ESL Games don’t always have to be complicated. Simple Questions is an easy warm up activity that gets your younger students engaged and using English right away.
The language targets are simple questions using adjectives and nouns. E.g.”Is it a dolphin?”, Is it big?”
- This game is great for a class of any size.
- It is best suited for children between the ages of 2 & 8.
- The only materials required are a smart phone, a free app and possibly a speaker if you’re teaching a large class.
- The set up is very easy. Go to either the Apple App store or the Google Store on your smart phone.
- Search for “Free Animal Sounds“. Hundreds of animal sound boards will pop up. In the example pics, I’m using a free app called Zoo Sounds I downloaded in the App Store.
- If you have a big class you might want to bring a speaker to plug you phone into so that all of your students can hear.
- The lesson target is simple questions so in you introduction make sure your using a lot of easy adjectives and as well as the questions “Is it a _______?”, “Is it ______?” in your daily home work check / introduction.
How to play Simple Questions:
- Open your animal sound application.
- Hold your phone towards yourself so that your students can’t see it.
- Press a button. Lets say the picture of an elephant.
- Your phone will release the trumpeting call of an elephant. Ask you class “What is it?”
- They will undoubtedly say “ELEPHANT” either in English or their native languages.
- Model the target language by saying “Is it an elephant?” When a student repeat the sentence correctly reply with “Yes, it is an elephant”. It’s important that you don’t tell them the answer until they say the target question.
- Repeat the process with increasingly difficult animals. Lion, tiger, bear, etc. Very quickly the sounds will become a little too difficult for your students because basically, no one knows what a rhino sounds like.
- At this point you introduce the adjective questions. Say things like “Is it big?”, “is it grey?” When a student follows your prompts answer their questions. It’s important that you don’t offer any information without them asking you first. After a question or two your class will figure it out.
- Once they guess which animal sound they’re hearing, switch animals and repeat. Better yet, let a student play the role of the teacher.
This game is very engaging for young learners. If you students are really young, one word answers are often good enough. In baby class building vocabulary is often a primary goal. To make it even easier for your young students you can combine this game with ESL Game #043 – Little Hints and tell your students about each animal using descriptive adjectives rather than making them guess.
I know your classes will love this game as much as mine do. Give it a try and let us know what you think.