Change Chairs

In the Change Chairs ESL game (also known as Fruit Bowl), students have to change chairs if the sentence spoken by another student is true for them.

Students for Change Chairs ESL Game:6+Time for Change Chairs ESL Game:10-20 mins
Resources for Change Chairs ESL Game:

Clear a space in the classroom and arrange some chairs in a circle (facing inwards). You should have one less chair than the number of players – and it works best if you play yourself!

  1. The students sit on the circle of chairs, except for one student (or the teacher), who stands in the middle.
  2. The person in the middle says a sentence that starts with Change chairs if you… and ends with some condition (e.g. …have brown eyes).
  3. If that condition is true for a student, they have to stand up and find a new chair as quickly as possible, while the speaker also tries to sit down.
  4. The student left standing up then has to provide the next condition, and the game repeats.
Target Language

Play the Change Chairs ESL game as a warmer or review game for specific grammar/vocabulary. For beginner students or kids the conditions might work best with the present simple, for example …have a sister or …walk to class. But with intermediate students you could use the past simple (…ate a banana yesterday) and/or present perfect simple (…have gone to the cinema in the last month). It also works well when practising clothes vocabulary (…if you’re wearing blue shoes).

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