If you’re looking for some ESL games or activities for teaching months of the year, then you’re certainly in the right place. Keep on reading for the best 20 of those, along with worksheets, lesson plans and online game recommendations for teaching the months to English learners.
ESL Months of the Year Activities: Top 20
Let’s get into the best activities for months of the year ESL.
This is a challenging ESL activity that covers a range of skills and lends itself well to just about any topic, including months. Find a passage (or write your own) about someone talking about their favourite and least favourite months.
Then, read it out at a faster than normal pace for the level of your students. They have to take some brief notes and then with a partner, attempt to recreate what they heard. Read it again and students do the same. Finally, they compare with the original.
It’s a nice way to review key vocabulary. Find out more about it: ESL Dictogloss Activity.
#2: Months of the Year Chain Spelling
A fun way to review how to spell the months is to play this game. All the students stand up and you say a month. Students spell it out, saying a letter each. If someone misses, they must sit down and are out of the game. The last 1-2 people left standing are the winners.
This is a great activity to have in your back pocket because it requires absolutely nothing in the way of preparation or materials and can be used with any sort of vocabulary that you’re teaching. Check it out: Chain Spelling ESL Game.
#3: Running Dictation
A challenging TEFL activity for months is running dictation. Find a conversation between two people talking about their favourite activities or plans they have for certain months of the year (or write your own). Then, in pairs, students have to work together to dictate the conversation and once done, put the pieces in the correct order to make a coherent conversation.
It’s challenging, student-centred and covers a wide range of skills in a single activity. Kind of an ESL teacher’s dream come true! Learn how to do it: Running Dictation.
#4: Months Card Battle Game
#5: ESL Board Games
In real life, I love to play board games. So, it’s natural that I’d play them in my classes too! It’s super easy to design your own based on whatever grammar or vocabulary you’re teaching, including the months. In this case, you’d want to fill the board with questions like the following:
- What’s your favourite month and why?
- It’s the month before June.
- What months are considered to be “summer” where you live?
Want to design one for your students? Learn how here: Board Games for English Learners.
A fun speaking game for kids is telephone or Chinese Whispers. I’m sure you played this as a kid. The way it works is that teams have to pass a message down the line. Then the person at the end compares with the original one. The results are usually so funny!
In this case, you could sprinkle months liberally into your sentences, but it works with any sort of vocabulary. Check it out: Telephone ESL Game.
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- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 122 Pages - 02/23/2020 (Publication Date)
#7: Speaking/Listening Bingo
A fun way to reviews months is to play Bingo. However, just simply stating January, June, etc. doesn’t really have that much educational value. Instead, give some hints like the following:
- It’s the first month of the year
- The month after October
- The last month of the year
Find out more about this Bingo variation here: ESL Listening and Speaking Bingo.
#8: Dialogue Substitution
A common way that vocabulary is introduced in ESL textbooks is through a dialogue. However, it’s often the case that students just read through it very quickly and don’t pay attention to what they’re reading. Of course, it’s not their fault! It’s just that they don’t have a reason to pay attention.
A better way is to remove some key vocabulary words which turns it from simply a reading activity into one that’s focused on meaning as well. Check it out: ESL Dialogue Substitution Activity.
#9: Months of the Year Songs and Chants
If you teach pre-school or kindergarten kids, you’ll want to use some songs and chants in your classes. However, if you’re not musical, not to worry. There are lots of good ones on YouTube. Here’s just one example:
#10: ESL Surveys
I love to do surveys or questionnaires with my students. Just ask them and they’ll tell you the same thing! For months of the year, there are so many yes/no questions you could use. For example:
- Do you like summer best?
- Do you have winter?
- Are you going on vacation in July or August?
- Do you have allergies that start in March or April?
- Does your family do something special for Christmas in December?
Find out more details about using this versatile ESL activity in your classes: Surveys for ESL.
