In the Guess What ESL game students try and guess what another student has in their hand.
Each student needs six small pieces of paper/card. Each paper will have a visual representation of one of three vocabulary words written on it (so that each word appears twice).
For example for colours, two have a red dot on them, two have a blue dot, and two have a yellow dot. Or for animals, two have a picture of a dog, two a cat and two a rabbit. You can alter the vocabulary words as required.
You could save yourself some preparation time and get the students to make these papers/cards. Just make sure kids are not going to get upset if they lose them!
Alternatively, if you’re practising colours, you could use Lego bricks.
- Students stand up, mingle and interact in pairs.
- Student A asks Student B what they have. Student B doesn’t answer, but holds out a closed hand with one paper in it. Student A says what they think it is, e.g. I think it’s yellow.
- Student B opens their hand and reveals what they are holding. If Student A’s guess was correct, they take the paper from Student B. If not, nothing happens.
- Student B can then ask the same thing to Student A. However, each student can only have one go; after that they have to change partners.
- Allow the students to repeat for as long as desired. You could stop when one student has ten papers.
The Guess What ESL game is a very low-level exercise to familiarise a young, beginner kids class with a few simple vocabulary words. As noted above, two common categories are colours and animals. However, you could use almost any basic vocabulary, like food, or classroom objects.
It can also be useful for drilling basic questions e.g. What (colour) do you have? / What (colour) have you got?
Another vocabulary set that works really well is types of weather (sunny, cloudy, raining), with students asking What’s the weather like? and Is it raining? for a guess.
Got a picture or video of this activity in action? How about snapping one next time you use it? We'd love to showcase your submissions- find out more here.