Friday Fun (Time fillers)

Finally Friday! =D I don’t think any other profession looks forward to that day like teachers!

Here are a few games that have worked for me really well when I have a few extra minutes.


This is great! My pupils always ask me to play it! 🙂
You need 2 pupils. They face each other and hold their hand at their sides (like guns). You ask them: How do you say ____ (word in your mother tongue)?. They have to translate the word into English while ”shooting their guns” (hands of course ;)). The one who is faster and says the correct word wins. The other pupil who got shot goes back to their seat and someone else comes. You can also have them translate into the mother tongue.



I don’t know what to call it so it is as good of a name as any.
Draw a cloud on the board and have children tell you any letters. Write them into the cloud. Decide on how many letters you will write and don’t forget about vowels. Put them into groups and give them a time limit (2-3 min). They have to find as many words as they can in that time. Make up a pointing system (e.g. 1 point if all of the groups have the word, 2 points if only one group has it). Group with most points win.


There are two groups. Draw 2 stick men on the board (one for each group). A pupil from each team comes to the board. Give them a word to write/spell (however you want to play it). I usually have them both write it and then spell it. If it is correct, they get to erase a part of the body form other team’s stick man (a head, neck, leg, arm…). Winner is the team who erases the whole stick man of the other team… thus the invisible man. They love erasing their opponent’s stick man!
However, this takes a lot of time. If you want to shorten it, draw something else which has a lot less thing to erase.

That’s it for now. There are more, but for some other time (I will probably rewrite this post and just add the games on).
Let me know how it turns out for you or if you have any other games, ideas or adaptations.

Have a lovely weekend everybody! =))

Short answers

This is something I’ve been doing lately that has worked from the 1st to the 4th grade. They love it! And it is so simple!

It is good to practice vocabulary and short answers and questions that go with it (e.g. Is it…? Yes, it is. No it isn’t.; Have I got…? No, you haven’t. Yes, you have.)

I stand in front of the class with my FCs and turn them so I can’t see them, but they can. I mix them and they say when to stop. Now the guessing starts. Depending on how many FCs you’ve got, decide how many tries you will have. I usually have 5 tries in which I have to guess what’s on the FC. I ask, they answer as a class and if I don’t guess after all of my tries I call out one pupil to give me the correct answer (insist on full sentences).

1st grade – colours
Teacher: Is it blue?
Class: Yes, it is./ No, it isn’t.

4th grade – Have got
T: Have I got toy soldiers?
C: Yes, you have./ No, you haven’t.

When I do my guessing I hold up my hand above my head and count down the tries I have left. Children will instinctively do the same thing! They love counting down, especially if the teacher is losing. x)

After some time, a pupil comes in front of the class to take the teacher’s place. Everyone wants to come and guess! Even the children who usually try to hide and aren’t the best in English want to play this (at least that’s what happened to me for which I am thankful. Some children have finally woken up).

You can adapt this game to your needs. If you want to practice plural, we, just bring out two pupils and have them ask questions in turns (Have we got..?).

If you want to practice he or she, just tell them they are answering for someone else. Make up a character. They love imagining things.

I usually use this time to check their homework if they had to write something in their notebooks.

Next week I’m practicing physical descriptions, can/can’t and have got/haven’t got with the 4th graders.
I plan on playing Guess who?

First, I’ll have them write names of famous people on pieces of paper (because I have no idea who is famous with them these days except Justin Bieber, One Direction and Big Time Rush. Guess I’m getting old X)).

One Pupil is going to sit in front of the blackboard and I’ll write the name of the famous person above their head and they’ll have to guess who they are by asking questions and the rest will have to give short answers.

Am I tall/short/old/young…? Yes, you are./ No, you’re not.
Can I sing/dance/cook…? Yes, you can./ No, you can’t.
Have I got long/short hair…) Yes, you have. No, you haven’t.

If you want to practice questions with he or she, just tell them to guess the person and not to pretend they are the person. Only one student knows who or they can ask you.

And that’s it! Let me know how it turns out for you or if you have any other games you use in your classroom!
Keep calm and teach on! 😉


I came across a game called Bang! or Zap it! on the internet.
It sounded fun and a good way to practice reading or spelling so I tried it.

