ESL Game #045-Where is it?

ESL Games that you can use in every class are hard to find.  That’s what makes Where is it? a special game.

The school I work at teaches a different phonic sound in our baby classes every week.  The first week of the year is A-A-Alligator and the 26th week is Z-Z-Zebra.  The lesson topics change every few weeks but the phonic component is a constant.

A classic ESL activity that we use every week is Where is it?  The only materials required is a dual set of phonic cards.  You can find these on a lot of different websites.  I found my set on KIZ Club.

Each letter of the alphabet has 5-8 cards.  One version of the card will be in black and white and it’s matching card will be in color.

ESL Game #045- phonic cards

How to play:

  1. Before your class starts, hide the colored version of the alphabet cards around your classroom.
  2. After introducing and repeating the phonic sound a few times hold up the black and white version of the alphabet cards with the back of the card facing your students.
  3. Keep the cards facing you and say the word on the first card.  This is to prompt your baby ESL students to repeat the word.
  4. Once they have repeated the word turn the card around so that they can see the picture.
  5. Then ask “Where is it?”
  6. It helps to put your hand above you eyes to mimic looking for something.
  7. The students will then have to stand up and look around the room for the card.
  8. Once your students find the card, congratulate them and say the word again.
  9. Repeat until you have finished all of the cards.

This game has lots of opportunities for extra language.  If a student points to the wall, you can say “there“?  If they point at the ceiling you can act confused until you solicit the word “up“.

This is a great ESL game that has worked week after week for years.  Like most ESL games for babies it often relies on your ability to act excited.

* If you want to use this game but don’t have a set of phonic cards with doubles you can combine this game with ESL Game #044-Slow Draw and slow draw the black and white version of each card while your ESL students find the other card you’ve hidden around the room.