Saturday, December 30, 2017

2 Meanings of "must" Slideshow

(Movie slideshow Grammar Sections--Must)

Taken from Robin Hood -- Part 3
Taken from Princess Mononoke -- Part 2

Presentation only version: slidespub
Version with example sentences from Robin Hoodslidespub
Version with example sentences from Princess Mononokeslidespub



Version with example sentences from Robin Hoodslidespub



Version with example sentences from Princess Mononokeslidespub

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Fat Cat Sat on a Mat by Nurit Karlin

(Graded Reader)

A colleague gave me a copy of this book, so I used it in my classroom during story time.

The title of the book is of course reminiscent of Dr. Seuss, and the short words "fat", "cat", "sat", "mat" (plus "rat", "bat", "vat", "hat" once you get into the book) are exactly the same type of words that Dr. Seuss liked to play with.

The comparison is inevitable, but also a bit unfortunate.  If you're expecting Dr Seuss, you're going to be disappointed.  This book isn't quite in the same league.  But then, what is?

If you can resist the urge to compare, however, this book is perfectly charming if viewed on its own merits.

It's got a great absurdist humor where inanimate objects come to life and start talking. 
The hat of the bat is all of a sudden introduced as a character halfway through.
What makes it so absurd is that there's no preamble.  The narrator doesn't say "Oh, by the way, I should explain that this is a special type of hat that can talk".  Rather, the hat just appears and starts talking.
I used this book in a couple different classrooms, and that part always got a big reaction from the kids.  "What? Teacher!  The hat can talk?"

Unfortunately, however, the introduction of the talking hat is really the last good joke the book has.  From there the rest of the book is kind of anti-climatic, and none of the rest of the book got much of a reaction from my students.
But it's such a short book that it didn't matter.  It was over quickly before my students got bored.
The short words in this book make it ideal for beginning students, but the absurdist humor in it makes it appeal to even older children.  (I successfully used it with a class of 10 year olds).
You can buy the book on amazon.com HERE.

Link of the Day
Revealing What Our Leaders Are Not Telling Us: Noam Chomsky (2008)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Board Race for Relative Clauses

(TESOL Worksheets--Relative Clauses)
Google: drive, slides, pub
[Students are put into teams.  They are given the prompt, and race to be the first team to write the relative clause.  In my own classes, I used this to review English World 6, Unit 11.]




Monday, December 25, 2017

English World 6 Unit 12 Grammar in Conversation p.124

(Supplementary Materials for Specific Textbooks--English World 6)


Google Drive Folder HERE
p.124 Useful Phrases Scrambled: drive
p. 124 Useful Phrases Scrambled answers: drive



Star Wars: The Last Jedi--revisited
So, when I wrote my initial review of The Last Jedi (see here), I had no idea that this movie would be so hated.
All I knew was that it had gotten rave reviews from the critics, so I took it as a given that the movie was to be praised.
That's part of the reason I spent so much time in my review articulating what I didn't like instead of giving the reasons that I did like it.
If I was to write that review again now, it would still be positive, but it would be a lot more defensive in tone.
For a while I was actually planning on writing a follow-up post: In Defense of "The Last Jedi".
And I may yet write that post.  (I'm still trying to decide if I have anything intelligent to say to justify it).

In the meantime, Whisky Prajer has posted his review HERE.  I chime in with my two cents in the comments.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Activities That Can Be Used for Any Grammar Point--New Version

(TESOL Worksheets--Any Grammar Point, Workshops)

Everything is in the Google Drive Folder HERE
Description of all the activities: docs, pub
Worksheet (for participants to fill out): docs, pub

Post Around the Room:
3 Sentences 2 Truths and 1 Lie: drive, docs, pub
3 Sentences Variation: drive, docs, pub
Around the Room Memory Game: docs, pub
Board Game Speaking Prompts: drive, docs, pub
Board Game TPR: drive, docs, pub
Brainstorming Sentences: docs, pub
Change Chairs: docs, pub
Choose Your Victim: docs, pub
Class Survey: drive, docs, pub
Crossword Puzzle: drive
Crossword Puzzle Treasure Hunt: drive, docs, pub
Dictation: drive, docs, pub
Dictogloss: docs, pub
Drawing: docs, pub
Find Someone Who: drive, docs, pub
Find Someone Who--Write Your Own: drive, docs, pub
Find Your Partner: drive, docs, pub
Find Your Partner--Find Two Partners: drive, docs, pub 
Garbage Mandrivedocspub
Grab the Card: drive, docs, pub
Grammar Auction: drive, docs, pub
Grass Skirts: docs, pub
Guess My Sentence: drive, docs, pub
Guess Your Partner's Answers: drive, docs, pub
Hangman for Grammar: docs, pub
Hot Potato Sentences: drive, docs, pub
Human Bingo: drive, docs, pub
Human Bingo--Same and Different: drive, docs, pub
Hurricane: docs, pub
Memory Card Game: drive, docs, pub
Memory Game on Whiteboard: drive, docs, pub
PowerPoint Game: driveslidespub
Running Dictation: drive, slides, pub
Scrambled Sentences: drive, docs, pub
Scrambled Story: drive, docs, pub
Shouting Dictation: docs, pub
Song: drive, docs, pub
Sorting Activities: drive, docs, pub

Bonus Content (In the Google Drive Folder, but not posted around the room)
Board Race: slides, pub
Dictogloss Procedure PDF: drive
Jump the Line Game: slides, pub
Machine Gun: drive

This is a revised version of my old "Activities That Can Be Used For Any Grammar Point" workshop.

It was revised for 2 reasons:
1) to incorporate some of the new activities I've learned over the past couple years
2) to make the format less presenter-focused and more trainee-focused

If anyone wants to use this workshop at their own school, the procedure is as follows:
All the activities are printed out and posted around the room.
A number is posted next each activity.
Workshop participants are each given a list of activities.
Workshop participants are put into pairs, and given one handout per pair (they must work collaboratively).
In pairs, workshop participants are instructed to go around the room and look at all the posted activities.
For each activity, they must:
* write down the number,
* identify the name of the activity (the activities are not named, so they must refer to the list and try to match the example with the description)
* identify the grammar point
* Decide whether or not they would actually use this activity in their classes.  (Participants are warned ahead of time that this workshop is emphasizing quantity over quality.  So some activities may be not be ideal for all learning situations)
If they decide they would not have any actual use for this activity, they are free to then abandon it and move on to the next one.  If they decide they would use it, then they continue with the next questions on the sheet.
* Talk about what other grammar points would work well with this activity
* Talk about what stage of the lesson they would use this activity in (e.g. review game, presentation, controlled practice, freer practice, free production, filler )
* How could you adapt or change this activity to fit into other stages of the lesson?
* What ages is this activity most appropriate for?
* What levels is this activity most appropriate for?
* How much time would this activity take to prepare? (I tell participants that I have given my own estimates of preparation time on the list of activities, but I also tell them to feel free to second guess  me.)

I give 30 minutes for the participants to go around the room, and then after 30 minutes we move into the second half of the workshop.
In the second half of the workshop, participants are put into groups of 4 or 5, and brainstorm their own ideas.  (The first half of the workshop is my ideas, the second half of the workshop is participant ideas).  In groups, they brainstorm all their own ideas about activities that can be used for any grammar point.
Then they read out their ideas to the whole workshop.  I write down all the ideas, type it up, and then email it to everyone.

Other notes:
1) the formatting on the pair worksheet doesn't leave the participants much room to write anything.  Most of them just discussed it orally in my workshop.
2) After the workshop, I email the Google drive folder to all the participants.  The following activities are in the Google drive folder, but not posted around the room: (Board Raceslidespub ,Dictogloss Procedure PDF: driveJump the Line Gameslidespub, Machine Gun: drive)
3) The PowerPoint Game, however, is one of the activities printed out and posted.  (I just printed out 6 representative slides.  You can print PowerPoints so that 6 slides print out on one A4 paper).
4) Ideas from Workshop Participants are HERE.  Ideas from 2014 (the previous workshop) are HERE, and from 2017 are here (docs, pub)

Both versions of the workshop (old and new) can be found in one Google Drive Folder HERE.


