If you’re looking for a fun way to elicit some vocabulary words from your students, you’ve come to the right place. This is a quick activity that requires nothing in the way of preparation. And the best part?
The students think it’s fun and will love to participate. Before you know if, you’ll have a ton of hands in the air, hoping to add some words into the mix.
Here’s how you can use it as a quick warm-up or lead-in for your English lesson with kids.
I’m an Alien: ESL Speaking Activity for Kids
Materials Required: None
I love a no-prep, no-materials ESL speaking activity for kids, and students always enjoy this one. You begin class by telling the students you are an alien. You landed just a few minutes earlier, right outside the school. Since you are new here, you don’t know a lot of words, and you need some help.
You can create a mission scenario, and elicit vocabulary that will help you. Maybe you want to send a letter telling your mother you arrived safely. You can elicit pen, paper, stamp, envelope, post office. Maybe you need to meet someone in another part of the school, such as the cafeteria. You can elicit types of rooms in a school (hall, bathroom, library, etc) as well as direction words.
The best part about this vocabulary activity is that it helps activate prior knowledge. Chances are, your students probably already know vocab words for most familiar topics, unless they are total beginners. Give your students a chance to refresh these words they already know before adding new ones in later in your lesson.
Two Choices for this ESL Activity
It works really well as an ESL warm-up activity and you have 2 choices:
- Use it as a review of the previous class material.
- Use it as a lead-in for whatever you’re studying that class. Students often know some of the vocabulary and it can be extremely useful to activate their prior knowledge at the beginning of the class.
Procedure for I’m an Alien:
- Begin class by telling the students you are an alien. Since you are new here, you don’t know a lot of words, and you need some help.
- Create a mission scenario, and elicit vocabulary that will help you complete it. For example, you want to send a letter telling your mother you arrived safely. You can elicit pen, paper, stamp, envelope, and post office. The topic of this activity should be related to what you’re teaching that day.
- You can write the words on the board, or just do this activity orally.
- You can give a student a chance to be the alien, if you would like to extend the activity.
- (optional) Have students write new words that they learned in their notebooks.
Like this ESL Speaking Activity for Kids?
Do you like this speaking activity? Then you’re going to love this book: 39 ESL Warm-Ups: For Kids (7+). There are enough games and activities in there for an entire semester of happy, engaged students who are loving your English classes.
Seriously, the key to happy students is a variety of interesting activities. This book will help you do it in style and you can make it through an entire semester without having to repeat a single warm-up activity.
The good news is that you can easily find the book on Amazon. It’s available in both digital and print formats. Keep a copy on the bookshelf in your office as a handy reference guide. Or, take the digital version with you for lesson planning in your favourite coffee shop.
It really is that easy to have awesome English classes for kids. Do you want to get yourself some ESL awesome? Head over to Amazon to learn more about it:
Need Another Quick ESL Warmer for Kids?
Check out, Yes, No, Stand-Up for another one of those no-prep games that kids like. You can learn more about it in this video:
Have your Say about this ESL Activity for Kids!
What are some of your favourite English activities or games for kids that you like to use in your classes? Have you tried out “I’m an Alien” in your classes? How did it go? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to share this on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. It’ll help other teachers, like yourself find this useful teaching resource.
Last update on 2020-02-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API