In the Where Am I ESL game, students try to guess places from their classmates’ clues.
You will need a suitable set of places for the students to guess (e.g. places in the city, countries, the natural environment, rooms of the house, transport etc.). The type of place will depend on your target language.
If you have the Internet and a projector, the easiest way to play is to use our online Where Am I game, which has a variety of suitable pre-made categories. If not, prepare the places as a list beforehand, or you could even just make them up as you play.
- One student stands at the front of class, facing away from the board.
- Write/project a place on the board behind them.
- Their classmates take turns giving them one-sentence clues about where they are, using the target language. Each student must only give one clue at a time.
- After each clue, the student guesses where they are.
- If their guess is correct, they sit down and new student comes to the front. A good way to decide who is to use the person who said the last clue.
- Repeat the process with a different place.
The Where Am I ESL game is perfect for practising vocabulary for different places, such as places in the city (possibly including transport), natural environments and countries. As such it could also fit with the topic of geography or travel. Be aware that with countries you should probably outlaw proper nouns.
You could also choose to focus on a specific type of grammar/functional language. For example, you could tell students they have to describe what they can see using there is/are or “I can see” (especially good with kids). With younger children try using this language to practise rooms of the house vocabulary, with students listing the furniture in each room as clues.
Or, you could limit students to using modal verbs for obligation or permission or modal verbs for recommendation, imagining the student guessing is visiting that place. For example, You should wear a swimsuit.
For higher intermediate students, what about activities that they ‘have been doing’ in that place? This way you can practise the present perfect continuous (e.g. you’ve been visiting the rainforest).
You could use the Where Am I ESL game in-class, or as a warmer to review the above topics. If you want to make things more fast-paced and competitive, try Articulate or Heads Up with places vocabulary.
For another really fun activity in which students have to guess places, see Where In The World.
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