Ah, the ESL shopping unit. It’s a classic on in many beginner and intermediate ESL/EFL textbooks but it can be a little bit dry. Spice things up a bit with these ESL shopping activities, games, worksheets and lesson plans.
Top 14 ESL Shopping Activities
Let’s get to the best ESL shopping games and activities to try out with your students. Keep on reading for our top picks!
#1: ESL Shopping Surveys
I LOVE to use surveys with my students! They are a versatile, 4-skills ESL activity that gets students up and out of their seats talking to everyone. If that’s not some ESL teaching gold then I’m not sure what is. Plus, surveys lend themselves particularly well to the shopping unit because there are a ton of questions and follow-up questions related to this.
Do you want to find out how to make your own surveys? Check this out: ESL Surveys.
#2: Odd One Out
A fun review activity at the end of your class on shopping is odd one out. The way it works is that you write groups of 4 words on the boards and 1 of them doesn’t match. Students have to say which one it is and why. For example:
t-shirt, TV, sweater, socks
Answer: TV because it’s not clothing.
Find out more details right here: Odd One Out ESL Vocabulary Review.
#3: A to Z Alphabet Game
A quick warm-up activity that you can do for the shopping unit is this A-Z alphabet game. The way it works is that students write down the alphabet on a piece of paper. Then, in pairs or threes, students have to try to think of some category of things that you might shop for, one for each letter. For example:
C = Clothes
F = Food
S = Sports equipment
T = Television
V = Vehicles
The team with the most words at the end of the allotted time is the winner. Does it sound like a fun shopping warmer that you might want to try out? You can find out more about it right here: ESL Alphabet Warmer Activity.
#4: Word Association
A quick vocabulary activity that lends itself well to shopping is this word association one. The way it works is that you can have the students help you make a mind-map related to shopping. It’s useful for thinking of the bigger categories of things that people often buy like food, electronics, sports equipment, etc.
I generally use this activity as a quick warm-up to help student activate their prior knowledge they have about this topic. Does it sound like exactly the activity for your students? Learn more about it here: ESL Word Association Activity.
#5: Concentration Vocabulary Activity
If you’re talking about shopping and in particular, categories of things like electronics or food, then a game you might want to try out is concentration. Make up some cards with either a picture and the category word, or the category vocab item plus examples. Then, prepare one set of cards for each group of 4 students.
Students have to place the cards facedown and then it becomes basically a matching memory game. You can find out more about it here: Concentration ESL Vocabulary Activity.
#6: ESL Clothing Activities
Two topics that are often combined are shopping and clothing. If you’re looking for some of the best ideas related to clothes, then you’ll want to check out these ideas right here:
#7: Comparative and Superlative Activities and Games
Shopping is often taught alongside these kinds of adjectives. For example:
- That TV is bigger than my old one.
- That t-shirt is the most colourful.
For some of our best ideas for teaching this grammatical point, check out the following: ESL Comparative and Superlative Adjectives.
#8: Shopping Videos
The good news for English teachers. is that there’s a video for just about any topic, grammar point or vocabulary set, including shopping. Take a look on YouTube or English Central for all the good stuff.
But, don’t just hit play and think that your job is done. There are a ton of things you can do, both before, and after watching the video so that your students get the best value out of it. You can find out more right here: Using Videos to Teach English.
#9: Conversation Starters
Maybe you’ve had this experience too. You’ve told your students to talk about something and then been met with total silence when students should have been talking! It’s usually not their fault though! It’s the teachers because they didn’t give enough structure of explanation for the activity.
A way to avoid this problem and help your students out is to give them a bunch of conversation starter questions. Students can use them, but encourage follow-up questions to make the conversation more interesting.
Some of the best conversation starters are ones that involve giving an opinion about something. Hopefully the students will have different ones and this will give them something interesting to talk about!
#10: ESL Number and Money Activities
Shopping and money are often two things that are taught together in ESL/EFL textbooks. It makes sense, right? If you want some ideas for how to teach your students about money and numbers, here are some of our top picks:
#11: Quantifier Activities and Games
In ESL/EFL textbooks, quantifiers like many, much, a few, a lot of, etc. are often combined with shopping and clothing. There are a ton of possibilities. For example:
- Do you have any blue shirts?
- There are so many nice things here.
- It’s a little bit too small.
For some of our top recommendations for teaching about quantifiers, you’ll want to check this out: Quantifiers Activities.
#12: ESL Possessives Activities
Possessive adjectives and pronouns are often taught along with the clothing unit because there are just so many sentences you can make. For example:
- Whose shirt is that? It’s mine. It’s his.
- My pants are green, but his are blue.
Do you want to see some of our top picks for working on this important English grammar point? You can check them out here:
#13: ESL Article Games and Activities
A common grammatical point that’s taught alongside clothes and shopping is articles. For example:
- I’ll take THE blue shirt.
- Is there a pink shirt here?
- There’s an orange shirt as well as a blue one.
If you want to see some of the best recommendations for how to teach this important concept in English grammar, you’ll want to check this out:
#14: Singular and Plural Nouns
If you want to teach your students about singular or plural nouns, clothes and shopping makes a nice topic choices. In particular, things like pants and shorts that are plural but are actually only one item can be a nice thing to point out to your students.
Do you want some more details? Be sure to take a look at this: Singular and Plural Noun Activities for ESL.
ESL Shopping Worksheets
Are you looking for some worksheets related to shopping that you can just print and go? Then you’ll want to check out our recommended resources right here:
ESL Shopping Lesson Plans
If you want some ready made lesson plans for ESL shopping, then check out some of our favourites:
Shopping Vocabulary for ESL
Here are some of the most common shopping vocabulary words for English learners:
- Dressing room
- Shopping cart
Did you Like these ESL Shopping Games and Activities?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 146 Pages - 03/09/2016 (Publication Date)
Yes? Thought so! Then the book you’re going to love is this one over on Amazon: 101 ESL Activities for Teenagers and Adults. The key to better English classes is a variety of interesting, engaging and student-centered activities and this book will help you do just that. There are enough of them to make it through and entire semester in style!
You can find the book in both digital and print formats. Take a copy with you on your phone or tablet to your favourite coffee shop for a serious lesson planning session. Or, you may want to keep a copy on the bookshelf in your teacher’s office to use as a handy reference guide. Either way, you’ll love it!
Does it sound like exactly what you might need to make your English lessons better? Then check out the book for yourself over on Amazon, but only if you want a serious dose of ESL teaching awesome in your life:
Have your Say about these ESL Shopping Activities, Games, Worksheets and Lesson Plans
What do think of these games and activities for shopping? Did you try out an activity from this list, or do you have another one that you’d like to recommend to us? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2020-04-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API