Activities That Can Be Used For Any Grammar Point

3 Sentences: 2 Truths and a lie (Materials: Can be done with no materials, or can be done with worksheets to help students create sentences) (Preparation:  Potentially 0 prep, or 10 minutes creating worksheets)
Students are put into small groups, and have to write 3 sentences containing the target language.  Two of these sentences must be true, one of them must be a lie.  Their group has to guess which of the 3 sentences is a lie.
Variation:
Two sentences contain a certain grammar point, the 3rd sentence another grammar point.  Students read only part of the sentence, and the group guesses which sentences are which grammar point--e.g. "things I may do versus things I will do", "things I must do versus things I can do," et cetera.)

Around the Room Memory Game (Materials: none) (Preparation: 0)
Start at the beginning of the room.  One student says a sentence containing the target language.  The next student has to remember the previous sentence, and then add their own sentence.  Each successive student has to remember all the sentences that came previously, plus add their own sentence.
Variation: Circle Writing
A similar idea, but done with writing.  The first sentence writes one sentence on a piece of paper, and then passes it along to the student next to him, who continues the story (using the same target grammar).  Example: All the things I’m going to do when I grow up (going to future), all the things I would have done if I gone to America last year (3rd conditional)

Board Game Speaking Prompts (Materials: One board for each group--I usually just print out a standard A4 paper and then enlarge onto A3 paper.  One marker for each group--paper clips work well.  And one die for each group.) (Preparation:  Create the board game.  25 minutes )
Create a board in which each square contains a speaking prompt containing the target language.  Students roll a dice, and move their marker around the board, responding to the speaking prompt on each square.
Variation: Board Game TPR
Each square contains a command in the target language that the students have to physically respond to.

Board Race (Materials:  Whiteboard. Markers.  Possibly a PowerPoint presentation to create the prompts) (Preparation:  0 prep if the teacher creates the prompts on the spot and yells them out orally.  10 minutes if you create a PowerPoint presentation in advance)
The students are put into 4 teams.  The teacher gives the students prompts (either visually, or written, or oral).  And the students race to the whiteboard to write the correct sentence.  The first team to write the correct sentence gets 4 points, the next student gets 3 points, etc.
Variations:
 Mini-whiteboard Race
Teams are given mini-whiteboards, and the first team to write the sentence on their mini-whiteboard (and hold it up so the teacher can see it) gets 4 points, followed by 3 points, etc.  Obviously this game works best with mini-whiteboards, but in a pinch, other material can work--e.g. students can write the answers in their notebook, on blank paper, on the floor, etc.)
Mini-whiteboard Race 5 Star Line-up
A mini-whiteboard race (as above) but with a twist.  The teacher writes numbers on the floor from 1-5.  After the student writes their answer on the board, they then run to the number.  The first student to get to 5 gets 5 points.  The student to get to 4 first gets 4 points.
The students must write their answer on the whiteboard first in their group before running to the numbers.  Only one student from each group takes the whiteboard to run.

Brainstorming Sentences  (Materials: worksheet) (Preparation:  Create worksheet--10 minutes)
Students are put into groups, and given a prompt containing the target language.  (Example: “must”: “What must you do at school?”, “2nd conditional”: “If you were the teacher, what would you do?”)
The students have to come up with as many sentences as possible responding to the prompt within a given time limit.  At the end of the time limit, the group with the most acceptable sentences is the winner.
The prompt could also take the form of a picture, which students have to describe using the target language.

Choose Your Victim (Materials: ball) (Preparation: 0)
            Divide the class into two teams, and have each team stand facing each other.  There is a ball, and one student from one team will ask a question and then throw the ball to someone else on the other team.  Whoever receives the ball has to answer the question correctly.  Then, they make a new question, and throw the ball back to someone else on the other team.  If there is any mistake with either the answer or the question, then the student who made the mistake has to sit down.  If a student repeats a question that has already been asked before, they also have to sit down.  The team with the last person standing wins.
            All of the questions and answers are supposed to use the target grammar for that lesson.

Change Chairs (Materials: Assumes a classroom in which students have individual chairs) (Preparation: 0)
This is a classic warmer game but it can also be used for individual grammar points.  Make sure there are no extra chairs.  (If there are extra chairs, turn them to face the wall).  The teacher sits in the middle and says a sentence using “Change chairs if + grammar point”
Examples: present continuous “Change chairs if you are wearing sandals”, present perfect “Change chairs if you have been to China”, past simple, “Change chairs if you watched TV yesterday”, going to future “Change chairs if you are going to watch TV tonight” etc.
If the sentence applies to them, the students have to get out of their chair and run to find another chair.  The teacher also joins in and sits in one of the recently vacated chairs.  The student left standing must now sit in the middle, and make a new “change chairs” sentence.

Classroom Survey (Materials: worksheet) (Preparation: create worksheet--15 minutes)
Students have a list of questions (using target grammar) and have to survey several people in the class.

Crossword Puzzle (Materials: Crossword puzzle worksheet.  Possibly an answer sheet ) (Preparation:  Make the crossword--usually about 20 minutes)
Make a crossword puzzle containing the target grammar point.
There are various online resources for this, but I like: http://www.armoredpenguin.com/crossword/ since it allows you to save the crossword as a PDF file, so you can save it in your folder and keep it for future use.
Variation: Crossword Puzzle Treasure Hunt
Remove the questions from the bottom of the crossword, and give the students only the blank grid.  The questions are written on a separate piece of paper, and then are cut up and put all around the room.  (They can be deviously hidden, or they can be placed in obvious places.)  Students are put into groups, and given one crossword grid per group.  They must go around the room to find all the questions, and complete their crossword.  The first team to successfully complete their crossword grid is the winner.

Dictation (Materials: students will need some paper to write on.  For zero prep, this can be scrap paper.  Or teachers can prepare a worksheet with a blank for each sentence ) (Preparation:  Prepare sample sentences and make worksheets for students--10 minutes.  Possibly zero prep if you can come up with sample sentences in the moment)
The teacher reads several sentences containing the target language.  The students write the sentences down.  They get one point for each sentence perfectly transcribed.  This can be done individually, or in teams.

Variations:
Running Dictation (Materials: One sheet containing sentences to post on the wall. Each team will need a paper to write on ) (Preparation:  Make up sheet to post on the wall.  10 minutes)
Sentences containing the target language are posted around the room (or just outside of the room).  One partner looks at the sentences, remembers the sentence in their head, and then dictates the sentence to another partner who writes them down.  The partner who looks at the sentences cannot write, and the partner who writes cannot look at the sentences.
Telephone Dictation (Materials: One sheet containing sentences for the student in the back to look at. Each team will need materials to write on--either paper or whiteboard or mini-whiteboard ) (Preparation:  Make up sheet to containing the sentences.  10 minutes)
Students are arranged in rows.  The person in the first row looks at sentences containing the target grammar, and must say these sentences to the person behind them, who passes them onto the next person behind them.  The student in the back of the row has to write the sentences down.
Shouting Dictation (Materials: 5 sets of sentences, one for each team.  And an answer sheet for students to write the sentences on ) (Preparation:  Make up sheet to containing the sentences.  10 minutes)
This is done in pairs.  The pairs stand on opposite sides of the room.  One student is a reader, and one student is a writer.  Because they are standing on opposite sides of the room, they must shout their sentences to each other.  To increase the challenge, they are competing against many other pairs, all of whom are shouting different sentences. To increase the challenge even more, the teacher can put on loud music  on. There are many ways this game can be organized, but in my classes I do it in teams, and award 5 points to the first team to finish, 4 points to the second team to finish, etc.

Dictogloss (Materials: a short passage including the grammatical item, that the teacher has prepared ahead of time) (Preparation: create short passage--10 minutes)
Before class, create a short passage that embeds a particular grammatical form you wish to emphasize.
Read the dictogloss through once at a normal speed, asking students to listen carefully.  (Give them a gist question).  Read the dictogloss a second time, and encourage students to jot down notes.  (Students should write down keywords, but not whole sentences).  Have pairs of students work together for approximately 20-25 minutes to reconstruct the dictogloss, reminding students that they should try to write their text so that it will be as close to the original as possible in grammar and content. Tell  the students that the original sense of each sentence needs to be present and the reconstructed sentences have to be as grammatically accurate as the students can manage, but the words and phrases don’t have to be identical to the ones in the original passage.
Put the students into larger groups.  (Groups of 4 instead of groups of 2).  Have them compare their answers, and work to consolidate their answers into one final answers.
Select at least one group and have them write their answer on the board.  Have the class talk about the answer, and as a class, agree on the final answer.  Then, the teacher shows the class the original passage, and the class talks about the differences.

