Super Tic-Tac-Toe

By Kevin Fabris

April 6, 2016

15 - 20 Minutes, Big Class, EFL, ESL, Fun, Game, High School, Practice It, Small Class, Some Materials Required, Speaking, Use It, Vocabulary, Word Game, Young Learner

Super Tic Tac Toe is a great ESL/EFL game when it’s used together with an A – Z Race as a lead in activity. It will work in any high school or low level adult ESL lesson.

ESL Game #024 - Super Tic Tac Toe - Drawn Grid With Letters
 Super Tic Tac Toe – Grid With Letters

There’s about 1 minute of pre-class prep time required:

  • On a sheet  of paper draw a 5×5 grid. It should end up having 25 squares.
  • Randomly fill the boxes with the all of the letters of the alphabet.  Leave the letter “x” off of your grid.
  • Finally, Draw a large 5X5 grid without any letters in it on the board as well.


In class Setup for Super Tic-Tac-Toe:

  • Super Tic Tac Toe - Easy ESL Games 1
    Master List with 5X5 Grid on the board.

    Start by picking a lesson subject.  In this example we’re going to use food as the vocabulary topic and a restaurant dialogue as our target language.

  • Divide your class into two teams.  Have each team complete a topic related A-Z Race.
  • After your students have finished their A-Z list take them up as a class and write a master list on the board.


How to play Super Tic Tac Toe:

  1.  Have team X ask the target question.

X-> are you ready to order?

2.  Have team O answer using one of the words from the a-z race.

O-> Yes, I’d like a Hamburger, please.

3.  Have Team X reply.

X-> No problem.

4.  Then you place an O over the square that matches where the  “H” is on the grid you drew before class.  Your covering the “H-square” because the food vocabulary used was Hamburger.

Super Tic Tac Toe - Easy ESL Games 2

5.  Switch roles and repeat until one team wins by getting four in a row.

E.G.Super Tic Tac Toe - Easy ESL Games

 X-> Are you ready to order?

 O-> Yes, I’d like the Noodles please.

 X-> No problem.

6.  Then you place an “X” over the “N- square”  from your paper.

7.  Repeat the dialogue while working in harder forms of the question until one team gets 4 X’s or O’s in a row.


  • Make sure your crossing off the corresponding boxes on your paper grid.  Otherwise this game will get extremely hard to follow as the teacher.

Usually, this game will take at least 20 squares before there is a winner.  It let’s you practice your ESL target language while playing a fun game that your students will love.  Enjoy!