Show and Tell ESL Speaking Activity | English Speaking for Kids

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Show and Tell ESL Speaking Activity

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?

Then 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.

Show and Tell ESL Activity

Skills: Speaking/listening
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.

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.

The audience can ask a few follow-up 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.

Teaching Tips for Show and Tell ESL Activity:

This activity is an excellent way to get your students doing 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:

  1. Tell students to bring a meaningful object from home, or send a picture if bringing the object isn’t practical.
  2. Students introduce the object in a short presentation of 1-2 minutes, depending on the level.
  3. The other students listen and can ask some follow-up questions.

Like this ESL Activity?

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.

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. 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.

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 it out for yourself on Amazon:


Have your Say about Show and Tell

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?

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 resource.

Last update on 2019-07-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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