#11: Picture Prompt ESL Warmer
A nice way to introduce the months and help activate prior knowledge that students may have is to show some pictures. 4 is ideal, one for spring, summer, fall and winter.
Then, elicit some information from the students:
- What the people are doing
- Guesses about which month it is
- The season
#12: Word Association
A nice way to introduce the months is to use a brainstorming type of activity. Elicit some months, seasons, weather, activities from the students and organize them onto the board.
For example: you might have a cluster with summer, July, August, swimming, beach, sunny.
It’s a nice activity if your students already know a fair amount of vocabulary related to these things and you want to help them activate their prior knowledge.
#13: Speaking Lesson Plan for Months
It can seem a bit overwhelming to plan an entire speaking lesson from scratch. However, with a template, it’s easier than you might think and it’s possible to design engaging and interesting lesson plans for the months of the year.
Want to give it a try? Learn how to do it: How to Plan an ESL Speaking Lesson.
#14: Months of the Year Finger Game
#15: Word Challenge Spelling Game
A fun way to review just about any vocabulary with beginners is to play the word challenge spelling game. All you need is a whiteboard and two markers and students have to race to spell the word you say correctly on the board.
Want to give it a try? Here are the details: ESL Word Challenge Spelling Game.
#16: Months + Comparatives or Superlatives
The months, along with this grammar are a natural fit. Here are just a few of the possible sentences:
- December is the coldest month.
- November is colder than June.
- May is the rainiest month.
- August is usually hotter than July.
Here are more ideas: Comparatives and Superlatives.
#17: Dictation Practice
Dictation has kind of fallen out of favor since the communicative approach has kind of taken over. However, it’s a nice way to review spelling and things like punctuation.
For beginners, just say the month and have students write it down. For more advanced students, include the month in a sentence.
#18: Review Games and Activities
Teaching vocabulary is ALL about review, especially with months because the vocabulary is a bit tricky and doesn’t relate to any other words that students don’t know. I envy those people with languages where the month names translate to month 1, month 2, etc.!
The good news is that there are lots of ways you can help your students remember new words by doing review. Here are some of the top suggestions: Top 20 ESL Review Activities.
#19: Include Months in your Classroom Routine
With kids, it’s always useful to have a routine to start the class off with. I’ll generally include some things like:
- Day of the week
You could also include months or seasons if you’ve recently taught this vocabulary. It’s a helpful review and can help students solidify this knowledge through repetition.
Try taking 2-3 minutes at the beginning of class to reinforce some of these key concepts. It’s easy to have a simple chat with your students in this manner and students will enjoy it, especially when they come to expect it.
#20: Weather and Months
Weather, seasons and months are a natural fit with each other and in some ESL textbooks at the high beginner or intermediate level, they are covered together. If they’re not, you can slip in some review of these things if your students have previously studied this vocabulary.
For some of the best ideas, have a look here: ESL Weather Activities and Games.
Months of the Year ESL Lesson Plans
A huge time-saver for English teachers can be to use ready-made lesson plans. Here are some of the best ones to consider for this unit:
ESL Months of the Year Worksheets
If you’re a busy teacher, then you’re going to know that making your own ESL worksheets for practice or homework takes a ton of time. The good news is that there are lots of good ones on the Internet that you can just download, print off and and then take to class. Here are some of the best months of the year ESL worksheets:
Online Game Months of the Year
If your students want some additional practice with this key vocabulary, then you’ll need to refer them to the following online games. Have some fun while learning English!
Did you like these ESL Activities for Months?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Smith, Jennifer Booker (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 133 Pages - 03/31/2016 (Publication Date)
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Keep a copy o n the bookshelf in your office to use as a handy reference guide. Or, consider taking a the digital version with you to your favourite coffee shop on your phone, tablet, or laptop for teachers for some lesson planning on the go.
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Have your Say about ESL Months of the Year
Do you have any tips or tricks for teaching the months of the year to English learners? Please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2021-02-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API