These classroom activities require virtually no preparation. You'll only need a ball and a few markers for all of these activities. Click on the link to see them in action on video.

Warm-up Activities/Icebreakers

A warm up activity using a ball 1. Word Association Elementary Children - Adults.

For this game to work well your students will need to know a fair amount of vocab. All you need is a ball.

Warm up activities word chain 2. Word Chain Kindergarten - Adolescents.

This game will work well as long as your students know at least two or so words for every letter. All you need is a ball.

Warm up activities Teacher Says 3. Teacher Says Kindergarten - Early Elementary Children.

This game will work well with very young students who already know some commands, body parts and basic vocab. You don't need anything.

Icebreakers Line up 4. Line Up Elementary Children - Adults.

This icebreaker will work well with students who have some conversational level of English and can ask and answer at least fairly basic questions. You only need to prepare three questions in your mind.

Vocabulary Games

Charades an ESL game for teaching vocabulary 5. Charades All Levels.

This activity will work well with pretty much all levels. You don't need anything.

ESL activity 2 students sitting in front of the classroom 6. Taboo Elementary Children - Adults.

This is fun and aside from arranging the desks you don't need anything.

ESL games for vocabulary pass the marker 7. Pass the Marker Elementary Children - Adults.

This activity will work with most levels and ages, except for the very young with little spelling ability. You only need a couple of markers.

ESL vocabulary games sprite 8. Sprite Elementary Children - Adults.

This activity will probably work well with most levels, except those with very little spelling ability.


ESL activity where students pass a ball and ask 9. Pass and Ask Elementary Children.

This Q&A activity will work well with elementary students. You just need a soft die or ball.

ESL activities sentence relay 10. Sentence Relay Elementary Children.

You just need a couple of markers.

The ESL game paper, scissors, stone 11. Paper, Scissors, Stone! Elementary Children.

You don't need anything.


A spelling ESL activity 12. Spelling Bee Elementary Children - Adolescent.

You don't need anything.

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ESLinsider's online TEFL courses

These courses are very practical, they include a lot of video on how to orchestrate classes, keep your students happy, interested and under control. 

Research suggests that these courses will lead to better teaching outcomes.

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