Drawing (Materials: worksheet) (Preparation: create worksheet--10 minutes)
Students are given a sentence in the target language, and must draw a visual representation of that sentence.
Alternatively, students make their own sentence using the target language, and draw the picture.
Alternatively, as a communicative pair activity, one student describes a picture using the target language, and the other student draws it.  (This can be either a picture they have drawn themselves, or one supplied by the teacher).

Feedback Games
Feedback games do not actually practice the grammar in-and-of themselves, but they are a way to make feedback on grammar exercises more interesting.  They are ideal for days when the students have to work through grammar exercises in their workbook or textbook, and you need some sort of game to liven the feedback up.
Traditionally the students are divided into teams after they finish their grammar exercises.  They check their answers with each other, and must come to an agreement about what the correct answers are.
Then, the teacher will call on them to give the answer to one of the questions.  If they give the correct answer, they have an opportunity to play the game.  If they do not answer correctly, the question passes to the next team.
The list of potential feedback games is endless, and with a bit of creativity you can even make up your own new games.   But here are some ideas:

Throw Sticky Balls at the Target (Materials: sticky ball, whiteboard, marker) (Preparation: 0)
Draw a target on the board with several concentric circles. Label the circles with point values.  Students throw the sticky ball at the target.  The exact rules are at your discretion, but I usually play that they get the full points only if the ball sticks to the target.  If it just bounces off the target, they get half points.
Bowling (Materials: ball, pins ) (Preparation: 0)
Miniature bowling game, with classroom size bowling pins and ball.
Curling (Materials: marker, ball) (Preparation: 0)
Similar to the Winter Olympic sport, but played with rolling a ball along the floor rather than on the ice.  Draw a target with concentric circles on the floor and assign each circle a point value.  Students roll the ball toward the target from across the room, and if the ball stops on the target, they get the appropriate number of points
Machine Gun (Materials: Machine gun grid ActivInspire Program) (Preparation: 0)
There are pre-made Machine Gun Templates that can be found by searching the drive.  They are on ActivInspire software, so they will not work on the drive, but can be downloaded and opened on your computer.  The Machine Gun Template has a grid with 30 mystery boxes  If a team gets a question correct, they get the opportunity to open a box.  Some of the boxes will award students points, other boxes will remove points, or have other surprises (switch points, steal from another team, etc).
Machine-Gun: Make Your Own (Materials: Whiteboard, markers, key to grid) (Preparation:  Prepare key to grid in advance-15 minutes)
If you want to go low-tech, you can also design your own version of Machine Gun.   Just draw a grid on the whiteboard and label each box with a number.  Before class, you will have prepared a key, which reveals what each number corresponds to.  Keep this secret from the students, and reveal it only as each box is chosen.  (Examples: 1 point, 5 points, 10 points, minus 2 points, steal 3 points from another team, give 3 points to another team, lose all your points, destroy another team's points, double your points, switch points with another team, steal a person from another team).

Another variation on the feedback game is instead of answering the question correctly first, and then playing the game, students can compete for the opportunity to answer the question.
Example:
Fruit in the Basket Game (Materials: plastic fruit, basket) (Preparation: 0)
Each student is given a piece of plastic fruit.  The students try to throw the fruit in the basket from their seats.  Whenever a student manages to get their piece of fruit into the basket, they then get the opportunity to answer the question for their team, and if their answer is correct, they get one  point.

Find the Target Grammar (Materials: some piece of writing) (Preparation: find appropriate piece of writing--15-30 minutes)
The teacher brings in an extract of authentic writing.  Students are divided into teams, and are told to look through the extract to find examples of the target grammar.  They are given one point for each example of the target language they identify.

Find Someone Who (Materials: worksheet) (Preparation: create worksheet--15 minutes)
Students have to walk around the room and find people who match various descriptions
This is already used as a first day of class ice-breaker, but it can also be designed to emphasise certain grammar points, e.g. “Have you...?”, “Can you...?”, “Had you...?” “Will you…?” etc.
Traditionally, “Find Someone Who” worksheets are designed as indirect questions, and the student has to transform the statements into questions--e.g. the worksheet will say “Find someone who has been to Canada,”  and the student must transform this to the question “Have you ever been to Canada?”  To lower the challenge of the activity (for younger students) you can write the question forms directly on the sheet.
Variations:
* Have students write their own questions using the target language

Find Your Partner (Materials: Each student will need one card  ) (Preparation:  Make one set of cards containing  about 10 pairs of matching sentences.  Before class, cut up and shuffle the cards.   20 minutes)
Students are given one card, and must walk around the classroom until they find another student with the matching card.  (Either the second half of the sentence, or the matching sentence).
Variations:
Find 2 Partners
Divide the sentence into three parts, and have the students find two partners.
Falling Leaves
Photocopy the cards onto colored paper.  Put the students into different teams according to color (e.g. pink team, green team, yellow team).  Cut up the cards, and put them into one big pile.  Then throw them up into the air.  The paper should (ideally) flutter slowly down to the ground like falling leaves.  The students grab all the cards for their team, and then once they have all the cards, as a team they try to match the sentences together.
Garbage Man (Materials: A different worksheet for each team which is cut up into strips ) (Preparation:  Prepare a worksheet, and then cut it up and shuffled the strips)
Design a worksheet with several different strips of paper.  Each strip contains a controlled practice exercise (e.g. fill in the gap, complete the sentence, correct the sentence, unscramble the sentence, etc)  Photocopy the sheet onto different colored paper.  (If possible, a different color for each team.)  Cut up and shuffle.  Put all the different colors together.  Throw all the sentences into the air.  The strips fall onto the ground.  Each team picks their sentences up off the ground, and corrects the sentence.  The teacher checks to make sure it is right.  Then the team runs and gets another strip off the floor.  The first team to collect all their sentences up off the floor is the winner.
Variation:
Some students have been known to play this game in reverse.  Each group starts off with all the strips on their desk, and then crumple them up and throw them on the ground as they complete them.  The last team to finish all their strips is then designated the “garbage man” and must go around and clean up all the strips off the floor.
Grab the Card (Karuta)  (Materials: One set of cards for each group of students, and a list of prompts written down for the teacher ) (Preparation:  Make up a list of prompts and matching cards.  Cut up and shuffle cards. 25 minutes)
The students are put into small groups, and given a list of cards with the target language (which they spread out among themselves).  The teacher reads prompts, and the students try to grab the card matching the prompt.  Whichever student grabs the card first gets to keep that card.  At the end, the student with the most cards is the winner.  (You may have to introduce penalties for students who grab wrong cards--e.g. lose one point, miss a turn, et cetera).
This game works when you have two complementary sentences (e.g. active/passive) or a sentence that divides neatly into two halves (e.g. if… then…), but it can also work with simple sentences if the prompts are situational--i.e. the teacher reads a situation, and then the students grab the sentence that matches the situation.

Grammar Auction (Materials: Possibly a worksheet containing the sentences.  Zero materials if you read out the sentences orally--although you’ll probably want a whiteboard and markers to keep score.) (Preparation:  Prepare sentences in advance. 10 minutes.  Zero preparation if you think you can come up with sentences on the spot )
Students are given a set amount of points (or fake money) and are instructed to buy as many correct sentences as they can.  (After the auction, correct sentences will be worth points, whereas incorrect sentences will be minus points).   The students bid with each other to buy the correct sentences at an auction.
Variation: Instead of auctioning the sentences, students can simply place bets on which sentences they think are correct or incorrect.

Grass Skirts (Materials: One worksheet per team--cut into strips) (Preparation: create worksheet with various sentences on it.  Cut it into loosely connected strips--20 minutes)
Several sentences are put on a piece of paper.  The paper is cut cut into strips.  The teacher doesn’t actually cut the strips all the way, but each strip is loosely connected to the top of the paper.  (The paper is connected at the top, with strips loosely hanging down--just like a Hawaiian grass skirt.)
Each team has a grass skirt posted at the front of the room.  (If possible, use different colored paper for each team.)  One person from each team runs up and grabs a strip from their grass skirt (tearing it off at the top).  They take it back to their team, where they complete the exercise.  (There is some sort of controlled practice exercise on each strip--e.g. fill in the blank, unscramble the sentence, etc).  After the team completes the exercise, they show it to the teacher.  If it is correct, then they can go and rip off the next strip from their grass skirt.
The first team to finish their grass skirt is the winner.