You write a bunch of words you’re learning on pieces of paper and you write Bang! on a few. Children take the cards. If they can read it correctly they can keep it. If not, they put it back in the box. If they take the Bang! card, they have to put all of the cards back in. 

This is my box. I made it out of yoghurt  bucket and with duct tape. Turned up pretty well if I may say so. 🙂



Its advantage is that all of the children have the same chance to win. It’s is not just about who is the best reader because if they pull the Bang! card they are back at square one. So even the children who can’t read well yet have a chance to win.

How did it go?
I tried it in the first grade and they liked it. They wanted to play.
It didn’t work all that well because the classes are too big. 28 children is too much. It’s fine when they are drawing the papers, but they get bored while they wait for their turn. So, in the end it loses its purpose.
I ended up showing all of the cards one by one and they had to repeat the word after me.
It could work if you have two boxes and two groups of 10 or so, but they are too little in the first grade to do it by themselves and they need supervision.

Although it didn’t work for me, I still think it is a good game for smaller classes.

Did you try it? Or something similar? How did it go for you?

P.s. The one game that definitely always works is with the flashcards and fly swatters! 🙂

Flascard games

I know I promised to write about flashcard games last Sunday, but last week I’ve been obsessed with looking up new games to do in my class. I’ve tried some of them in the classroom and they turned out pretty well.

So, flashcard. The must have in teaching younger learners (I have 6-10 year olds).



Have a bunch of FCs on the blackboard. You read the FCs and the pupils have to repeat after you. First you read them correctly, then you make a mistake.
Now there are two versions.
Stop game. When you make a mistake, they have to yell ”Stop teacher, stop!”.
Silent game. When you make a mistake, they have to be quiet.
Each time you make a mistake ask them ”What is this?” and they have to answer you in a full sentence ”This is…”
It helps if you stand there in wonder ”Whaaat? This is not a pencil box? Yes, yes it is! No, it isn’t? What is it then?” and it is extra motivating if you play against the class and give them pluses each time they get it right or to yourself if they get it wrong.

Works really well with 1st grader and 2nd graders. It is still ok with 3rd graders.


Put a bunch of FCs on the board, everyone closes their eyes, you remove a FC and ask ”What’s missing?”


Cover your FC with two pieces of paper and show them only a bit of a picture. E.g. if I have a picture of a desk I will show them only the leg of the desk, but a little, tiny bit. If it is too hard for them to guess, show them more of the picture each time. Be careful your papers are not see through.


To revise words, show them FCs but really, really fast and ask ”What’s this?”


After I’ve revised vocabulary with the FC, I usually have the pupils read the WC and then connect them with the right FC.

  • IS IT…?

A good way to revise vocabulary and reinforce ”Is it..?” structure and short answers ”Yes, it is. No, it isn’t.”
Choose a set of FC you wish to revise. Turn them so they can see them, but you can’t. Mix them up. They usually say Stop! when they see the FC they like.
Depending on a number of FCs you have a limited number of questions you can ask. E.g. last week I played with 8-10 FCs and had 5 guesses. I hold my hand up and count down with my fingers the number of tries I have left:
Ask ”Is it a rubber?”. The whole class has to answer with ”Yes, it is. No, it isn’t.”. If I can’t guess in my 5 tries, I lose. Then a pupil has to answer what it is.
Next stage is for them to take your place. Have someone come up and  ask questions instead of you. They love it!

  • SWAT IT!

Buy fly swatters. Really fun and they enjoy doing it.
Have a bunch of FCs or WCs (depending on what your aim is) on the blackboard. Two pupils come to the board with fly swatters. I say a word in mother tongue and they have to find the correct FC/WC, hit it with the fly swatter and say the word in English. Who is the fastest and says the word correctly is the winner, the other pupil goes back to their seat and someone else comes up instead of them.
You can adopt this also with sentences. Have them on the board and say the word they have to find in the sentence.
Really energetic game and they love it!

That would be it for now. These are not new at all, but work great.
If you have any games that work with your class please share! 🙂