Are you looking for a quick warm-up that you can use to start the first few minutes of each class off with? Or, a fun way for students to do presentations? Try out show and tell ESL ideas for a fun class, guaranteed.
You’ll want to consider show and tell with your ESL or EFL students! Keep on reading for all the details you need to know about how to do this popular ESL speaking activity.
Show and Tell ESL Activity
Time: 1-2 minutes per student (no questions). 4-6 minutes per student (with questions)
Level: High Beginner to Intermediate, all ages
Materials Required: Nothing
Show and Tell is a classic activity from way back in elementary school, but it can work well in your ESL classes too. Tell students a few days before the “show and tell ESL speaking style” class that they need to bring an object from home that is meaningful to them. Or, you can limit objects to a certain category if you wish.
Or, perhaps use it to do a short presentation about rooms in the house. Students can think about their favourite room and then bring in a small object from home from that room.
Continue reading to find out useful Show and Tell ideas for adults and kids.
Big Things? A Picture Can Work Too
If it’s something really big (a piano) or something that doesn’t transport easily (a cat), then they can email you a picture to put up on the screen instead. Students give a short presentation, talking about the item and why it’s meaningful to them.
Encourage Follow-Up Questions
The audience can ask a few follow-up WH questions. In order to make the question time go more smoothly with shy classes, you can put students into teams of 4-6, and each team has to ask one question. You could also award points or a reward to the 3 or 4 students who ask the most thoughtful questions.
By using follow-up questions, it turns this activity from strictly a speaking activity into a listening and conversation one. Basically, it gives students a reason to listen instead of just thinking about what they’re going to say in their turn.
Teaching Tips for Show and Tell ESL Activity
This activity is an excellent way to get your students to do presentations in a low-pressure way. If they have something familiar to hold on to, they’ll feel less nervous than standing in front of the class with nothing. In addition, everybody likes talking about themselves!
Instead of doing this activity in a single class, you could do it over the course of a semester with one or two students going at the beginning or end of class; you can assign specific days to each student. This can work particularly well with mixed-level classes because there’s less of a direct comparison between students this way.
Procedure for Show and Tell ESL Activity:
- Tell students to bring a meaningful object from home or send a picture if bringing the object isn’t practical.
- Students introduce the object in a short presentation of 1-2 minutes, depending on the level.
- The other students listen and can ask some follow-up questions. The way that you do this can depend on the size and level of the students in your class.
Show and Tell Ideas for Adults
Here are some fun show and tell ideas for adults:
- a collectible
- family picture
- favourite game
- cute plant
- something from a recent vacation
- favourite small kitchen thing
- wear your favourite clothing item
- something you use for a sport
- an art or craft project
- favorite book
- something you like to bake (and share!)
Do you have any fun show & tell ideas for adults? Leave a comment and let us know.
More Ideas Besides Show & Tell
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 94 Pages - 05/30/2015 (Publication Date)
Yes? Though so!
If you like the show and tell ESL activity, then you’re going to love this book, 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adults. There are almost 40 top-quality ESL speaking activities for teenagers and adults.
Low on Prep Time
The best part about them is that they’re extremely easy on the prep time. You can pull the book out a few minutes before your next class and find an ESL speaking activity or game that you can use.
Fun, Engaging English Conversation and Speaking Classes
Save time, and make your conversation classes fun, engaging, and interesting. The best part is that your students will be having a great time speaking English.
Available in a Variety of Formats
You can get the book on Amazon. It’s available in both print and digital formats. The (very cheap!) digital copy can be read on any device by downloading the free Kindle reading app. 39 fun ESL speaking activities at your fingertips wherever you go. Love it! We’re sure you will too.
Check out this book filled with engaging English-speaking activities for yourself on Amazon, but only if you want a serious dose of ESL awesome in your life.
FAQs About Show and Tell Ideas
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about show and tell ideas and games.
What is a good show and tell idea?
If you are looking for Show and Tell ideas for kindergarten, consider giving kids a common topic or category. A great way to do it finding a favourite object. For example, the topic or theme of the Show and Tell can be favourite fruit, doll, cup, movie, or character. Also, baby picture is a great Show and Tell idea for kids.
What is the objective of show and tell activity?
Show and Tell is a great speaking and listening activity. For ESL students, this activity is a great chance to practice presenting, listen to others present, and ask and answer questions about the presentation. Speaking and giving a little presentation in another language can be challenging, but not so much if it is about something that is meaningful to the students. Also, it is still a fun activity for native English speakers as well. Show and Tell provides an opportunity to learn a little bit more about your friend, colleague, or community member.
What do you show at show and tell?
Show and tell ideas for adults and kids differ. If it is a show and tell for kids, consider taking your oldest stuffed animal, baby picture, or a favourite bedtime book. Some show and tell ideas for adults include pictures of family or loved ones, favourite books, or items related to your hobby.
What should I share for show and tell at work?
Here are some ideas for Show and Tell at work. You can bring small collectible figures, something you like to bake, favourite book or movie, photos of friends or family, or souvenirs from your last travel destination.
Show and Tell Ideas: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts about this ESL speaking activity? Leave a comment below and let us know. Have you tried it out in your English classes? How did it go? We’d love to hear from you. If you are looking for another fun speaking activity, check out would you rather for kids.
Also, be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other busy teachers like yourself find this useful teaching resource.
Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API