Guess My Sentence (Materials: Several sentences on cards) (Preparation: create sentences and cut up cards-20 minutes)
                Students are put into small groups.  They are given a sentence on a card, and they must come up with hints to help the other people in their group guess the sentence.
Variations:
 It is possible to vary the focus of the game by having either the mystery sentence be in the target language (and the students are given a fair degree of freedom in creating the hints), or the mystery sentence is more free, and the students have to create the hints in the target language.

Guess Your Partner's Answers (Materials: worksheet) (Preparation: create worksheet--15 minutes)
Students are given a list of questions containing the target language.  They have to guess how their partner will answer each question.  (example for “used to”: “What did your partner use to do hate eating they were little?”)   After making the guesses, they then ask their partner the questions to check their accuracy.  They get one point for each correct guess.  The partner with the most guesses is the winner.

Hangman (Wheel of Fortune) For Whole Sentences (Materials: markers, white board) (Preparation: 0)
The teacher thinks of a sentence using the target language.  Write the blanks (but not the letters) up on the board.  Students are divided into teams, and attempt to guess the letters in the sentence.  If they guess a letter, they get one point for each time that letter appears in the sentence.  If they can guess the whole sentence, they get 10 points.  (But I sometimes add a penalty for incorrect guesses, e.g. they can lose 10 points if they attempt to guess the sentence, but guess incorrectly.)  Some classes get into this, and some classes don't, but if they get into the game it's a good way to encourage them to try to seek out the patterns in the target language.

Hot Potato Sentences (Materials: a set of cards containing the appropriate prompts) (Preparation:  Make cards, cut up and shuffle them--20 minutes)
Students are put in a circle, and given a prompt, and must respond to it using the target language.  (e.g. “What must you do at school?” “What will you do if it rains today?” “What should I do if…?”)   The first student is given 5 seconds to respond, and then the next student must respond to the same prompt using the same target language, but with a new sentence.  If a student cannot think of a new sentence, or repeats a previously mentioned sentence, they are out.  (Or lose a point.  Or have to sit in the middle.  Or whatever penalty you chose to use with this game).
This can be played as a whole class or in small groups--I usually set it up by playing as a whole class first, and then move the students into small groups.
Variation:
The game can also be played with a “hot potato” (or something representing a hot potato--e.g. a ball).  Put on music.  (Youtube has various “hot potato” music videos which play songs, and then stop the songs at random moments.)  The student must make a sentence, and then pass the “hot potato” to the next person.  They cannot pass the ball until they have made the sentence.  When the music stops, whoever is holding the hot potato is out.

Human Bingo (Materials: Bingo Grid worksheet) (Preparation: create Bingo Grid--20 minutes)
Similar to find someone who, but instead of completing a linear list of questions, the questions are arranged in a boxes in a bingo grid.  Students can fill out a box by finding someone who meets the criteria (ex: Find someone who has been to Canada) and the first person to get five boxes in a row is the winner.
Variations
 Human Bingo: Same and Different
25 gap fills are arranged on a bingo grid.  Students fill in the blanks with answers that are true for them.  (example for future forms: I ______ watch TV tonight. )  Students then walk around the class and compare their answers with their classmates.  If they have the same answer as a classmate, they may write a big "S" in that square.  If they have a different answer than a classmate, they write a big "D" in that particular square.  If they can get a bingo (5 of the same letter in a row), they win the game and can go back to their seat.

Hurricane (Materials: Whiteboard.  An answer key that the teacher can see, but the students can not) (Preparation: create answer key grid--20 minutes)
Divide students up into teams of 3 or 4. Have each group chose a team name.  Give each group 100 points to start out with. Draw a grid on the board.  Number 1,2,3,4,5 on the vertical axis, and A,B,C,D,E on the horizontal axis.
Each square on the grid corresponds to a question.  The teacher has the key to the grid, but the students cannot see it. The students choose a square on the grid, and bet a certain amount of points before hearing the question.  The teacher then reads the question, and the group attempts to answer it.  Correct answers result in gaining points, incorrect answers result in losing points. If a group misses any question, the other groups have the opportunity to try to steal those points by answering correctly. In addition, there are various surprises hidden among the board: Arrow--swap points with another team, +200--+200 points, Rocket--steal 100 points from another team, Hurricane--lose all your points.
Additional “surprises” can be created depending on how creative and deviant you are.

Jump the Line (Materials: Marker for drawing a line.  Possibly a PowerPoint presentation to create the prompts) (Preparation:  0 prep if the teacher creates the sentences on the spot and yells them out orally.  10 minutes if you create a PowerPoint presentation in advance)
A line is drawn in the center of the classroom.  The students all line up on the line, and then are given instructions to jump to the left or the right depending on prompt.
Examples--jump to the left if the preposition should be “on” and right if it should be “in”
  --jump to the left if the verb should be present simple, and to the right if it should be present continuous
This game obviously works well when teaching a contrast between two grammar points, but it can also be adapted to any grammar point if the students jump to the left for correct sentences, and to the right for incorrect sentences.
To make it more of a competition, students who jump the wrong way are “out” and have to go back to their seat.  To make it less of a competition, there is no penalty for wrong jumping.
Variation: Throw the Ball
Instead of jumping, the students are given two targets (e.g. one target for present continuous, one target for present simple).  The teacher gives them the prompt, and they must throw the ball at the correct target.

Memory Card Game (Materials: One set of cards for each group of students ) (Preparation:  Make up about 10 pairs of matching sentence cards.  Before class, cut up and shuffle the cards.   30 minutes)
This works best in cases where there are two complementary sentences (e.g active/passive, reported speech/direct speech, past simple/present simple).  It can also possible work with sentences that can be divided into two halves (e.g. if clause and result clause).  Sentence or sentences halves are put onto cards.  The cards are put face down and, just like the classic game of memory, students have to turn over the cards to try to find a match.
For a purely receptive game, the students just turn over the cards.  To encourage production, the students must predict what the matching card will be before turning it over.  (e.g. for active/passive game, if they turn over a card in the active voice, they must say the passive equivalent correctly in order to get a chance to find the card).
Variations: Memory Game on WhiteBoard  For a whole class memory game, the teacher writes the numbers on the board, and keeps a secret answer key for which numbers correspond with which sentences.  When a student chooses a number, the teacher reads out the corresponding sentence.
Or a combination of cards and board work--e.g. half of the target language is given to the students on cards, and they have to try to match the cards to the numbers on the board, which correspond to various sentences in the teacher's answer key.

PowerPoint Games (Materials: a pre-made PowerPoint Game template, and equipment to use PowerPoint) (Preparation:  If you use a pre-made template, you only have to put in your own sentences.  About 20-30 minutes)
There are various PowerPoint Templates out there floating around on the Internet.  They have various themes (Batman, Jurassic Park, Doraemon, Naruto, etc).  You can take a pre-made template, and put in your own questions.
During the game, students are given prompts.  They answer the prompts, and are awarded with points and other surprises from the game.

Report a Sentence (Materials: none) (Preparation: 0)
Use this simply to focus students attention on the form of the target language.  The students all stand up.  The teacher says a sentence using the target language.  If any of the students can repeat the sentence exactly, they are allowed to sit down.

Scrambled Sentences (Materials: word cards, grid) (Preparation:  Warning, this one is prep heavy.  You have to create the sentences, then cut them up and scramble them for each pair of students--15 minutes to create worksheet, and possibly another 20 for cutting)
Students are put into pairs and given a grid, and a set of word cards that have been cut up and scrambled.  They must arrange the words into sentences.  They glue the word cards onto the grid to make sentences using the target grammar, and are given one point for each correct sentence.
Variation
Human Scrambled Sentences (Materials: Large word cards) (Preparation:  Creating and printing word cards--15 minutes)
Print out the words in large font so that each word takes up a whole sheet of paper.  Each student is given one word which they hold at chest level, and they must stand up and arrange themselves in a line to make a sentence.

Scrambled Story (Materials: One story, cut up and shuffled, for each group.) (Preparation:  Write the story, cut it up, and scramble it.  30 minutes )
Write up a story (or conversation dialogue) containing the target language.  Cut up the story into different parts.  Put students into small groups, and have the students try to put the story into the correct order.

