ESL Game #012 – Charades

Easy ESL Games Charades

Charades is a Classic ESL / EFL game.  It’s a fun and easy way to teach and reinforce vocabulary.  Playing is simple.  Students have to mime out a lesson related word or phrase while their teammates try to guess what it is.  But remember, there’s NO TALKING!


The Details:

  • Charades works in any class size.
  • The only materials required are some teachers cards.
  • Charades works best with students in Elementary and Junior High School.


How to play Charades:

  1. First, divide your class into 2 or 3 teams.For larger classes you can divide your class into teams and hand each team a stack of teachers cards.  The teams have to race against each other.  The first team to mime their way through their entire deck of cards wins!
  2. Then, start the game by showing one of your ESL / EFL students a flash card or vocabulary target.
  3. The actor then has to be able to act out what they read without speaking or making any sounds.
  4. The first team to guess the word or vocabulary target correctly gets a point.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4.


For High School and Adult ESL classes Hieroglyphics is a more mature alternative to Charades.

* teaching hint*  In most classes there will be a few student’s that are very shy or reluctant to mime out the targets.  To make it a little easier for them you can either preform the charade with them or let the entire group act out the charade at the same time.