ESL Verb Games

Catch

ESL Verb Game - Speaking Activity - Any Level - 15 minutes

This challenging verb game helps students to practice or revise verb forms. Have the students stand in a circle. Take a place in the circle and start the game by throwing a ball to a student. As you throw the ball, say a verb in its base form. The student who catches the ball must say the past, past participle, plural or '-ing' form of the verb, depending on which form you want the students to practice. The student then calls out a new verb as they throw the ball to another student and so on. If a student fails to say the correct verb form, they are out of the game and must sit down. You then restart the game with a new verb. If you want to make the game harder, you could ask the students to say a sentence using the verb in a particular tense. You could also have the students spell the verb form.
Catch Preview
Catch
 

Classroom Tennis

ESL Irregular Verb Forms Game - Speaking Activity - Pre-interemdiate (A2-B1) - 20 minutes

Here is a fun ESL irregular verb forms game to play in class. Divide the students into two teams. Have one student from each team come to the front of the class and sit facing each other. You act as umpire. One student thinks of an irregular verb and serves it by saying the past participle form of the verb, e.g. begun. The other student responds to the serve with the past form of the verb, e.g. began. The first student then gives the base form of the verb, e.g. begin. The other student then serves by choosing a new irregular verb. The serve is always the past participle form of the verb. When a student makes a mistake or is too slow to respond, the other student scores a point for their team and the correct verb form is written on the board. The game then continues with the other student responding with the next verb form or a new verb accordingly. The round finishes when a student gets three points. Write the two students' scores on the board and then a new student from each team comes to the front and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. This game can also be played with adjectives, comparatives and superlatives as well as countries, nationalities and languages.
Classroom Tennis Preview
Classroom Tennis
 

The Verb Tree

ESL Verbs Game - Speaking and Writing Activity - Any Level - 25 minutes

In this imaginative verbs game, students make sentences that contain specific verbs. Draw a large tree with many branches on the board. Tell the students that they are going to provide leaves for the tree. Give each student a piece of paper cut into the shape of a leaf. Divide the students into two teams (A and B). Give each student a different verb to write on their leaf or students can each write their own verb. Next, invite a student from Team A to come up to the board with their leaf. The student says the verb aloud and sticks the leaf on the tree. Team B then has one minute to make a meaningful sentence with the verb and write it on the board. If they are able to do this, the team scores one point. A student from Team B then comes up to the board with their leaf and Team A tries to make a sentence and so on. This continues until all the verbs are on the tree. The team with the most points wins the game. This game can be used to practice or revise a variety of language and vocabulary. You could have an adjective tree, a sports tree, a food tree, etc. You could also choose a theme for the tree such as Christmas or Halloween. The procedure is the same.
The Verb Tree Preview
The Verb Tree
 

Things we do...

ESL Verbs Game - Brainstorming Activity - Pre-interemdiate (A2-B1) - 20 minutes

In this ESL verb game, students brainstorm regular and irregular verbs related to a topic. Divide the class into teams of three or four. Write a 'Things we do...' topic on the board, e.g. 'Things we do with our brains'. Tell the students that they have two minutes to write down as many verbs as they can that relate to the topic. Working together, students brainstorm and write down the verbs on a piece of paper, e.g. consider, dream, imagine, forgive, guess, etc. When the two minutes are up, the teams swap papers for marking. Teams score one point for each appropriate verb. Then, write another 'Things we do...' topic on the board and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Things we do Preview
Things we do
 

Verb Connection

ESL Verbs Game - Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2-B1) - 25 minutes

In this strategic 'Connect 4' style verb game, students practice making sentences and questions using various verb forms. Divide the students into two teams. Draw a six-by-six grid on the board. Write different verbs and verb forms in the squares. Add a question mark to some of the base form verbs. Have the teams play a quick game of rock-paper-scissors to see which team is going to play first and who will be O or X. Next, one student from the first team comes up to the board and chooses a verb from the grid. Working alone, the student then tries to use the verb correctly in a sentence. The sentence must be in the same tense as the verb in the square. If a student chooses a verb that has a question mark next to it, the student makes a question using the verb. If the student makes an appropriate sentence or question, the team wins the square and an O or X is placed accordingly. Then, it's the other teams turn to play. The first team to get four squares in a row wins the game. If neither team manages to do this, the team with the most squares wins.
Verb Connection Preview
Verb Connection
 

Visual Verbs

ESL Irregular Verbs Game - Miming, Speaking and Writing Activity - Any Level - 20 minutes

In this entertaining verbs game, students guess irregular verbs from mimes and then write down the verb's three forms. Divide the students into two teams (A and B). Draw three columns on the board for each team. Label the columns: Base, Past, Past participle. Choose a student from Team A to come to the front of the class. Give the student a base form irregular verb. The student then has one minute to mime the verb for Team A to guess. If a student from Team A correctly guesses the verb, that student writes the base, past, and past participle forms of the verb in the columns unaided. If Team A is unable to guess the verb after one minute, Team B has one chance to steal the round by correctly guessing the verb. If they do this, the student who gave the answer writes down the three forms of the verb in their team's columns. A student from Team B then comes to the front of the class and so on. At the end of the game, award one point for every correctly spelt and formed verb. The team with the most points wins the game.
Visual Verbs Preview
Visual Verbs
 
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