I Spy

The I Spy ESL game is a version of the well-known game in which students guess vocabulary words from the first letter or the colour of the object.

Students for I Spy ESL Game:1+Time for I Spy ESL Game:5-10 mins
Resources for I Spy ESL Game:

Students can play this game as a class or in small groups/pairs.

  1. One student thinks of an object that they can currently see. They say I spy something beginning with… and then either the first letter of the word or the colour of the object.
  2. The other students take turns guessing objects that match the criteria given. If a student guesses the object correctly, they are the winner of the round. It is then their turn to think of an object. Repeat the process for as long as desired.
  3. Optionally, if playing in pairs or small groups, students can keep score. Every time an incorrect guess is made, the student thinking of the object receives a point. The student with the most points at the end wins.
Target Language

The I Spy ESL game is a short, simple game for beginner students. In general it’s most suitable for younger kids, but you could play it briefly with adults specifically to practise classroom objects. Alternatively, with a private class student, you could use furniture and objects in the home.

The most common way of playing the I Spy ESL game is saying the first letter of the word. As such it is often used to practise the alphabet. To practise colours, students say the colour of the object.

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