Sentence Battleships (Materials: one grid for each student.) (Preparation:  Make a grid and prepare copies for each student --5 minutes )
This is a game that students play in pairs against each other.  Students are given a sentence in the target language (or make their own).  They write the words of the sentence onto a grid in random order.  Their opponent cannot see the grid, but makes guesses as to the spaces.  (Similar to the classic board game battleship).  If they get a "direct hit", their opponent tells them the word.  They try to guess each other's sentences.
Songs (Materials: audio equipment and access to music.  Worksheet) (Preparation: If you already have a song in mind, usually only about 10 minutes to make the worksheet.  Longer if you have to search the Internet to find the perfect song)
Bring in a song containing the target language.  Have students listen to it for comprehension, or alternatively have them fill in the gaps at points containing the target language.
Of course, this assumes you can think of a song repeating the target language enough times to justify using it.  This may not work for all grammar points, but the Internet is a big help with this.  A lot of TESOL song sheets are already made up if you just Google your target grammar point plus "ESL" plus "song", or something.

Sorting Activity (Materials: Worksheet with several sentences) (Preparation: Prepare worksheet--10 minutes)
  Used for when you want to draw a distinction between two grammar points--e.g. past simple versus present perfect.  Since, arguable, all grammar is defined by contrasts (e.g. the present continuous is defined by its contrast with the present simple, the past perfect is defined by its contrast with the past simple) this be used for any grammar point once you think of something to contrast it with.
Students are given a list of sentences, and have to sort them into different categories.

Student Presentations (Materials: Whiteboard, markers) (Preparation: None for the teacher, but possibly for the students)
Instead of having the teacher present the grammar point, assign students to come to the front of the room present the grammar point.
This is ideal for higher level classes in which the curriculum requires you to revisit grammar points that you suspect the students are already familiar with.  If you’re ambitious, it can also be used for brand new grammar points provided the students have time to research the grammar points at home.
Students can be assigned in groups to present on the grammar point.  One group can present on the meaning, one on the form, one on the pronunciation.
Students prepare presentations (possibly at home, if the assignment is given in advance of the class)
Students can come to the front of the class and present the rules/formation/usage of the grammar.

Tic-Tac-Toe (Knots and Crosses) (Materials: Whiteboard, markers) (Preparation: 0)
A tic-tac-toe grid is written up on the white board.  In each box, one word is written.   For example, a lesson on phrasal verbs might have a grid that looks similar to this:

in
out
to
on
off
over
up
down
away


  The students are divided into competing teams.  If they can successfully use one of the words in the box in a sentence (using the target grammar for the lesson) they can put their cross or circle in that box.


Activities That Can Be Used For Any Grammar Point


3 Sentences: 2 Truths and a lie (Materials: Can be done with no materials, or can be done with worksheets to help students create sentences) (Preparation:  Potentially 0 prep, or 10 minutes creating worksheets)
Students are put into small groups, and have to write 3 sentences containing the target language.  Two of these sentences must be true, one of them must be a lie.  Their group has to guess which of the 3 sentences is a lie.
Variation:
Two sentences contain a certain grammar point, the 3rd sentence another grammar point.  Students read only part of the sentence, and the group guesses which sentences are which grammar point--e.g. "things I may do versus things I will do", "things I must do versus things I can do," et cetera.)


Around the Room Memory Game (Materials: none) (Preparation: 0)
Start at the beginning of the room.  One student says a sentence containing the target language.  The next student has to remember the previous sentence, and then add their own sentence.  Each successive student has to remember all the sentences that came previously, plus add their own sentence.
Variation: Circle Writing
A similar idea, but done with writing.  The first sentence writes one sentence on a piece of paper, and then passes it along to the student next to him, who continues the story (using the same target grammar).  Example: All the things I’m going to do when I grow up (going to future), all the things I would have done if I gone to America last year (3rd conditional)


Board Game Speaking Prompts (Materials: One board for each group--I usually just print out a standard A4 paper and then enlarge onto A3 paper.  One marker for each group--paper clips work well.  And one die for each group.) (Preparation:  Create the board game.  25 minutes )
Create a board in which each square contains a speaking prompt containing the target language.  Students roll a dice, and move their marker around the board, responding to the speaking prompt on each square.
Variation: Board Game TPR
Each square contains a command in the target language that the students have to physically respond to.


Board Race (Materials:  Whiteboard. Markers.  Possibly a PowerPoint presentation to create the prompts) (Preparation:  0 prep if the teacher creates the prompts on the spot and yells them out orally.  10 minutes if you create a PowerPoint presentation in advance)
The students are put into 4 teams.  The teacher gives the students prompts (either visually, or written, or oral).  And the students race to the whiteboard to write the correct sentence.  The first team to write the correct sentence gets 4 points, the next student gets 3 points, etc.
Variations:
Mini-whiteboard Race
Teams are given mini-whiteboards, and the first team to write the sentence on their mini-whiteboard (and hold it up so the teacher can see it) gets 4 points, followed by 3 points, etc.  Obviously this game works best with mini-whiteboards, but in a pinch, other material can work--e.g. students can write the answers in their notebook, on blank paper, on the floor, etc.)
Mini-whiteboard Race 5 Star Line-up
A mini-whiteboard race (as above) but with a twist.  The teacher writes numbers on the floor from 1-5.  After the student writes their answer on the board, they then run to the number.  The first student to get to 5 gets 5 points.  The student to get to 4 first gets 4 points.
The students must write their answer on the whiteboard first in their group before running to the numbers.  Only one student from each group takes the whiteboard to run.


Brainstorming Sentences  (Materials: worksheet) (Preparation:  Create worksheet--10 minutes)
Students are put into groups, and given a prompt containing the target language.  (Example: “must”: “What must you do at school?”, “2nd conditional”: “If you were the teacher, what would you do?”)
The students have to come up with as many sentences as possible responding to the prompt within a given time limit.  At the end of the time limit, the group with the most acceptable sentences is the winner.  
The prompt could also take the form of a picture, which students have to describe using the target language.


Choose Your Victim (Materials: ball) (Preparation: 0)
           Divide the class into two teams, and have each team stand facing each other.  There is a ball, and one student from one team will ask a question and then throw the ball to someone else on the other team.  Whoever receives the ball has to answer the question correctly.  Then, they make a new question, and throw the ball back to someone else on the other team.  If there is any mistake with either the answer or the question, then the student who made the mistake has to sit down.  If a student repeats a question that has already been asked before, they also have to sit down.  The team with the last person standing wins.
           All of the questions and answers are supposed to use the target grammar for that lesson.  


Change Chairs (Materials: Assumes a classroom in which students have individual chairs) (Preparation: 0)
This is a classic warmer game but it can also be used for individual grammar points.  Make sure there are no extra chairs.  (If there are extra chairs, turn them to face the wall).  The teacher sits in the middle and says a sentence using “Change chairs if + grammar point”
Examples: present continuous “Change chairs if you are wearing sandals”, present perfect “Change chairs if you have been to China”, past simple, “Change chairs if you watched TV yesterday”, going to future “Change chairs if you are going to watch TV tonight” etc.
If the sentence applies to them, the students have to get out of their chair and run to find another chair.  The teacher also joins in and sits in one of the recently vacated chairs.  The student left standing must now sit in the middle, and make a new “change chairs” sentence.


Classroom Survey (Materials: worksheet) (Preparation: create worksheet--15 minutes)
Students have a list of questions (using target grammar) and have to survey several people in the class.  


Crossword Puzzle (Materials: Crossword puzzle worksheet.  Possibly an answer sheet ) (Preparation:  Make the crossword--usually about 20 minutes)
Make a crossword puzzle containing the target grammar point.  
There are various online resources for this, but I like: http://www.armoredpenguin.com/crossword/ since it allows you to save the crossword as a PDF file, so you can save it in your folder and keep it for future use.
Variation: Crossword Puzzle Treasure Hunt
Remove the questions from the bottom of the crossword, and give the students only the blank grid.  The questions are written on a separate piece of paper, and then are cut up and put all around the room.  (They can be deviously hidden, or they can be placed in obvious places.)  Students are put into groups, and given one crossword grid per group.  They must go around the room to find all the questions, and complete their crossword.  The first team to successfully complete their crossword grid is the winner.


