The Board Race ESL game is a flexible, active way to start the class and/or practise vocabulary.
Divide your class into two or more teams and have those teams line up facing the board. The students at the front should be a few metres away from the board. Give the students at the front board markers/chalk.
- Give the students a vocabulary topic/task involving a fixed number of words (see Target Language below).
- When you say go, the teams have to race to write that list of words on the board. Each student writes one word at a time, before passing the marker/chalk to the next student and going to the back of the line.
- The winning team is the one who correctly completes their list of words first. They receive a point for that round.
- Repeat with different vocabulary topics/tasks.
- The team with the most points at the end wins.
Note: If a student wishes to correct the mistake of a previous student, they can only make that correction and not write another word during their turn.
To make the Board Race ESL game more interesting, you could combine it with the game Last Letter First Letter (so that each word begins with the last letter of the preceding word), or award bonus points for the longest words.
Another option for a warmer is to ask the students to complete acrostics (e.g. C-O-N-S-T-A-N-T-I-N-O-P-L-E), or even to write the individual letters of a long word. What about using words to make a coherent sentence of predefined length, or using a particular grammar? The possibilities are endless!
The Board Race ESL game is very flexible, and you can use it to practise a wide variety of vocabulary topics. For kids or beginner students, try numbers (written as words), ordinal numbers, days of the week, months, or words beginning with each letter of the alphabet.
Intermediate and advanced students could write a fixed number of words from any suitable vocabulary category. This is a great way to test your students’ knowledge of recently learned words.
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