The Memory Circle Game | ESL Speaking for Kids

Let's TEFL
Spread the love

The memory circle game for ESL students

Are you looking for a fun ESL game to help students remember names, new grammar or vocabulary? Yes? Thought so!

Then you’re certainly in the right place. Keep on reading for more details about memory circle, an ESL activity that kids love, but you can also use it with teens or adults. Find out more here.

Memory Circle Game for Kids

Memory circle game is a fun way to help students remember names, or English vocabulary. It is a game that I often use with smaller (less than 10 students) and younger students (elementary school or kindergarten).

However,  I’ve also used it with university students in South Korea when learning new vocabulary words with good results. Try it out and see for yourself!

Here’s How to Do the Memory Circle Game with Vocabulary or Grammar: 

To set up the memory circle game, you need to make a rule about what kind of words or grammar that the students can use. Base it on whatever you are studying that day in class.

For example: animals or past tense.

You’ll need to adjust the rules and criteria according to the level and age of your students. You want to make it challenging, but not impossible. A reasonable goal is that everyone can have a chance to play at least once in a round. But then people will start to drop off after that.

I’ll use past tense for my example.

Everyone will stand up, in a circle, and I will start the game off, “I ate pizza last night.” The next student says, “She ate pizza last night, and I studied yesterday.”

The next student, “She ate pizza last night, he studied yesterday and I watched TV.” And so on it goes, around the circle.

If someone misses and gets it incorrect, they have to sit down and the game is over. I usually let it go until there are 2 or 3 people left and then I give them a prize of some sort and start over with the same rules, or a new set of criteria

I don’t play until the very end because this can get quite boring for students who dropped out early.


Memory Circle ESL Game

Need more ideas for the past? Check out: ESL Past Tense Activities.

What about with Names?

If you want to help your students remember names on the first day of class, you can use memory circle for this as well.

You can have student say their name and one thing that they like. For example:

“My name is Jackie and I like to play tennis.”

The next person:

“My name is Joe and I love to eat pizza, and her name is Jackie and she likes to play tennis.”

After that:

“My name is Jen and I love my dog. His name is Joe and he loves pizza, and her name is Jackie and she plays tennis.”

And so the activity continues until everyone has been introduced. You can make this version of it less competitive—students can give hints to each other if someone can’t remember.

Watch the Memory Circle Name Game in Action

Like this Memory Circle Game?

101 ESL Activities: For Kids (6-13)
  • Jennifer Booker Smith, Jackie Bolen
  • Kindle Edition
  • English

If you like this ESL Speaking Game for kids to help your students practice new grammar, or remember vocabulary words, then you’re going to love this book over on Amazon:

101 ESL Activities for Kids (7+).

You can have dozens of top-quality ESL games and activities for kids right at your fingertips. The book is categorized into various sections: speaking, reading, listening, warm-ups, 4-skills, etc. This will make your lesson planning easier and quicker than ever.

101 ESL Activities comes in both print, and digital formats. The digital copy can be read on any device by downloading the free Kindle reading app. Check it out for yourself today:


Have your Say!

What do you think about this memory circle ESL game? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *