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All of the games on these pages have been used for real in Sriwittayapaknam Primary School. We have listed here only the fun ones that work for sure. Whenever playing a game, take the opportunity to use English whenever possible. Use words such as: "team", "line-up", "winner", "draw", "score" and phrases such as "are you ready?", "ready, steady, go!", "3, 2, 1, go!" and "let's play one more time". Most of the games can be adapted for different situations and different vocabulary words.


Number Circle: Students stand in a circle and take turns in counting from 1 to 50 (easy) or 1 to 100 (hard). If they can't think of the next number they have to sit down. The next student then continues. To make it harder give a time limit of only 1 second per person. Also try odd numbers and even numbers for older students. Try not to have more than ten students in one circle.

adaption: Instead of numbers you can use letters of the alphabet.

Number Run: Write different numbers on about 30 pieces of paper. For young students use the numbers 1-30. For older students, use often confused numbers like 13 & 30 and 15 & 50 etc. Spread the numbers over the floor at the front of the classroom. Split the students into two teams and have them line up at the back. Call out a number and one student from each team has to run to the front of the room and search for that number. The winner is the student who finds the correct number. Give that team one point and continue with the remaining numbers.

adaption: Instead of numbers you can use vocabulary words.

Guess my Number: One student comes to the front of the class and chooses a number between 1 and 50. (For younger students ask them to write a number down or pick a number from a bag.) They then say "Guess my number". Students put their hands up trying to guess the number. Depending on their guess the reply should either be "My number is bigger" or "My number is smaller". The words higher and lower could be used for older students. The student that guesses the number correctly then goes to the front of the class and the game continues.


Body Relay: Draw an outline of a body on a large piece of paper. The easiest way to do this is to stick two or three sheets of newspaper together, ask a student to lie down on it and then draw around their body. Make up some flash cards using the vocabulary list for parts of the body. Split the students into two or three teams depending on the number of people. The body outlines should be at one end of the classroom and the students lined up at the other end. Then, on the command "Go!" the students pick up a flash card and run to the body outline placing it in the correct place. They then run back and the next team member takes over.

Simon Says: The teacher stands at the front of the class giving commands such as "Simon says touch your ear" and "Simon says touch your nose". If the command is proceeded with "Simon says" then the students must do it. If the teacher just says "touch your mouth" then the students must remain still. Any student that tries to touch their mouth are out of the game. For older students try adding "left hand" and "right leg" etc.


Concentration: Using any vocabulary list, make up playing card sized flash cards: one with the words written and the other with a matching picture. For example, the word "book" on one card and a picture of a book on another. All of the cards are then placed face down. Each student then takes turns to pick up two cards. Encourage them to say the name of the card as they pick them up. If the two cards match they get to keep them and play again. If they don't match they should be placed back in the same position face down. The winner is the person with the most cards at the end of the game.

I went to Market: This game is best done in groups of five. The first person starts by saying something like "I went to market and I bought a loaf of bread." The next person then has to add to the list. "I went to market and I bought a loaf of bread and some flowers." As the game proceeds around the circle the list gets longer and longer and becomes increasingly harder for them to remember. A student is out of the game if they can't remember the whole list. The game continues until there is only one person left.

adaption: Visit different places for different word lists. For example, holidays around the world, animals seen at the zoo and provinces visited in Thailand.

Kim's Game: Place some objects on a table such as 6 books, 5 rulers, 7 pens, 3 erasers, 2 pencils etc. Ask the students questions like "How many pencils?" and ask them to "count the pencils". Tell them they have one minute to remember everything on the table. Cover the objects. Give the students 30 seconds to write down the objects they saw and how many of each.


Go Fish: Th


Days of the Week: Push the tables to the back of the classroom leaving an open space. The students sit on their chairs in a large circle. One student is chosen to stand in the middle and his chair is removed. Go around the circle naming each student, including the one in the middle, a different day of the week. If you have a large class of 42 students then six of them will be Monday. To start with, go through the days of the week asking "Monday please stand up" and so on. Also say "school day please stand up" and "weekend please stand up" and "every day please stand up". If you have 42 students then 12 should stand up for weekend and 30 stand up for school day. Now the fun starts.

The student in the middle either calls out a day of the week, "school day", "weekend" or "every day". If he calls out "Wednesday" then all Wednesdays must get up and change their seats. The one standing in the middle must now run to find a vacant seat. The student who is left without a seat goes to the middle and the game continues. If "weekend" is called then everyone who is Saturday and Sunday must change seats. For "every day", everyone has to change seats. There are no winners but the game is a lot of fun.

adaption: You can use months and seasons for older students.

North, South, East, West: Label the four sides of the classroom for each point of the compass. Ask the students to stand up and face the front. When you call out a compass point they must jump quickly to face that direction. For example, if they start off by facing north and you shout "south" they must do a quick 180 degrees jump. Anyone who jumps the wrong direction or is too slow is out and sits down. Make it a little harder by adding north-east, south-west etc.

Whisper: Divide the class into two teams and tell them to line up. The student at the end of each line is given a pencil and piece of paper. Invite the student at the front of each team to come to the teacher's desk. Show them a phrase written down such as "The black cat sat on the white mat" or "Three dogs meet five cats." They then go back and whisper in the ear of the first team member the exact phrase which they have memorised. This person then whispers the phrase in the ear of the next team member. This continues down the line until the final person who writes it down. If this matches the starting phrase then they are given a point. Change the length of the phrase to make it easier or harder.

vocabulary GAMES

I Spy: One student goes to the front of the class and says something like "I can see something in this room starting with the letter C". The other students then have to guess what it is. Encourage the students to use English all the time. "Is it a chair?" "No." "Is it a clock?" "No." Is it a cup?" "Yes!" The student that guesses correctly then comes to the front of the class and does the same thing with a different object. If there are not many things in the classroom you can include objects that can be seen in a picture. If the students are having difficulty in guessing the object encourage them to ask questions such as "Is it near the front?" or "Is it big?" These questions should only be answered with a "yes" or "no".

Hangman: The class is split into two teams, for example boys and girls, and two gallows are drawn on the blackboard. One person from each team is chosen to pick a word from a vocabulary list and then draws a dash on the board for each letter in the word. The representative from team 1 then invite members of team 2 to guess a letter of the word. If they are correct then that letter is written in the correct place and that team can play again. If they are wrong, the head is drawn on the gallows. The other team then have a go at guessing letters in their word. The game proceeds like this until the head, body, two arms and two legs have been drawn. The team whose body is finished first are the losers.

Last letter: In small groups get the students to sit in a circle. The first person thinks of a word, translates it, then spells it. The next person then has to think of a word starting with the last letter of the previous word. For example, if the first word is "house" the next word could be "elephant". A word cannot be used twice. A person is out if they cannot think of a word.

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