Dictation (Materials: students will need some paper to write on.  For zero prep, this can be scrap paper.  Or teachers can prepare a worksheet with a blank for each sentence ) (Preparation:  Prepare sample sentences and make worksheets for students--10 minutes.  Possibly zero prep if you can come up with sample sentences in the moment)
The teacher reads several sentences containing the target language.  The students write the sentences down.  They get one point for each sentence perfectly transcribed.  This can be done individually, or in teams.


Variations:
Running Dictation (Materials: One sheet containing sentences to post on the wall. Each team will need a paper to write on ) (Preparation:  Make up sheet to post on the wall.  10 minutes)
Sentences containing the target language are posted around the room (or just outside of the room).  One partner looks at the sentences, remembers the sentence in their head, and then dictates the sentence to another partner who writes them down.  The partner who looks at the sentences cannot write, and the partner who writes cannot look at the sentences.
Telephone Dictation (Materials: One sheet containing sentences for the student in the back to look at. Each team will need materials to write on--either paper or whiteboard or mini-whiteboard ) (Preparation:  Make up sheet to containing the sentences.  10 minutes)
Students are arranged in rows.  The person in the first row looks at sentences containing the target grammar, and must say these sentences to the person behind them, who passes them onto the next person behind them.  The student in the back of the row has to write the sentences down.
Shouting Dictation (Materials: 5 sets of sentences, one for each team.  And an answer sheet for students to write the sentences on ) (Preparation:  Make up sheet to containing the sentences.  10 minutes)
This is done in pairs.  The pairs stand on opposite sides of the room.  One student is a reader, and one student is a writer.  Because they are standing on opposite sides of the room, they must shout their sentences to each other.  To increase the challenge, they are competing against many other pairs, all of whom are shouting different sentences. To increase the challenge even more, the teacher can put on loud music  on. There are many ways this game can be organized, but in my classes I do it in teams, and award 5 points to the first team to finish, 4 points to the second team to finish, etc.


Dictogloss (Materials: a short passage including the grammatical item, that the teacher has prepared ahead of time) (Preparation: create short passage--10 minutes)
Before class, create a short passage that embeds a particular grammatical form you wish to emphasize.
Read the dictogloss through once at a normal speed, asking students to listen carefully.  (Give them a gist question).  Read the dictogloss a second time, and encourage students to jot down notes.  (Students should write down keywords, but not whole sentences).  Have pairs of students work together for approximately 20-25 minutes to reconstruct the dictogloss, reminding students that they should try to write their text so that it will be as close to the original as possible in grammar and content. Tell  the students that the original sense of each sentence needs to be present and the reconstructed sentences have to be as grammatically accurate as the students can manage, but the words and phrases don’t have to be identical to the ones in the original passage.
Put the students into larger groups.  (Groups of 4 instead of groups of 2).  Have them compare their answers, and work to consolidate their answers into one final answers.  
Select at least one group and have them write their answer on the board.  Have the class talk about the answer, and as a class, agree on the final answer.  Then, the teacher shows the class the original passage, and the class talks about the differences.


Drawing (Materials: worksheet) (Preparation: create worksheet--10 minutes)
Students are given a sentence in the target language, and must draw a visual representation of that sentence.
Alternatively, students make their own sentence using the target language, and draw the picture.
Alternatively, as a communicative pair activity, one student describes a picture using the target language, and the other student draws it.  (This can be either a picture they have drawn themselves, or one supplied by the teacher).


Feedback Games
Feedback games do not actually practice the grammar in-and-of themselves, but they are a way to make feedback on grammar exercises more interesting.  They are ideal for days when the students have to work through grammar exercises in their workbook or textbook, and you need some sort of game to liven the feedback up.
Traditionally the students are divided into teams after they finish their grammar exercises.  They check their answers with each other, and must come to an agreement about what the correct answers are.
Then, the teacher will call on them to give the answer to one of the questions.  If they give the correct answer, they have an opportunity to play the game.  If they do not answer correctly, the question passes to the next team.
The list of potential feedback games is endless, and with a bit of creativity you can even make up your own new games.   But here are some ideas:


Throw Sticky Balls at the Target (Materials: sticky ball, whiteboard, marker) (Preparation: 0)
Draw a target on the board with several concentric circles. Label the circles with point values.  Students throw the sticky ball at the target.  The exact rules are at your discretion, but I usually play that they get the full points only if the ball sticks to the target.  If it just bounces off the target, they get half points.
Bowling (Materials: ball, pins ) (Preparation: 0)
Miniature bowling game, with classroom size bowling pins and ball.
Curling (Materials: marker, ball) (Preparation: 0)
Similar to the Winter Olympic sport, but played with rolling a ball along the floor rather than on the ice.  Draw a target with concentric circles on the floor and assign each circle a point value.  Students roll the ball toward the target from across the room, and if the ball stops on the target, they get the appropriate number of points
Machine Gun (Materials: Machine gun grid ActivInspire Program) (Preparation: 0)
There are pre-made Machine Gun Templates that can be found by searching the drive.  They are on ActivInspire software, so they will not work on the drive, but can be downloaded and opened on your computer.  The Machine Gun Template has a grid with 30 mystery boxes  If a team gets a question correct, they get the opportunity to open a box.  Some of the boxes will award students points, other boxes will remove points, or have other surprises (switch points, steal from another team, etc).
Machine-Gun: Make Your Own (Materials: Whiteboard, markers, key to grid) (Preparation:  Prepare key to grid in advance-15 minutes)
If you want to go low-tech, you can also design your own version of Machine Gun.   Just draw a grid on the whiteboard and label each box with a number.  Before class, you will have prepared a key, which reveals what each number corresponds to.  Keep this secret from the students, and reveal it only as each box is chosen.  (Examples: 1 point, 5 points, 10 points, minus 2 points, steal 3 points from another team, give 3 points to another team, lose all your points, destroy another team's points, double your points, switch points with another team, steal a person from another team).


Another variation on the feedback game is instead of answering the question correctly first, and then playing the game, students can compete for the opportunity to answer the question.
Example:
Fruit in the Basket Game (Materials: plastic fruit, basket) (Preparation: 0)
Each student is given a piece of plastic fruit.  The students try to throw the fruit in the basket from their seats.  Whenever a student manages to get their piece of fruit into the basket, they then get the opportunity to answer the question for their team, and if their answer is correct, they get one  point.


Find the Target Grammar (Materials: some piece of writing) (Preparation: find appropriate piece of writing--15-30 minutes)
The teacher brings in an extract of authentic writing.  Students are divided into teams, and are told to look through the extract to find examples of the target grammar.  They are given one point for each example of the target language they identify.


Find Someone Who (Materials: worksheet) (Preparation: create worksheet--15 minutes)
Students have to walk around the room and find people who match various descriptions
This is already used as a first day of class ice-breaker, but it can also be designed to emphasise certain grammar points, e.g. “Have you...?”, “Can you...?”, “Had you...?” “Will you…?” etc.
Traditionally, “Find Someone Who” worksheets are designed as indirect questions, and the student has to transform the statements into questions--e.g. the worksheet will say “Find someone who has been to Canada,”  and the student must transform this to the question “Have you ever been to Canada?”  To lower the challenge of the activity (for younger students) you can write the question forms directly on the sheet.
Variations:
* Have students write their own questions using the target language


