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 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.
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 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 give students a reason to listen instead of just thinking about what they’re going to say on their turn.
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:
- 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.
Do you Like this ESL Speaking and Listening Activity?
- Jackie Bolen
- Kindle Edition
Yes? Though so!
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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.
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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.
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ESL Show and Tell with Kids
Check out this variation of Show and Tell with kids by watching the short video below:
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? We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2019-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API