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  Home > TEFL Clinic > Practical Teaching > Warmers and Fillers

Level 2 - Elementary


Name of the game

Level 2+

Sentence Ladder

Ask 6 STs in turn to supply a word that they think is familiar to all the class. These words are written up on the board in a vertical line e.g. to, remember, fork, plate, blow, hide.

The task of the class (individually or in pairs) is to use all these words in one long sentence e.g., I remember one day seeing a lovely fork at our club's annual dinner when I tried to hide my plate under the table because my neighbour was trying to blow salt all over it.

Points can be given for the best sentences, and they can be deducted for language mistakes e.g., to blow salt.

Level 1-2


Put the music on and the STs walk around the room. When it stops, you shout out some instructions and the STs have to act on them. The instructions could be for example: Form groups of 3 / say hello to as many people as possible/ ask everyone what there phone number is/ stand with someone of the same height/ stand with people with the same colour eyes as you/ ask everyone what their hobbies are/ etc....

Level 2+

Aunt Betty's Cat

Around the class, the STs provide an adjective about Aunt Betty's cat beginning with the letters of the alphabet in order. e.g.:

ST1: Aunt Betty's cat is an angry cat.

ST2: Aunt Betty's cat is a beautiful cat.

ST3: Aunt Betty's cat is a clever cat. etc.

Set a time limit (30 seconds?) in which the STs must think of their sentence; if they can't or if their adjective is incorrect/inappropriate, they are either given a penalty point or eliminated from the game.

Variations: Aunt Betty's house, car, husband...........

Level 2

Adjective Match

You think of an adjective, the aim is for the class to guess it. You give as a clue a noun that the adjective could describe. The STs make 2 or 3 guesses at the adjective using it with a noun. If they don't guess correctly, provide another noun prompt and continue until somebody guesses the adjective.

e.g. ( adjective - flat)

ST1: a square table     T: No ST2: A wooden table?     T: No. Road ST3: A Straight road?       T: No. ST4: A level road?     T: No, but very close. etc.

Then the STs play the game in small groups.

Level 2+

What is it?

A ST thinks of an object (or you tell him one). The other STs ask questions in turn to try and guess the identity of the object, e.g.. "Is it heavy?' "Can you drink it?' 'Has it got a smell?" 'Can you sit on it?" If the class can't guess in 20 questions the ST has won. The person who guesses the object takes the next turn as presenter.

Level 2+

Grammar Tennis

Put STs into 2 teams. A ST comes out from each team and these STs sit facing each other at the front of the class. ST 'A' serves by saying the past participle of any irregular verb. (If s/he gets it wrong s/he can have another try, like the second service in tennis. ST 'b' responds by saying the simple past of that verb. Then A says the infinitive. A point is given for each correct part of the verb. They then repeat the 'tennis', this time with B starting first. Then A new pair takes over.

Level 2+

Word Quiz

Put the STs in teams and ask them the questions in turn, one question for each team. If the team being asked doesn't know, it's thrown open to the others. One point for each correct answer.

What is the opposite of each of the following words?

1. Boiling
2. Never
3. Full
4. Married
5. Quiet
6. Early
7. The same
8. Love
9. Backwards
10. Inside

Level 2+


One ST must try to answer questions from the class about a chosen topic. However, s/he is given a 'taboo' word that s/he must not use in his answers to the questions. e.g., yes, no, black, white, table, breakfast, (to) drink, coat, floor, etc....

The other STs obviously try to ask questions that will force the chosen ST to use the taboo word in his answers. e.g. taboo word: floor

ST1: where are your feet?     ST2: (lifts feet up) In the air

ST3: where's your chair?     ST2: Underneath my bum

ST4: What do you walk on?     ST2: My feet. (ETC.)

Level 2+

Reducing Sentences

Write a very long sentence on the blackboard (preferably lots of adjectives and unnecessary words in it.) STs in teams alternate to say a word or words they wish to be taken out of the sentence (they can then take out one word, two words that come together in the sentence or three words (maximum). When the words have been taken out. The sentence must still be grammatically correct, even if the meaning changes. The idea of the teams is that they must make the other team the last ones to remove a word. If the sentence cannot be reduced any further the team who remove the last word lose.

e.g. He walked slowly over to me and whispered something very strange into my left ear.

He walked over to me and whispered...

He walked over to me and whispered something complicated into my left ear...

Level 2+


Arrange the STs into one small group, and one bigger group (e.g. 3 STs and 7 STs). Show the smaller group a verb written on a piece of paper, e.g. to read or to ski. Now the STs in the bigger group have to find out what the verb is by asking questions about it. In their questions they should substitute the unknown word for the verb coffeepot. e.g., Do you coffeepot indoors ? Do you coffeepot? Can you coffeepot with other people? Do you coffeepot in hot weather?

