Tag Archives: vocabulary

A simple ESL game 4U !

You don’t need much to get ready for this game. Just the flashcards you used to teach the new vocabulary in your last lesson. Don’t you want it in context? Get some practice with it through grammar? Well, here it is!

A simple game 4U - by papadeligamesPut four sets of cards on the table;
The 1st set consists of presonal pronouns, names, animals maybe.
The 2nd set consists of verbs. The ones you have just taught and want to revise.
The 3rd set has objects, adjectives, numbers…
The fourth one consists of a tick (positive form), a question mark (interrogative form) and an X (negative).

A simple game 4U - by papadeli
Each player gets 1 card from each pile. That makes it 4 cards in total. For example, “I haven’t got a pencil case”. The sentence makes sense and the player keeps the cards. But if the sentence doesn’t make sense, the player puts the cards back.

The winner is the one who gets the most cards.

You could also use cards of pronouns, verbs, adjectives or nouns -the way I present them:

we - by papadeli  be - by papadeli  tall - by papadeli

In this case, the player gets 4 cards again and has to say:

we are tall - by papadeli

If the player can’t form the sentence correctly, he has to put the cards back. The next player collects another set of 4 cards and the game goes on…

To sum up, this kind of flashcards is the way my Ss remember not only the meaning and spelling of the new words, but also their pronunciation. I think they are a great tool!

The game I presented above is simple and doesn’t require a lot of preparation. You can always use simple cards, which you prepare in 5 minutes if you don’t usually get pictures to teach. You only need a piece of paper and a pen to write the words you need.

Are we tall? -by papadeli

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The Melting Snowman

The Melting Snowman is a Christmas version of the  classic game “Hangman” .

snowman melting

Children remove a snowman part,  whenever they make a mistake,  until the whole snowman has melted away! You can play it when you want to practise grammar οr vocabulary.

Snowman You can also use the melting snowman to practise spelling.

Snowman2Write down the first letter of the word you want them to spell and draw spaces for the rest.

How to make the snowman:

  1.  Use this link, if you want a simple printable.
  2. If you want to have a 3D snowman, use foam cups for the body -you can use more than two- and half a foam cup to make the head. If you don ´t like foam cups, paper plates are also great.
  3. You can also use a white pompom for the head.
  4. Pipe cleaners can be used for the arms.
  5. As a hat you can use a sock. Cut the toe off and roll up the cut end.
  6. Use an orange pompom for the nose. Cut it into a carrot shape, making one side a little pointy. Make a small hole at the foam cup and stick the pompom into it.
  7. Use tissue paper for the scarf.
  8. The feet shapes can be drawn on simple paper.
  9. The eyes and buttons can be made of pipe cleaners – you could either draw them on the cups.

BOXESΥοu can also use boxes to make a bigger and more impressive snowman.

OLAFA good idea would be to ask your students to make their own craft.

Decorate your class or room with them during Christmas.

You can play this game with one player or the whole class.  Ask children to take turns to answer your questions or find the missing letters. If you divide the class into teams, the game will be more challenging. You can revise either vocabulary or grammar.

You can prepare as many flashcards as the parts of the snowman. Here’s a split flashcard you can use to revise tenses:


Another alternative of the melting snowman could be the Christmas tree:

2It’s simple to make it by placing stripes of paper in a row as in the picture above. Nine to ten stripes are enough. Whenever the players make a mistake you take one stripe away.

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My Memory Tricks

I’ve always been in trouble with my memory. Since I was little, I remember myself struggling to study and remember all these grammar rules, spelling, dates, names… When I started teaching kids, I realized that drawing made the same impression to them as it did to me. So, here I am, presenting my way of teaching: PICTOGRAMS

english tricks by papadeli

The alphabet has 26 weird symbols that 5-6 year olds have to remember. What if the letters were characters, with a life style, habits and friends?

No! -by papadeli

Nosy Nick by papadeli

Hh by papadeli

 H is the mother and h is the daughter. They both wear hats. Soft hats. That ´s because they live in a very hot country. They never wear shoes because they hate noise. They always whisper. Hhhhhhh… They are family. They do the same things. So, they are presented together. They have a surname. Mrs Hat is short but proud of her tall and thin daughter. That ´s why she ´s so happy…
I give them names as Helen, Hope… You could add bubbles to make them say their favourite words such as Hello, Hi…

They could also be presented as father and son and represent the pronoun he: The happy, short father

Hatman by papadeli

and the tall son:

Hatboy by papadeli

They are sociable, like meeting people and they have best friends. They usually go out with c which is a cat. Because of the feathers you can see attached on H’s hat, the cat sneezes.. Aaaaaaa… ch!!! .


