The Parts Of Speech ESL game is a variation on Countdown that uses parts of speech instead of letters.
If you have the Internet and a projector available, by far the easiest way to play is using our online Countdown game (select ‘Parts of Speech’ from the dropdown menu).
You can also play by preparing your own set of random parts of speech on pieces of paper, though this will take some time. Choose common words, and combine some words into one selection, e.g. a/an, do/does, verb/verb (third person singular form). When you have finished, sort them into piles according to the parts of speech, and shuffle them.
Students can play this game individually or in pairs.
- The students/pairs take turns selecting a part of speech. If using words on paper, write them on the board as they are drawn. You can choose how many parts of speech to use in each round – about fifteen usually works well.
- Students have one minute to form the longest sentence they can, writing their ideas down.
- When the time is up, ask the students/pairs in turn to share their longest sentence, and review/check it as a class. If someone repeats a sentence already used, ask them to provide proof they thought of it by showing it written down.
- Each part of speech used in a coherent sentence scores one point. At the end of each round, elicit the longest possible sentence from the class.
- For future rounds repeat the process, starting the selection process with a different student/pair. The student/pair with the most points at the end of the game wins.
The Parts Of Speech Countdown game is harder than it looks, but it’s great practise for high intermediate and advanced students. It might take a few rounds for them to fully get the hang of the game (including choosing the best parts of speech) but once they do they’re sure to enjoy it! It works great as a warmer and/or to review parts of speech, and it helps if students are already familiar with the original version of Countdown.
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