When teaching grammar to ESL students, it can be hard to engage them as much as more exciting topics do.
However, you can liven up your ESL grammar lessons by introducing some fun grammar games for kids. ESL grammar games will help your students understand the grammar more actively and memorize all rules without rote learning.
We’ve already covered pronoun activities, pronunciation games, reading comprehension activities, writing activities as well as other fun ESL games and activities. In this article, we’ll get more specific and share some ESL English grammar games that you can use to impart more knowledge to your students.
Here are some of the best ESL Grammar Games for Kids
Create a custom board game with a playing field and a dice. Each square of the playing field should contain a simple grammar exercise, such as the “fill in the blanks” activity. The students roll the dice and advance on the board by doing the exercises. Correct answers allow them to move further. The winner should complete the journey first.
You probably know about the popular TV show named “Jeopardy!” where players compete by guessing the questions for already provided answers. You can create your own classroom variant of this game and incorporate ESL grammar exercises into it.
For example, prepare some sentences by using specific tenses, such as “I play football today”, “I was playing football yesterday”, etc., and ask your students to guess the tenses in the jeopardy style. You can assign dollar values to answers, just like in the TV game, and add up those values in the end to determine the winner.
You can use the classic bingo game to revise the grammar skills of your students. It is quite easy to create the bingo sheets with the help of free online bingo generators, and you could review all kinds of grammar related topics: phrasal verbs, gerunds/infinitives, adjective clauses, verb tenses, etc.
Hot Potato Game
During this ESL grammar game, you should ask your students to form a circle. Then call out a verb and throw a ball to a random student who should name all three forms of this verb. Then this student should throw the ball to someone else and name another verb. If the person who gets the ball cannot name the three forms or makes a mistake, they leave the circle. The winner is the one who remains until the end of the game.
This ESL grammar game is a great way to practice the past simple and past continuous tenses as well as question forming. Inform students that a terrible crime was committed the previous night – for example, someone broke into the school. Tell the students that they are suspected of committing this crime and that they will be now interrogated.
The students should prepare themselves for the interrogation by inventing their alibis, such as “I was at the gym” or “I was watching a movie.” During the interrogation, additional questions can be asked, such as “At what time did you arrive at the gym?” “How long did you stay at the gym?” “Which movie were you watching?” “Which cinema did you go to?”
Fortune Teller Game
This is a perfect ESL grammar practice of future tenses and the “going to” future form. Prepare the cards with different pictures and explain what meanings these picture have. Then, mix up the pictures and have each of your students take a picture out of the pile, one by one. The students should interpret the pictures by using the future forms, for example, “I am going to buy a car.”
You can play an interactive game with your students to practice the prepositions of place while teaching grammar ESL. You can either use some random objects or act as an “object” yourself. You should arrange the objects or move if you are acting as an “object”, and the students should name the correct preposition.
For example “The pen is in the box.” “The pen is on the box.” “The pen is under the box.” or “You are in front of the desk.” “You are behind the desk.” “You are under the desk.”
“Stand up if you’ve ever…” Game
With this grammar game for ESL, your students can practice the “have you ever” construction. Name different situations from your life and ask the students to stand up if they’ve ever done this. For example, “Stand up if you’ve ever went skydiving.”, “Stand up if you’ve ever had a pet,” etc.
If you are the only person standing for one of your examples, you would get a point. Then instruct the students to do the same – name some experiences from their lives and ask the others about those experiences. Accordingly, if they are the only student standing, they get a point, and so on.