Find Your Partner (Materials: Each student will need one card  ) (Preparation:  Make one set of cards containing  about 10 pairs of matching sentences.  Before class, cut up and shuffle the cards.   20 minutes)
Students are given one card, and must walk around the classroom until they find another student with the matching card.  (Either the second half of the sentence, or the matching sentence).
Variations:
Find 2 Partners
Divide the sentence into three parts, and have the students find two partners.
Falling Leaves
Photocopy the cards onto colored paper.  Put the students into different teams according to color (e.g. pink team, green team, yellow team).  Cut up the cards, and put them into one big pile.  Then throw them up into the air.  The paper should (ideally) flutter slowly down to the ground like falling leaves.  The students grab all the cards for their team, and then once they have all the cards, as a team they try to match the sentences together.
Garbage Man (Materials: A different worksheet for each team which is cut up into strips ) (Preparation:  Prepare a worksheet, and then cut it up and shuffled the strips)
Design a worksheet with several different strips of paper.  Each strip contains a controlled practice exercise (e.g. fill in the gap, complete the sentence, correct the sentence, unscramble the sentence, etc)  Photocopy the sheet onto different colored paper.  (If possible, a different color for each team.)  Cut up and shuffle.  Put all the different colors together.  Throw all the sentences into the air.  The strips fall onto the ground.  Each team picks their sentences up off the ground, and corrects the sentence.  The teacher checks to make sure it is right.  Then the team runs and gets another strip off the floor.  The first team to collect all their sentences up off the floor is the winner.
Variation:
Some students have been known to play this game in reverse.  Each group starts off with all the strips on their desk, and then crumple them up and throw them on the ground as they complete them.  The last team to finish all their strips is then designated the “garbage man” and must go around and clean up all the strips off the floor.
Grab the Card (Karuta)  (Materials: One set of cards for each group of students, and a list of prompts written down for the teacher ) (Preparation:  Make up a list of prompts and matching cards.  Cut up and shuffle cards. 25 minutes)
The students are put into small groups, and given a list of cards with the target language (which they spread out among themselves).  The teacher reads prompts, and the students try to grab the card matching the prompt.  Whichever student grabs the card first gets to keep that card.  At the end, the student with the most cards is the winner.  (You may have to introduce penalties for students who grab wrong cards--e.g. lose one point, miss a turn, et cetera).
This game works when you have two complementary sentences (e.g. active/passive) or a sentence that divides neatly into two halves (e.g. if… then…), but it can also work with simple sentences if the prompts are situational--i.e. the teacher reads a situation, and then the students grab the sentence that matches the situation.


Grammar Auction (Materials: Possibly a worksheet containing the sentences.  Zero materials if you read out the sentences orally--although you’ll probably want a whiteboard and markers to keep score.) (Preparation:  Prepare sentences in advance. 10 minutes.  Zero preparation if you think you can come up with sentences on the spot )
Students are given a set amount of points (or fake money) and are instructed to buy as many correct sentences as they can.  (After the auction, correct sentences will be worth points, whereas incorrect sentences will be minus points).   The students bid with each other to buy the correct sentences at an auction.
Variation: Instead of auctioning the sentences, students can simply place bets on which sentences they think are correct or incorrect.


Grass Skirts (Materials: One worksheet per team--cut into strips) (Preparation: create worksheet with various sentences on it.  Cut it into loosely connected strips--20 minutes)
Several sentences are put on a piece of paper.  The paper is cut cut into strips.  The teacher doesn’t actually cut the strips all the way, but each strip is loosely connected to the top of the paper.  (The paper is connected at the top, with strips loosely hanging down--just like a Hawaiian grass skirt.)
Each team has a grass skirt posted at the front of the room.  (If possible, use different colored paper for each team.)  One person from each team runs up and grabs a strip from their grass skirt (tearing it off at the top).  They take it back to their team, where they complete the exercise.  (There is some sort of controlled practice exercise on each strip--e.g. fill in the blank, unscramble the sentence, etc).  After the team completes the exercise, they show it to the teacher.  If it is correct, then they can go and rip off the next strip from their grass skirt.
The first team to finish their grass skirt is the winner.


Guess My Sentence (Materials: Several sentences on cards) (Preparation: create sentences and cut up cards-20 minutes)
               Students are put into small groups.  They are given a sentence on a card, and they must come up with hints to help the other people in their group guess the sentence.
Variations:
It is possible to vary the focus of the game by having either the mystery sentence be in the target language (and the students are given a fair degree of freedom in creating the hints), or the mystery sentence is more free, and the students have to create the hints in the target language.


Guess Your Partner's Answers (Materials: worksheet) (Preparation: create worksheet--15 minutes)
Students are given a list of questions containing the target language.  They have to guess how their partner will answer each question.  (example for “used to”: “What did your partner use to do hate eating they were little?”)   After making the guesses, they then ask their partner the questions to check their accuracy.  They get one point for each correct guess.  The partner with the most guesses is the winner.


Hangman (Wheel of Fortune) For Whole Sentences (Materials: markers, white board) (Preparation: 0)
The teacher thinks of a sentence using the target language.  Write the blanks (but not the letters) up on the board.  Students are divided into teams, and attempt to guess the letters in the sentence.  If they guess a letter, they get one point for each time that letter appears in the sentence.  If they can guess the whole sentence, they get 10 points.  (But I sometimes add a penalty for incorrect guesses, e.g. they can lose 10 points if they attempt to guess the sentence, but guess incorrectly.)  Some classes get into this, and some classes don't, but if they get into the game it's a good way to encourage them to try to seek out the patterns in the target language.


Hot Potato Sentences (Materials: a set of cards containing the appropriate prompts) (Preparation:  Make cards, cut up and shuffle them--20 minutes)
Students are put in a circle, and given a prompt, and must respond to it using the target language.  (e.g. “What must you do at school?” “What will you do if it rains today?” “What should I do if…?”)   The first student is given 5 seconds to respond, and then the next student must respond to the same prompt using the same target language, but with a new sentence.  If a student cannot think of a new sentence, or repeats a previously mentioned sentence, they are out.  (Or lose a point.  Or have to sit in the middle.  Or whatever penalty you chose to use with this game).  
This can be played as a whole class or in small groups--I usually set it up by playing as a whole class first, and then move the students into small groups.
Variation:
The game can also be played with a “hot potato” (or something representing a hot potato--e.g. a ball).  Put on music.  (Youtube has various “hot potato” music videos which play songs, and then stop the songs at random moments.)  The student must make a sentence, and then pass the “hot potato” to the next person.  They cannot pass the ball until they have made the sentence.  When the music stops, whoever is holding the hot potato is out.


Human Bingo (Materials: Bingo Grid worksheet) (Preparation: create Bingo Grid--20 minutes)
Similar to find someone who, but instead of completing a linear list of questions, the questions are arranged in a boxes in a bingo grid.  Students can fill out a box by finding someone who meets the criteria (ex: Find someone who has been to Canada) and the first person to get five boxes in a row is the winner.
Variations
Human Bingo: Same and Different
25 gap fills are arranged on a bingo grid.  Students fill in the blanks with answers that are true for them.  (example for future forms: I ______ watch TV tonight. )  Students then walk around the class and compare their answers with their classmates.  If they have the same answer as a classmate, they may write a big "S" in that square.  If they have a different answer than a classmate, they write a big "D" in that particular square.  If they can get a bingo (5 of the same letter in a row), they win the game and can go back to their seat.


Hurricane (Materials: Whiteboard.  An answer key that the teacher can see, but the students can not) (Preparation: create answer key grid--20 minutes)
Divide students up into teams of 3 or 4. Have each group chose a team name.  Give each group 100 points to start out with. Draw a grid on the board.  Number 1,2,3,4,5 on the vertical axis, and A,B,C,D,E on the horizontal axis.
Each square on the grid corresponds to a question.  The teacher has the key to the grid, but the students cannot see it. The students choose a square on the grid, and bet a certain amount of points before hearing the question.  The teacher then reads the question, and the group attempts to answer it.  Correct answers result in gaining points, incorrect answers result in losing points. If a group misses any question, the other groups have the opportunity to try to steal those points by answering correctly. In addition, there are various surprises hidden among the board: Arrow--swap points with another team, +200--+200 points, Rocket--steal 100 points from another team, Hurricane--lose all your points.
Additional “surprises” can be created depending on how creative and deviant you are.


Jump the Line (Materials: Marker for drawing a line.  Possibly a PowerPoint presentation to create the prompts) (Preparation:  0 prep if the teacher creates the sentences on the spot and yells them out orally.  10 minutes if you create a PowerPoint presentation in advance)
A line is drawn in the center of the classroom.  The students all line up on the line, and then are given instructions to jump to the left or the right depending on prompt.  
Examples--jump to the left if the preposition should be “on” and right if it should be “in”
 --jump to the left if the verb should be present simple, and to the right if it should be present continuous
This game obviously works well when teaching a contrast between two grammar points, but it can also be adapted to any grammar point if the students jump to the left for correct sentences, and to the right for incorrect sentences.
To make it more of a competition, students who jump the wrong way are “out” and have to go back to their seat.  To make it less of a competition, there is no penalty for wrong jumping.
Variation: Throw the Ball
Instead of jumping, the students are given two targets (e.g. one target for present continuous, one target for present simple).  The teacher gives them the prompt, and they must throw the ball at the correct target.


