By Kevin Fabris

May 23, 2016

10 - 15 Minutes, Active, e, Easy ESL Games,, EFL, ESL, Fun, Game, Games, Learn It, Materials Required, Practice It, Question, Small Class, Some Materials Required, Teams, Timer Game, Young Learner

ESL Basketball is a game your students will absolutely love.  It’s a great way to add excitement to almost any language target or topic in your ESL classroom.

The Details:

  • To play Basketball you’ll need a timer, 2 buckets, some coloured plastic balls (available at almost any toy store or on Amazon), and lesson related flashcards.
  • This game works best with students between the ages of 5 and 10.  My high school students often ask to play as well.
  • ESL Basketball works better with a small class due to the amount of resources required.
  • A game of Basketball should take between 10 and 15 minutes.
  • ESL Basketball works with almost lower level target language.  In this example we’re using Q -> “Do you like ________?”.  A-> “Yes, I do”/”No, I don’t”.

How to:

  1.  Pre-teach the lesson related vocabulary using the 2 – 1 – 0 method.
  2. Set up an empty bucket close to a wall.
  3. Place the second bucket (filled with balls) 1 or 2 meters away from the empty bucket.
  4. Give one student the stack of pre-taught vocabulary cards and have them stand beside the empty bucket against the wall.  This student will be the questioner.
  5. Have a second student stand beside the full bucket of balls.  This student will be answering questions and shooting baskets.
  6. Set a timer for one minute.  Count down from 3 seconds and press the start button.
  7. The questioner has to ask “Do you like whatever picture is on the flashcard?”
  8. The shooter has to either answer “Yes, I do” or “No, I don’t”.  If the shooter correctly answers the question they get to try and shoot one ball into the empty bucket.
  9. The questioner then switches flashcards and repeats the question, answer and shoot process.
  10. When the timer goes off, count how many baskets were made.
  11. Switch roles and repeat steps 4 -10.
  12. The student or team that makes the most baskets is the winner.
ESL Basketball works with up to 6 people.  You can divide students into teams of 3 and have one student acts a the questioner, one as the shooter and one as the timer keeper/counter.  Rotate between teams so that it doesn’t get boring.  After 3 rounds tally the total points to determine which team wins.


Watch more here:

May 31, 2020

This is an activity given to us by

February 15, 2015

The singing potato is guaranteed fun for any

November 17, 2016

This Super Simple Game submission comes from Olga.

May 31, 2020

Here's a great little activity submitted by Galina