level yet where they can do more difficult conversation activities or something like free talking.
The way it works is that you can think of a role-playing starter. For example:
A. Hey _____. How are you doing today?
B. Oh, not great. I’m feeling ______.
A. Oh no! What happened?
Students can continue on the conversation. When they’re done writing it out, they can memorize it and then present it to the teacher or class. Learn more about using this conversation activity in your classes: ESL Role Plays.
#10: ESL Feelings Charades
If you want to do a quick review of feelings and emotions, you could consider doing charades with your students. The way it works is that they have to act out a feeling, using their body or facial expressions. Find out more about using this activity with your students here:
#11: Guess the Feelings Quiz for ESL
#12: Include Feelings in your Daily Routine
When I teach children, especially kindy kids I’m ALL about using a routine. I’ll generally have a little chat with my students about what day of the week it is, what time it is, what they did last night, etc. You can also include feelings and ask how your students are doing.
Here are some more details about using routines when teaching English to children here: ESL Teaching Routines.
#13: ESL Videos Related to Feelings and Emotions
The good news for English teachers is that there is an ESL video for just about any topic, grammar point or vocabulary set under the sun. This includes feelings too! The key to getting the best value out of them is to do some pre-watching and post-watching activities. You can see some of our best ideas here:
#14: Running Dictation
If you want to introduce a dialogue from your textbook in a far more interesting way than just having students read it, consider using this challenging ESL activity. The way it works is that you cut out each utterance from the dialogue and then paste them around the classroom on the walls.
Students have to work together to get the sentences down on their paper. Then, once they do that, they have to put the sentences together into a conversation that makes sense. It’s a classic, 4-skills ESL activity that your students will love! Find out how to do it here: Running Dictation 4-Skills ESL Activity.
#15: A to Z Alphabet Game for Feelings/Emotions
If you know that your students have studied emotions and feelings before, then try out this quick warm-up activity that helps them to activate their prior knowledge. The way it works is that students work in pairs to try to think of an emotion that starts with each letter of the alphabet. The team with the most letters completed at the end of the allotted time is the winner.
Check it out here: A to Z ESL Alphabet Game.
#16: Feelings Word Association
One quick activity you can do with your students to work on these vocabulary items is word association. Basically, you get the student’s help to make a mind map of emotions on the board. If you think about it, there are groups of very similar ones. For example, happy, sad, and scared all have various subsets.
#17: More Ideas for Teaching ESL Speaking
#18: Hot Potato Feelings and Emotions Game
The hot potato game is a fun party game but you can play it in your TEFL classes with a twist. The twist is that the person holding the potato when the music stops has to do a task of some kind. In this case, it could be answering a question related to feelings/emotions.
Learn more here: Hot Potato.
#19: Word Association Activity
Unless students are absolute beginners, it’s likely that they already know some words for feelings or emotions. That’s why I like to do something like this activity to help them activate their prior knowledge. It’s then easier to add new words into the mix.
Find out all the details here:
#20: Category Games and Activities for ESL
There are a number of fun ESL games you can use to teach students about categories or words: food, ESL sports, hobbies, or in this case, feelings/emotions. Check out some of the best ones here:
#21: Chain Spelling with Emotion Adjectives
This is a simple game to review the spelling of emotion adjectives or feelings. The way it works is that all the students stand up and then you say a feeling/emotion that you’ve been teaching. The students have to spell it out, letter by letter and if someone makes a mistake, they sit down and are out of that round.
#23: Me Too!
Students have to make a true statement about themselves related to feelings or emotions. For example:
- I feel angry when I have to wait in line.
- If my phone is low on battery, I feel nervous.
- I feel happy when I go running.
If other students in the class feel the same way, they can stand up and say, “Me too!”
Feelings ESL and Emotions Vocabulary
Here are some of the most common feelings that you might consider teaching your students
ESL Feelings Worksheets
If you’re looking for some emotions and feelings ESL worksheets to save you a ton of time instead of making your own, then you’ll want to check out our recommended resources right here:
ESL Lesson Plans for Feelings and Emotions
Do you want some lesson plans for emotions or feelings that you can just print and go? Then you’ll want to check out our top recommendations right here:
Emotions ESL FAQs
There are a number of common questions that people have about teaching emotions and feelings for ESL. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
How do you teach ESL emotions?
There are a number of ESL games and activities that can be used to teach emotions or feelings. Some of the best ones include the following: drawing faces on the board, matching pair games, emotions songs or chants, matching feelings to situations, practicing actions to songs, and more.
What are some fun TEFL games to teach feelings?
How can I ask about feelings in English?
Some of the best ways to ask about feelings in English are to use the following phrases:
- How are you feeling today
- You look _____. Are you okay?
- You seem a little bit _____. How are you doing?
- What’s wrong?
- What’s the matter?
- Are you doing alright?
What is the difference between feelings and emotions?
The main difference between feelings and emotions is that feelings are experienced consciously. Emotions may be either conscious or subconscious.
What are the basic emotions?
The basic emotions can be categorized as follows:
How to teach ESL kids new words?
Did you Like these Adjectives of Feelings Games and Activities?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 94 Pages - 05/30/2015 (Publication Date)
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Have your say about these Emotions ESL Activities
What did you think about these ESL games and activities for adjectives of emotion and feelings? Do you have another activity that you’d like to recommend to us? If you are interested in teaching another topic, take a look at the list of school subjects. 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 2022-08-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API