There are always fancy stories behind each drawing. The parent or teacher uses all kind of voices, movements and talents to make them look interesting and exciting. Let me show you this serious man. Actually, he’s a dad. A great dad. Who do you think he is?

dad by papadeli

Big stomach, straight back…. Reminds you of sth?

dad by papadeli

Letter d! It’s really unbelievable when you show him to the kids, dressed up, no transparent clothes and they are sure who he is! One picture is worth a thousand words…So true!

But how does drawing help pronunciation? How do we pronounce ball, tall, fall? And how can we help kids remember?

all by papadeli

These two l letters are presented as apple trees. One of the apples falls and says “aw !” . So, remember: whenever you see an apple under these two apple trees, it says “aw” because it’s disappointed.

So, what about –all in words? Simple!

fall by papadeli

Need more?

tall by papadeli

Letter T here is a beautiful, tall woman. She likes talking, too. She always says Ttttttttttt…

My memory tricks have helped students remember the pronunciation and spelling of a word. What about its meaning?

laugh by papadeli

This is a difficult word. We write many letters but don’t pronounce all of them. Read this nice story:

Here’s Anne(a), the main character.

U has no hair. He’s a baby. His eyes are closed. He’s sleeping. He’s not talking.That’s why he’s not pronounced. Silent…

 G -for girl- and H –for Hatboy. Letter g and letter h like each other. They spend time together. But they do funny things such as… blowing: ffffffffffffff Look at the baby’s hair. It’s moving. Isn’t that funny? Look at Anne. She’s laughing!

 In this way Ss remember meaning, spelling and pronunciation at the same time. They also have a great time. The top secret is that there are 4 stages in this procedure .

1. They listen to the story while looking at the drawing

2. They have to repeat the story. We remember more when we say it. That ´s  why teaching is the best way of learning.

3. They draw the story the way I do. Same characters, tricks.

4. They write the word. Then they have to find their mistakes on their own. But I have to say that they rarely make mistakes.

What about a verb in Simple Past? An irregular one?

ate by papadeli

A is for Anne. E is for Ed. He is sleeping. He ´s not talking. That ´s why he is not pronounced.
Look at T. She ´s surprised with open arms: “Oh, you ate all the popcorn! 8 of them!”

Let me finish with a drawing of my favourite story. This story consists of more than 50 drawings that help me teach Simple Past. The main character is SUPERGIRL. She’s a normal student but she has super powers. One day something happened to her best friend, Anne. Remember her? Letter a!

said by papadeli

A is  Anne. I is a thief who wears transparent clothes. This is because he doesn ´t want to be seen, discovered, get caught. So, he doesn ´t speak. He ´s silent. He ´s not pronounced at all.In this story, letter I had caught Anne and tried to get her in letter D, which is actually an open door. At that time, Anne was afraid. She was forced by the thief to get in the grey, dark house, through that door. So, she said HELP! (But don ´t worry about Anne. She was saved by her best friend, Supergirl.)

Supergirl by papadeli

Grammar is presented by using the same tricks: drawings through words and stories.

walked by papadeli

I also use pictures not only to present

Present Continuous is a hamburger! -by papadeli

but also to practise the formation of the tenses in sentences:

Present Continuous is a hamburger!  A game by papadeli

How to practise Present Continuous: This game requires 3 decks of cards: the first includes the personal pronouns. The second includes VERBS, and the third includes the symbols (.) , X, ?, which represent the affirmative, negative and interrogative form of the sentence.
The learner must form the sentence correctly, according to the tense required, the personal pronoun and whether it’s affirmative, negative or a question. If the player forms the sentence correctly, he/she can get the verb flashcard. The winner is the person who gets the most cards.

These pictures are strongly recommended for learners of English with learning difficulties. Through these cards they can remember confusing words such as:

Left by papadeli

How to teach the word “left”:
Hold up your hands and stick out thumbs and index fingers as you say:
Which is my left? Which is my right?
Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
But when I stick my thumbs out straight,
My left will make an “L”.

Confusing words such as

boy's by papadeli                            boys by papadeli

get clear and solve many problems by presenting the cards.

To sum up, this is the way my Ss remember not only the meaning and spelling of the new words, but their pronunciation, as well. I think they are a great tool!

Want more ideas?  Be sure to follow us on Facebook , English Tricks 4UPinterest or Scoopit and sign up for emails to keep up with all the latest ideas. You might also enjoy some of our best links.