If you teach English to beginners, chance are you’ll encounter yes or no questions. They’re often in the first few pages of a beginning ESL/EFL textbook. Keep on reading for our top games and activities you’ll want to use to practice this grammar point.
Top 21 Yes No Question Games
If you’re looking for some of the best ideas for yes no question games and activities, then look no further than this list! We’re going to give you the rundown of our best 21 ideas.
#1: ESL Surveys
Perhaps the ultimate ESL activity to get students practicing their yes or no questions is a survey. The way it works is that they have to use yes/no questions to find someone who can answer yes to each specific thing. Then, they write that name in in the slot and think of an interesting follow-up question. I love using this one for present perfect and past tense irregular verbs. It’s also very easy to design surveys for modals for ability with can and can’t.
Try out this awesome ESL activity today and I’m sure you’ll love it! More information here: ESL Surveys.
#2: 20 Questions
When you think yes and no game, you probably think 20 questions! It’s a classic and English learners seem to love. There are a few simple ways you can adapt it for them, depending on the age and level of students that you can teach. Find out more about how I do it right here:
#3: Find Someone Who Bingo
The way this Bingo game works is that students circulate around the class finding someone who can answer yes a question that corresponds with a square on their grid. Once they have a line of them in a row, they’re the winner! It’s a fun, interesting way for students to get practice with simple yes no questions.
Find out more about it right here: Find Someone Who Bingo for ESL.
#4: Mixed Up Sentences
A simple grammar activity for beginners is mixed up sentences. The way it works is that you write a bunch of sentences on the board that are mixed up in the order of words. Students have to work to unscramble them. You can do this as an activity, or turn it into a game.
Students can work alone, or in pairs. It really is up to you. It’s a super versatile activity that lends itself to basically any vocabulary set, topic or grammar point. However, some particular times I like to use it is with are quantifiers and helping verbs.
Find out more about it here: Mixed Up Sentences ESL Grammar Game.
#5: Ball Toss
This is a novel kind of activity where students get to throw a beach ball around the class. Then, whoever catches it has to answer a yes/no question. Try it out with your students today! Learn more about it: Ball Toss ESL Speaking Activity.
#6: Do You Like to _____?
This is a fun, interactive ESL activity that gets students out of their seats and asking lots of yes/no questions. It makes an ideal warm-up activity, or for review at the end of a class. Find out more right here: Do You Like To ESL Activity.
#7: Whiteboard Games
There’s just something about writing on the whiteboard—students young and old seem to love it. There are a number of these games and activities that will work well with yes and no questions. You can see our top picks right here:
#8: Flashcard Sentences
I’m ALL about flashcards for teaching children. There are a ton of games and activities you can do with them, and they’re ideal for when you want to focus on forms. The way this one works is that you can show the student(s) a flashcard and ask a question.
Is it a cat? No, it isn’t. It’s a dog.
Seems simple, but it’s ideal for absolute beginners. As you can, it’s a nice subject verb agreement game that you might want to use in your classes.
Find out more right here: Flashcards for ESL.
Learn more about these very simple questions for beginners right here:
#9: Error Correction Relay Race
If you want your students to seriously focus on forms of yes/no questions and answers, then error correction is one way to do it. However, it can bet a little bit boring, so try using this relay race to make the old new again.
Learn more about how to do it right here: ESL Error Correction Relay.
#10: Use Some Videos
I love to use some ESL videos to introduce a topic, or serve as a quick review at the end of a lesson. Or, I’ve even been known to base an entire lesson around one! Whatever the case, you can find one to suit just about any kind of vocabulary or grammar point on either English Central or YouTube.
Just search for something like, “ESL yes no questions” and you’ll have a myriad of choices. More details about how to make the best use of videos right here: How to Use Videos in the English Classroom.
#11: Yes/No Questions Game
Try out this fun game with your students. Divide the class up into teams of 4-5. Then, have them think of some questions to ask you that have yes or no answers.
If you answer, “yes” to the question, that team gets two points, but a “no” answer only gets them one point. Plus, teams can’t repeat questions they’ve already heard.
The team with the most points at the end of the allotted time is the winner.
#12: Yes, No, Maybe ESL Game
Check out this fun game on YouTube:
#13: Avoiding Yes and No Answers!