Memory Card Game (Materials: One set of cards for each group of students ) (Preparation:  Make up about 10 pairs of matching sentence cards.  Before class, cut up and shuffle the cards.   30 minutes)
This works best in cases where there are two complementary sentences (e.g active/passive, reported speech/direct speech, past simple/present simple).  It can also possible work with sentences that can be divided into two halves (e.g. if clause and result clause).  Sentence or sentences halves are put onto cards.  The cards are put face down and, just like the classic game of memory, students have to turn over the cards to try to find a match.  
For a purely receptive game, the students just turn over the cards.  To encourage production, the students must predict what the matching card will be before turning it over.  (e.g. for active/passive game, if they turn over a card in the active voice, they must say the passive equivalent correctly in order to get a chance to find the card).
Variations: Memory Game on WhiteBoard  For a whole class memory game, the teacher writes the numbers on the board, and keeps a secret answer key for which numbers correspond with which sentences.  When a student chooses a number, the teacher reads out the corresponding sentence.
Or a combination of cards and board work--e.g. half of the target language is given to the students on cards, and they have to try to match the cards to the numbers on the board, which correspond to various sentences in the teacher's answer key.


PowerPoint Games (Materials: a pre-made PowerPoint Game template, and equipment to use PowerPoint) (Preparation:  If you use a pre-made template, you only have to put in your own sentences.  About 20-30 minutes)
There are various PowerPoint Templates out there floating around on the Internet.  They have various themes (Batman, Jurassic Park, Doraemon, Naruto, etc).  You can take a pre-made template, and put in your own questions.  
During the game, students are given prompts.  They answer the prompts, and are awarded with points and other surprises from the game.


Report a Sentence (Materials: none) (Preparation: 0)
Use this simply to focus students attention on the form of the target language.  The students all stand up.  The teacher says a sentence using the target language.  If any of the students can repeat the sentence exactly, they are allowed to sit down.


Scrambled Sentences (Materials: word cards, grid) (Preparation:  Warning, this one is prep heavy.  You have to create the sentences, then cut them up and scramble them for each pair of students--15 minutes to create worksheet, and possibly another 20 for cutting)
Students are put into pairs and given a grid, and a set of word cards that have been cut up and scrambled.  They must arrange the words into sentences.  They glue the word cards onto the grid to make sentences using the target grammar, and are given one point for each correct sentence.
Variation
Human Scrambled Sentences (Materials: Large word cards) (Preparation:  Creating and printing word cards--15 minutes)
Print out the words in large font so that each word takes up a whole sheet of paper.  Each student is given one word which they hold at chest level, and they must stand up and arrange themselves in a line to make a sentence.


Scrambled Story (Materials: One story, cut up and shuffled, for each group.) (Preparation:  Write the story, cut it up, and scramble it.  30 minutes )
Write up a story (or conversation dialogue) containing the target language.  Cut up the story into different parts.  Put students into small groups, and have the students try to put the story into the correct order.


Sentence Battleships (Materials: one grid for each student.) (Preparation:  Make a grid and prepare copies for each student --5 minutes )
This is a game that students play in pairs against each other.  Students are given a sentence in the target language (or make their own).  They write the words of the sentence onto a grid in random order.  Their opponent cannot see the grid, but makes guesses as to the spaces.  (Similar to the classic board game battleship).  If they get a "direct hit", their opponent tells them the word.  They try to guess each other's sentences.
Songs (Materials: audio equipment and access to music.  Worksheet) (Preparation: If you already have a song in mind, usually only about 10 minutes to make the worksheet.  Longer if you have to search the Internet to find the perfect song)
Bring in a song containing the target language.  Have students listen to it for comprehension, or alternatively have them fill in the gaps at points containing the target language.
Of course, this assumes you can think of a song repeating the target language enough times to justify using it.  This may not work for all grammar points, but the Internet is a big help with this.  A lot of TESOL song sheets are already made up if you just Google your target grammar point plus "ESL" plus "song", or something.


Sorting Activity (Materials: Worksheet with several sentences) (Preparation: Prepare worksheet--10 minutes)
Used for when you want to draw a distinction between two grammar points--e.g. past simple versus present perfect.  Since, arguable, all grammar is defined by contrasts (e.g. the present continuous is defined by its contrast with the present simple, the past perfect is defined by its contrast with the past simple) this be used for any grammar point once you think of something to contrast it with.
Students are given a list of sentences, and have to sort them into different categories.


Student Presentations (Materials: Whiteboard, markers) (Preparation: None for the teacher, but possibly for the students)
Instead of having the teacher present the grammar point, assign students to come to the front of the room present the grammar point.  
This is ideal for higher level classes in which the curriculum requires you to revisit grammar points that you suspect the students are already familiar with.  If you’re ambitious, it can also be used for brand new grammar points provided the students have time to research the grammar points at home.
Students can be assigned in groups to present on the grammar point.  One group can present on the meaning, one on the form, one on the pronunciation.
Students prepare presentations (possibly at home, if the assignment is given in advance of the class)
Students can come to the front of the class and present the rules/formation/usage of the grammar.


Tic-Tac-Toe (Knots and Crosses) (Materials: Whiteboard, markers) (Preparation: 0)
A tic-tac-toe grid is written up on the white board.  In each box, one word is written.   For example, a lesson on phrasal verbs might have a grid that looks similar to this:


in
out
to
on
off
over
up
down
away


The students are divided into competing teams.  If they can successfully use one of the words in the box in a sentence (using the target grammar for the lesson) they can put their cross or circle in that box.


Participant ideas

Video Gapfill
Play a silent movie for the students (e.g. Mr. Bean, Charlie Chaplin, Tom and Jerry) and the children have to fill in the missing words in a worksheet.  Depending on the video, the activity can be adjusted to highlight various verb tenses, or other grammatical features.


Snowball Fight
Students are given strips of paper.  They write a sentence in the target language on the strip, and then crumble the strip up into a ball to make a “snowball”.  During the snowball fight, each team throws snowballs at the other teams.
After fighting has subsided, the students pick up the snowballs from the ground.  They sentence, and try to guess who wrote it.  Each team gets one point for a correct answer.  Additional points can be awarded for error correction, if the students can find a mistake in the sentence.


Musical Time Bomb
Ideal for vocabulary practice with very young learners.  The students sit in a circle, and pass a flashcard around the circle while the music plays.  Once the music stops, whoever is holding the flashcard must say the word.


Capture the Flag
Students are divided into two teams and line up on opposite side of the room.  In the middle of the room is placed a “flag” (usually a ball, or an eraser).  The people in each team are given a number.  The teacher calls out a number, and the students with that number from each team has to run out and try to grab the flag.  (e.g. the teacher will call out “five” and the students with that number from both team 1 and team 2 will run out.)  The students try to grab the flag and run back to their own side.
If they grab the flag and get back to their own side, they are given the opportunity to answer a grammar question. If they get the question right, they get two points.
If they grab the flag, but the other player tags them before they can get back to their own side, then the other player gets the chance to answer the question.  But they only get one point if they get it right.


Bang Bang
The students make a circle, and the teacher stands in the middle.  The teacher points at one student and pretends to shoot them with a finger gun. “Bang!”  That student sits down.  The teacher then shouts out a verbal prompt, which the students must grammaticize.  (e.g--for a lesson on the past continuous, the teacher will shout out “run” and the students must say “I was running’)
The two students on either side of the sitting student compete to make the sentence first.  Whoever first makes the sentence is then able to shoot their opponent (again, with a pretend finger gun) and yells out “Bang! Bang!”  The student who gets shot is out, and has to leave the game to go back to their desk.  The winner is the last person standing.


Mafia
The classic party game.  Can be used as a speaking practice if you give students some functional language, and maybe also work in some grammar.


Mad-Libs
The classic party game.  It’s normally used for vocabulary, but can also be adapted for grammar if you make students give you certain verb tenses.  (e.g, the teacher selects a frame story which makes heavy use of the present perfect, and each time the students give a verb they have to put it into the present continuous.)


Cowboy Draw
A “grab the card” game.  The teacher gives a verbal prompt, and the students have to grab the matching card.


Running Dictation

A variation on running dictation.  Instead of having the sentences posted outside the room, the students have to run up to the teacher, and the teacher orally gives them the sentences.  This mixes a little bit of listening comprehension challenge into the running dictation game.