ESL Music Games

Let's Dance

ESL Dance Routine Activity - Total Physical Response (TPR) - Elementary (A1-A2) - 20 minutes

Here is a fun dance routine activity to help students practice parts of the body, action verbs and imperatives. Before you begin, review parts of the body and action verbs with the class. Next, create a large space in the classroom and have the students stand in the space. Give the students some basic instructions and have them follow along, e.g. 'Put your hands on your knees.' 'Shake your right leg,' etc. Then, tell the students that they are going to create a new dance routine. Play a popular dance song in the background and suggest the first set of actions, e.g. 'Wave your hands in the air.' 'Put your hands on your hips.' Write the sentences on the board and have the students do the actions. Next, in pairs, students take it in turns to decide what action they think should come next. As each new set of movements is suggested, write them on the board and ask the students to read them and do the actions. When you have a long list of dance moves, play the music again and practice the dance routine as a class. Finally, pairs practice alone and then come up one by one and do the dance routine in front of the class. Award points for each performance or have the class vote for the best pair of dancers.
Let's Dance Preview
Let's Dance
 

Musical Flashcards

ESL Music Game - Speaking Activity - Young Learners - 15 minutes

This fun ESL music game is similar to 'Musical Chairs'. It's ideal for practicing or reviewing vocabulary with young learners. Spread out a set of flashcards in a circle on the floor. You should have one flashcard less than the number of students in the class. Play some music and have the students walk around the flashcards in a circle. When you stop the music, the students race to stand on a flashcard and shout out the word related to the picture on the card. If a student says the wrong word, the person without a flashcard has a chance to steal the card from the student by giving the correct answer. The student without a flashcard is out of the game. Take away another flashcard and play again. The last student left in the game is the winner.
Musical Flashcards Preview
Musical Flashcards
 

Musical Madness

ESL Parts of the Body Game - Listening Activity - Young Learners - 15 minutes

Here is an amusing ESL game that combines music with learning parts of the body. Divide the students into pairs (Student A and B). Ask the A students to stand close together in a circle and hold hands. Ask the B students to make another circle surrounding the first circle and to also hold hands. Tell the students in the inner circle to move around clockwise when they hear music and the outer circle to move around anti-clockwise. Explain that when the music stops, you are going to call out two parts of the body. The students' task is to then find their partner as quickly as possible and touch each other using the two parts of the body called out. Let the music play for a while and then stop the music and call out two parts of the body, e.g. elbow to hand. Students then race to find their partner and put one elbow to their partner's hand. The last pair of students to get into position is out of the game. The students then get back into the two circles and the music starts again. The last pair of students left win the game.
Musical Madness Preview
Musical Madness
 

Word Grab

ESL Music Game - Listening and Matching Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 20 minutes

Here is a lively ESL music game to play with your students. Prepare a popular song that your students would like. Choose 10 to 18 words from the song that you want to practice. Write the words down on pieces of paper and stick them to the board in a random order. You can also make the game more difficult by putting decoy words that sound similar on the board. Next, divide the class into two teams. Have each team stand in a line in front of the board. Play the song. When a word comes up in the song, stop the music straight after. The two students at the front of each line then race to grab the word from the board. Each student gets one chance. The first student to grab the correct word wins and keeps the word. The students at the front then go to the back of the line and it's the next two students turn to play. Repeat the song as necessary until all the words have been grabbed. The team with the most words at the end of the game wins.
Word Grab Preview
Word Grab
 

Word Snake

ESL Music Game - Writing and Spelling Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 15 minutes

This is a simple ESL music game to help students practice or review categories of words. Have the students stand in a circle. Give the students a category, e.g. animals. Play some music and have the students pass the ball to each other. When the music stops, whoever is holding the ball has to write a word on the board from the category, e.g. elephant. Then, start the music again. The next student holding the ball when the music stops has to use the last letter of the word on the board to make another word belonging to that category, e.g. tiger. If a student is unable to make a word, they are out of the game. The last student left in the game wins. Play several rounds, changing the category each time.
Word Snake Preview
Word Snake
 

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