An Alphabet Jumble is a great way to ease your class into learning.

This ESL game is perfect for those days when you can just tell it’s going to take your ESL / EFL class a little longer than normal to get to an ideal level of engagement. Rather than forcing the matter, I’ve discovered that an Alphabet Jumble is a great way to ease your class into learning.

What is an Alphabet Jumble?

An Alphabet Jumble is basically just a lot of random letters written on the blackboard.

There are a few different ways of constructing an alphabet jumble. The easiest is to Google the term “alphabet jumble pic” and download any of the images appear and then project them onto the blackboard. To perform this version of the game your ESL /EFL classroom will need to be equipped with a projector.

There are a few different ways of constructing an alphabet jumble. The easiest is to Google the term “alphabet jumble pic” and download any of the images appear and then project them onto the blackboard. To perform this version of the game your ESL /EFL classroom will need to be equipped with a projector.

If you don’t happen to have a projector, you can construct an Alphabet Jumble by passing out white board markers or chalk to your students and asking each one of them to write 3-5 letters from the alphabet on the board.  It works best if the letters are scattered.

As an easy third option, teachers with smaller classes or those that teach online may want to download a >PDF version of the Alphabet Jumble pictured above.

Here Are The Details:

  • This activity takes about 10 minutes to complete.
  • An Alphabet Jumble can be modified to work with almost any level of ESL learner but I find it works best with high school students.
  • You must have either a projector or a whiteboard with whiteboard markers.

Here's How To Have An Alphabet Jumble: 

    1. Divide your class into teams and make sure the teams are sitting together.
    2. Give each student a piece of paper.
    3. Set a timer for 5 minutes.
    4. Tell the class that they are allowed to use the letters written on the board to write as many words as they can think of within the 5 minute time span.
    5. Make sure you show the class a few different examples. The letters don’t have to be linear. Ex. in the pic below there are the letters H-E-S (in the top row written in blue). You can use them to spell the word She. You can also use the same letters to spell He.  
    6. When time expires teams have the teams count how many words each group could think of. If multiple group members write the same word, that word is only counted once.
    7. The group with the most unrepeated words wins.
    Alphabet Jumble - Easy ESL Games

    When the timer goes off your ESL / EFL students will have all been thinking in English for 5 minutes. At that point they should be engaged and ready to have fun for the rest of the lesson.

Alphabet Jumble:

    • ​It's a great warm up activity.
    • It gets your students thinking in English.
    • It's fun.