Level 2+

One Ordinary Orange

Write on the board "One _______ _______" and elicit an adjective and a noun both beginning with 'O' (the first letter of one) to fill the spaces - e.g., 'one ordinary orange'

Do the same with the number 2, e.g. 'two tall trees' and possibly 3 as well e.g.- 'three thirsty thieves'.

Now put the STs into teams. Put the next number on the board, and the teams have to find a suitable adjective and noun to fit the space. Whoever can run up to the board and complete the spaces gets points for their team, and you immediately go on to the next number. For' three,' 'thirteen,' etc., the words must begin with 'th'

Level 2+

Twenty Questions I

One ST thinks of something (or you show him a name, or a picture, of something) and tells the others whether it is an animal a vegetal, mineral or abstract. (Abstract concepts might be too much for levels under 4.) The other STs then ask a maximum of 20 yes/no questions and try to discover what the thing in question is e.g. ST1: Can you eat it? ST2: no. ST3: Is it black? ST2: yes.................

The game can be played as a class or in groups of about 4.

Level 2+

Twenty Questions II

A chosen ST pretends s/s/he is a famous person, or that s/he lives in a famous city. The others ask a maximum of 20 yes/no questions to try to discover who, where, the ST is imaging s/he is. e.g. (Cities) ST1: Is it hot? ST2: Yes, very. ST3: Can you see the sea?

ST2: yes The game can then be played in groups of about 4.

Level 2+

The Guessing Game

This example is using 'going to', but you could use this activity to practise other points e.g., present continuous for future use, simple past, present simple for things you can do everyday, etc....

On a piece of paper, each ST secretly writes down 3 things s/he is going to do at the weekend. Now his partner has to guess what they are by asking questions, e.g. "Are you going to a disco?" "Are you going to play tennis?", until s/he gets one right. Then the other partner asks him questions until s/he gets one right. They continue, and the game finishes when one pair have guessed all each other's sentences, or after a time limit.

Level 2+

Describe it

Explain that you're going to describe an object and the others have to guess what it is. e.g. "It's flat and square and made of wool. I've got several different ones in my house and I walk on them." Pause after each sentence to give the students an opportunity to guess. Then show the name of an object to a ST, who takes over. Rules: s/he must only give one clue at a time, and after each clue the class may only have one guess.

The presenter gets 1 point for every correct clue s/he gives. If it's linguistically faulty s/he only gets half a point.

Level 2+

What's my name?

Read out the clues one at a time and the STs in teams, have chance to guess who the famous person is after each one.

They score 8 points if they guess it after one clue, 7 if they guess it after 2 clues, 6 after 3, etc.... down to one point after the final clue.

a. I travel the world regularly.
b. My personal art collection is worth millions
c. I am not a politician, but take a great interest in my country's politics
d. I own one of the most famous buildings in London
e. I was given my present job in 1952
f. My eldest son likes boats and airplanes
g. My only daughter is married to a soldier
h. I have four children
Answer: Queen Elizabeth II

The next, optional stage is where teams prepare a set of clues etc.., down to one point after the final clue.

a. I am already dead.
b. I lived for sixty-seven years.
c. I was Italian.
d. I was a famous engineer
e. I died in 1519.
f. I was a very famous painter.
g. You can see my most well known painting in the Louvre in Paris.
h. It's called the Mona Lisa.
Answer: Leonardo Da Vinci

a. I was a small man.
b. I died on May 21st 1821
c. I won a lot of battles.
d. My wife was called Josephine.
e. I was born in Corsica.
f. I was once a corporal
g. I spent some time on Elba
h. I made myself Emperor of France.
Answer: Napoleon

Level 2+

The Marienbad Game

Write a short four-lined poem about anything on the board.

e.g.:    Darling
       I love you so much
       You must never leave me
       If you go, I fear I will kill myself.

Divide the class into 2 teams and in turns, they remove (i.e. they tell you which words they want taken out and you rub them off the board) any number of words, up to the maximum of one line. What is left must still be grammatically correct, although the meaning will obviously change. The aim of the game is to force the other team to take away the last word (or words). After using the first poem, the STs can then invent further poems to be used.

Level 2+


Write this diagram of different types of nouns on the board, and get the STs to give examples of each type:

Get the STs to give you strange/silly examples if they can. Then give each ST 2 small pieces of paper. Tell them that on one piece they are to write one plural countable noun (e.g. lamps) and on the other piece they are to write one uncountable noun either concrete or abstract (e.g. margarine). You then collect all the papers and put them in a box. In turns the STs draw out a paper. Whatever's on the paper, they have got to talk about for one minute. It is the responsibility of the other STs to ask questions if the speaker runs out of ideas.

Please feel free to share your favourite teaching ideas with your colleagues...

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