This is a fun ESL game that can be used as a warm-up activity to help build vocabulary in your ESL / EFL classroom.
ESL games are great when they let your students work as teams towards a common goal. An A–Z race is one of the easiest ways to get your students working together to brainstorm vocabulary that they already know.
The Details About A-Z Race
- This game is great for any class size large or small.
- This game works from ages 10 and up. Basically, players need the ability to read and write.
- The only materials needed are a pencil, paper and a way to keep time. For large classes teachers should have a whiteboard and marker as well.
- An A-Z race should last anywhere from 10 – 15 minutes.
How To Play A-Z Race
- Divide your class into teams. Pairs or small groups work best.
- Have each team write the alphabet from a – z in list format with one letter on each line of their papers.
- Give your class a topic. In the video above I used food.
- Brainstorm a few examples: A= apple, B= banana, etc.
- Give the class a time limit. 2-5 minutes depending on age and ability.
- As the class is thinking of vocabulary you as the teacher should be walking around helping out. Make sure each group gets a good number of words on their lists.
- Once the timer goes off have your EFL students count how many words their groups could think of.
- The team with the most words on their list is the winner.
- After your ESL students tally the total number of words they came up with have your class work together to make a master list on the whiteboard.
- Help your class out if there’s any letters that they miss.