Hot And Cold Numbers

In the Hot And Cold Numbers ESL game, students guess numbers from temperature clues.

Students for Hot And Cold Numbers ESL Game:2+Time for Hot And Cold Numbers ESL Game:10-15 mins
Resources for Hot And Cold Numbers ESL Game:

Each student will need a piece of paper or notebook.

You can play this game as a class, or in smaller groups.

  1. Each student draws a table with four columns. They title these columns Guess, Hot, Warm, Cold, Freezing.
  2. One student thinks of a number between 1 and 100. The other students take turns trying to guess that number. After each guess, the student thinking of the number gives a clue according to how close the guess is: Hot: +/- 3 or less, Warm: +/- 10 or less, Cold: +/- 20 or less, Freezing: other.
  3. For example if the number is 36, 33-39 is hot, 26-32 and 40-46 is warm, 16-25 and 47-56 is cold, and all other numbers are freezing.
  4. After each guess, the students all write the guess down in their table and tick the column of the clue given. This will inform their future guesses.
  5. The first student to guess the number correctly wins the round. It is then their turn to think of a number, and the game repeats.
  6. Students win a point for each number they guess correctly. The student with the most points at the end wins.

Tip – Make sure you model the game for the whole class by picking a number yourself first, and illustrating on the board if necessary. Pick a mathematically-strong student to start, and be on hand to help those who struggle with mental arithmetic!

Target Language

The Hot And Cold Numbers ESL game is a great way to practise the numbers 1-100 with beginners. You could use it as a review warmer, or as part of the main class.

It also works very well as a cross-curricular maths activity for school-age kids.

For another fun way to review numbers, try our interactive Board Slap game.

For the original version of this game in which temperature clues are used to find hidden objects, see Hot And Cold.

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