With a couple of minutes left until the end of the lesson, your class might descend into chaos: L1 flying, frantic packing, texting, or worse, students actually queuing in front of the door waiting for you to let them out. I am talking about both younger and older students here. In this post, I am presenting 6 quick games that will help you finish on a good note and keep your students engaged until the very end.
I have tried these games with children, teenagers, and adults, depending on the situation. They are quick, easily adaptable to various topics and levels, and most importantly, require no preparation (other than pasting a link in your browser). You will find 3 online and 3 offline ideas below.
Quick online games
Select 5 random vowels and 4 random consonants. Your students (pairs or individuals) will have 30 seconds to come up with as many words as possible, using the letters you have selected. To increase the adrenaline and help control the time, use the timer video here. Get ready for students to start losing it with 5 seconds left on the clock. Check the words with your class. Whoever got most words (spelled correctly) wins this round. Play again if you have enough time left.
Loved by both kids and adults. You might choose from 4 levels of advancement and leave it for your students to come up with correct words to put in the gaps. There are tons of popular songs available and your students will have lots of fun without you having to make copies before the lesson. If you have only one available computer and a bigger group, make sure your students take turns at songs / verses.
3. Pic-your-wits by British Council
June 2020 update: sadly, this game is no longer available online.
This is probably one of my favourite BC games. There is suspense, mystery, and a ticking clock. Plus a number of categories to choose from. It works great as a revision for kids and less advanced adults but even those more advanced ones often get into it and have fun guessing the hidden words.
Quick offline games
1. Quiz the teacher
This is a great idea for a revision where your students ask you questions regarding the lesson. There is no topic, level, or age group this game wouldn’t work with. Students enjoy being the teacher for a couple of minutes and give their best to come up with hard questions. I have never seen my students so interested in their notes or coursebooks as when we play this quick game.
2. Packing for all contingencies
This speaking game works best for revising vocabulary. The teacher or one of the students say where they are going / what’s happening. Then, students take turns to say one item they will need to go on a trip / participate in the event and, depending on their level, they need to justify WHY they would need it.
Basic categories include:
- going to the beach
- going to the gym
- going on a school trip
- taking a maths exam
- going on a picnic
But there are some quirkier suggestions that will make your students think harder and bring more laughs:
- zombie apocalypse
- first date
- peaceful demonstration in front of the parliament
- meeting your in-laws for the first time
- auditioning for the reality show
3. The Mentalist
Another fun vocabulary game. Your students will need a piece of paper and something to write with. First, agree on a category (animals, sports, irregular verbs, clothes, insects, what have you). Both the teacher and the students have 1-2 minutes to write down 10 items for the given category. Once the time is up, the teacher reads out their list and students check whether they had written down the same items. For each repeated word they get a point. As a teacher, you should try to include harder words on your list too (assuming your students had learned them). If time permits, one of the students might read their list for the next category.
If you know any fun online or offline games, please share them in the comments. Thanks!