Small ESL classes and man-2-man language lessons can often prove to be extremely difficult to teach. Children are naturally intimidated by an adult speaking directly to them in a foreign tongue. In these situations having a fun, engaging activity to break the ice can make all the difference between success and failure.
Can you think of anything more fun than a Nerf gun? I sure can’t!
- I use this ESL game for teaching simple sentence structures and prepositions.
S1 – It’s behind the table.
S2 – It’s an elephant.
S1 – It’s next to the elephant.
S2 – It’s a chair.
- Materials required are a Nerf gun with foam darts and a selection of random objects and toys. For an added vocabulary learning bonus try to make sure the objects are course related.
- This game should take about 10 minutes to play.
- This game is ideal for ESL student’s between 5 and 12 years old. In my experience it tends to work a little better with girls because their usually not as rambunctious.
- This ESL game works best with a man-2-man lesson or with very small class sizes with no more than 4 students total.
- I like to start any preposition lesson by reviewing the preposition chant.
- Setup a table with random toys scattered and stacked on top of it.
- S1 picks a target for S2 (the shooter) by picking a location. Eg, It’s on the table.
- S2 must then identify an object on the table using the target language. Eg, It’s an elephant.
- Once S2 correctly uses the language target they get a turn to shoot the Nerf gun at the elephant. If they hit the elephant they get a point. Rather than keeping track of points I find just taking the object off the table using the actual object as a point works best.
- Switch shooters and repeat until there are no objects left on the table.
- The students with the most toys in their “points pile” wins.
Do you have any other ways of using Nerf guns in your classroom? I’d love to hear any ideas.