Puppet Master

The Puppet Master ESL game requires students to act out vocabulary words/phrases by controlling their partner’s body.

Students for Puppet Master ESL Game:6+Time for Puppet Master ESL Game:10-20 mins
Resources for Puppet Master ESL Game:
Internet or Prepared Vocabulary

If you have an Internet-connected device, use our online Charades game to display appropriate vocabulary words/phrases on a phone or computer screen. Use the drop-down menu to select a category according to your target language.

Otherwise, prepare a suitable list of vocabulary words/phrases. Write them on small pieces of paper and put them in a box/hat, or on one that you can fold to reveal one word at a time.

In class, divide the students into two teams.

  1. The teams take turns playing. Two students from the team stand at the front of class. One is the puppet, and one is the puppet master. The puppet master stands behind the puppet.
  2. Show the puppet master (and no-one else) a vocabulary word/phrase. The puppet master has to move the puppet’s body to act out that vocabulary word/phrase, without making any sounds. The rest of the team has to guess what it is.
  3. The team has to guess as many correct words/phrases as they can in thirty seconds. It’s often best to allow a maximum of one pass in this game! Each correct guess is worth one point.
  4. Repeat with the other team and then other students as the puppet/master. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Target Language

The Puppet Master ESL game is a fun warmer or light-hearted way to review recently learned vocabulary. It works particularly well with sports and hobbies, daily routines, classroom objects or household objects (with students acting how the object is used for the latter two). You can also use it to practise adverbs (see our Verb + Adverb setting on the online game).

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.