10 AMAZING Fun GROUP ESL Activities for children (or even ADULTS!)


Hey, we are all children at heart and here is a big list of fun things to do with groups of children or adults to spread the English around. Check them out:

  1. Conduct a survey in the class

Choose any topic and get them to even make some graphs with the results depending on the level of your class

  1. Create a song about your community

This can be in groups or individually, and even see if you can put a tune to it with a guitar or piano. It’s good to present it in an assembly too.

  1. Design a new outfit/car, draw it and label what it is made of etc

This can be for a fashion spread in a new magazine (car or clothes!)

  1. Design a menu for a celebration

Pick the festive time and then talk about what it is about then think of the food. Make it a proper menu to put on a restaurant table.

  1. Draw a treasure map of the classroom, label everything and where the treasure is to be found.

This can be so much fun when you have groups trying to find other groups treasure!


  1. Design dream home, label areas

Imagine you are a family and you have children and parents, and what things you would all want in the house and garden. Make it a birds eye view like an architects design.

  1. Make a’ save your community’ poster

This can be painting, drawing or even online, let the groups choose and present.

  1. Write a book about your group

You are a group and need to talk about the likes and dislikes. Don’t forget a contents page too.

  1. Create a general knowledge quiz about your country

A great activity to get the whole class involved. Get countries in groups to create their questions, then one country poses the questions to the other countries.

  1. Create a Comic Strip with dialogue between characters

This is a fun one for those with an artistic bent. I really gets the ESL kids reading too.

Helpful Links:

http://esl-galaxy.com/board.htm Galaxy boardwork


8 thoughts on “10 AMAZING Fun GROUP ESL Activities for children (or even ADULTS!)

  1. Monica I found this to be really interesting for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, most students do not notice any connection between what is taught is and what is observed in reality. Therefore, it is important that the teachers not only teach the subject, but also relate to the content as well. I also noticed that these activities can also relate to a wide range of students and not only ESL students since I noticed that there are a number of hand on activities which can be extremely for students with exceptional needs. For example, students with ADHD, whom I believe an important segment of the student cohort, have difficulties with attentiveness, and that has to be addressed differently and adequately; therefore in this case, it is necessary to provide them with a hands-on and interactive learning experience that will assist them in fully grasping and understanding the lesson. Students with ADHD would comprehend the information better if they were given visual images of related to these words. This will give them an opportunity to express these words and combine them into sentences in a simplified manner. The comic strip activity is also quite interesting, it can the students engaged and motivated. That way, the students are obligated to communicate and practice both their listening and oral communication skills.
    I would also suggest a number of activities for ESL students. One effective activity which I think can be very useful here is to ask students to come up with complete sentences when given images, then it is up to them to choose appropriate words and sentence structures. In groups, students can discuss among themselves how to formulate a complete sentences, and perhaps some of them can speak out those sentences in front of other groups. Furthermore, as group members come from different backgrounds, it is very possible that some of them have difficulties pronouncing certain words due to vowel repetitions or letter sequencing. As such, to start with, I would ask students to use single-syllabus words to represent images and colors cards. Single syllabus words are typically the easiest to pronounce and contain less letters, such as “car”, “dog”, and “cat”. Then, I would make the words harder and introduce various vowels until I make sure that all students are comfortable pronouncing those words. As for phonemic awareness there are several strategies that can be used for ELL such as the model production of the sound. In this model the teacher dedicates a few minutes at the beginning of class or in small groups demonstrating and reinforcing the correct production of the sound.
    A standard exercise to assess student’s phonetic learning is by dictation. I would dictate, read out-loud, many words and sentences and ask students to write those sentences to the best of their knowledge. I could then correct their writing and offer advice accordingly.
    Other effective oral language activities can include asking students to present a story of something that interests them. That way, students are engaged and feel excited about speaking. For instance, students can speak about their favorite sports teams, food recipe, pets, movies, awkward situations they faced, family and siblings, travel stories or simply talk about their own cultural background. Students are then asked to repeat the same story over and over, several times, and every time, they get corrected until they can say the story perfectly.
    Even more relevant to today’s norms, where everyone has a cellphone, I would ask the students to develop a habit of speaking with other by phone only and not e-mail or writing. After every class, I will create assignments for each students and that assignment would require the students to ask other students questions to find answers. That way, the students are obligated to communicate and practice both their listening and oral communication skills.
    Last but not least, I would read out a full story to students in the class, then ask them to write down the names of certain objects they hear in the story, such as animals, fruits or countries. Then, at the end of the exercise, I would check to see if students managed to recognize those objects and spell them correctly!

    • well…that’s a fairly thorough break down of your approach and so many great ideas to add. Thank you so much. I personally do some of these myself and particularly use the ‘dictation’ idea, and it covers many skills, I get a short message and it it on the wall outside the classroom and put students into pairs. One is the reader and one is the writer. The reader has to go outside and read the message and then come in and dictate the message to the writer who has to write it down. All aspects have to be correct – spelling, punctuation and everything. The reader is not allowed to take the pen and write and the writer is not allowed to go out and read the message. The first time they do it it is a bit of a mess, but I always get them to do it the second time the next day but this time switching roles, the writer becomes the reader etc, They love doing it a second time as it gives them a chance to really nail it.
      Thanks for your input!

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