Magazine Treasure Hunt

In the Magazine Treasure Hunt ESL Game, students race to find pictures of vocabulary words in a magazine.

Students for Magazine Treasure Hunt ESL Game:2+Time for Magazine Treasure Hunt ESL Game:10-20 mins
Resources for Magazine Treasure Hunt ESL Game:
Magazines; A3 Paper, Scissors and Glue (Optional)

Students can play this game individually or in pairs (better for larger classes). You will need one magazine for each student/pair. Make sure the magazine contains the type of vocabulary you wish to practise, and try and make sure each magazine has a similar type/amount of content.

In one version of the game students simply find vocabulary items (one at a time). In another, you can require students to cut the items out and stick them on a poster too. For the latter, you will need a piece of A3 paper, scissors and glue for each student/pair.


Version 1

  1. Students start with the magazine closed on the desk in front of them. Read out or display a random vocabulary word, according to your target vocabulary (you could use our Random Word Generator to display words).
  2. Students flick through their magazine to find a picture of the item as fast as they can. When they find the item, they shout “Stop!”- the whole class freezes, and they keep their finger on the item.
  3. Go and check their picture; if it is correct, they win a point, otherwise continue the round by shouting “Go!”.
  4. Repeat as many times as desired. The student/pair with the most points at the end wins.

Version 2

  1. Write/project about twenty vocabulary words on the board at once. Stick a piece of A3 paper on the wall for each student/pair.
  2. The students race to find all the vocabulary items in the magazine, cut them out, and stick them on their poster. You may want to have one or two extra magazines handy for students to use if they can’t find something in their magazine.
  3. The first team to finish their poster is the winner.
Target Language

Play the Magazine Treasure Hunt ESL game to practise vocabulary for clothes or furniture and household objects with beginner or low intermediate students. You could also use it as a warmer, either as a review activity for those topics, or with a mix of vocabulary words.

The poster version of the activity works particularly well with kids. Ask them to label their poster as well for extra practice.

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.