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 about this circle game for kids or adults.
Memory Circle Game for Kids (or Adults)
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 (more ESL animal ideas here) 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.
Circle Game Rules
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.
Need more ideas for the past? Check out: ESL Past Tense Activities.
Can I use this Circle Game 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.”
“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
Do you want to find out how this circle game works, including the rules? Then check out this short video below to see it in action!
Like this Memory Circle Game?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Smith, Jennifer Booker (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 133 Pages - 03/31/2016 (Publication Date)
If you like this circles memory 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:
The key to happy, engaged students who are learning lots of English is a wide variety of interesting games and activities. This book will help you get there and you can make it through an entire semester in style, without ever having to repeat one.
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Available in a Variety of Formats
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. Keep a copy on the bookshelf in your office and use it as a handy reference guide. Or, take the digital version with you to your favourite coffee shop for lesson planning on the go.
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Have your Say about this Circle Game for Kids (or Adults)!
What do you think about this memory circle ESL game that’s one of the best Kindergarten ESL activities? Or, have you tried it out in your classes? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2020-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API