Try out this fun, but challenging game for your more advanced level students. One person is the question asker while the other person answers. The goal of the person asking the question is to get the other person to say yes or no, while the person answering wants to avoid this.
Set the timer for one minute and let your students try it out. Then, they can switch roles. I find that it’s best do an example with the students asking me questions in order for them to understand how this game works.
#14: Musical Chairs, Yes/No Question Style
Get each student to make three yes/no questions. Tell them that they should make ones that they think some, but not all the class will answer yes to.
Then, students move their chairs so that they’re all sitting in a circle. Read out a question and if someone can answer yes, they have to stand up and find a new chair to sit it. However, quickly turn around one chair so that someone will be without. They’re out of the game. Continue until only one person is left standing.
#15: Who Has It?
Try out this fun yes no questions game with your students. Choose one student to go outside the class and then give a small object (coin for example) to one student in the classroom. The person comes back in and has to ask yes/no questions to find out who has the object. For example:
- Is the person with the coin a boy?
- Does the person with the ring have glasses?
#16: Yes or No Questions Game
#17: Eliciting Techniques for ESL Yes No Questions
Unless your students are absolute beginners, it’s likely they’ve learned about yes/no questions and answers before. In this case, starting off the class by using some eliciting techniques can be a great way to introduce this concept again.
Start off my making a statement. For example, “I like pasta.” Then, elicit from your students some possible questions that could lead to that statement. This lends itself naturally to yes/no questions. Keep on going with a few more examples.
#18: Sentence Building Activities
Spending some time in class working on sentence structure and making better sentences is never wasted time! Sentences are the foundation of the English language but it’s often an area that students have a difficult time with. Help students solidify their knowledge of yes and no questions.
This is particularly true with question forms. After all, it’s often the case that students have spent much of their lives answering questions from the teacher but they may not have a lot of opportunity to ask them themselves. Here are some of the top ideas to work on this: Sentence Building ESL Activities.
#19: Is that Sentence Correct?
This is a simple error correction activity that lends itself well to yes no questions. Write some sentences on the board or PowerPoint using the target grammar or vocabulary.
Some sentences have errors while others do not. The students have to decide which ones are incorrect and then fix the errors in them. It’s a nice review activity at the end of a class or for a simple homework assignment. Check it out: Is that Sentence Correct Error Correction ESL Activity.
#20: Guess Who Yes No Question Game
#21: Man or Woman on the Street
This is an engaging and interactive ESL speaking and listening activity that’s heavy on the questions. Students have to interview each other to find out opinions about current events or controversial topics. Where the yes/no questions can come in is during the follow-up questions after the main one.
Try it out for yourself! It’s a versatile activity that’s ideal for big or small classes and a variety of levels: ESL Interview Activity.
ESL Yes No Questions Worksheets
If you’re looking for some worksheets to use to practice yes or no questions, then you’ll need to check out some of our favourite resources:
Yes or No Online Practice
If you want to get your students working on this grammar point outside of class, you can suggest some online practice for them. Here are some of our favourite resources:
Yes No Questions FAQs
There are some common questions that people have about teaching yes and no questions with activities and games. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What are Yes or No Questions?
Yes and no questions are those questions which can expect a yes or no answers. The main thing is that they don’t use the following words: who/what/when/why/where/how. People use yes and no questions to verify information or ask for confirmation about something.
What are Yes Questions?
In linguistics, yes/no questions are known as polar questions. That is, these questions where that are only two expected and possible answers. However, only one of the pair of alternatives is acceptable. It’s also known as a dichotomous question.
What are Some Yes No Question Games for ESL?
If you want your students to practice some yes or no questions, some of the best activities are as follows:
- 20 questions
- Find someone who bingo
- Flashcard sentences
- Whiteboard games
Are Yes and No Questions Easy to Teach?
Most teachers find yes/no questions and answers relatively each to each when compared to more open-ended ones with the 5W + H words. This is because there are only two possible answers—yes or no, instead of a range of possible answers with open ended questions.
Did you like these Yes and No Games and Activities?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Smith, Jennifer Booker (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 133 Pages - 03/31/2016 (Publication Date)
Yes? Thought so! Then then book you’re going to love is this one over on Amazon: 101 ESL Activities for Kids. The key to better English classes with children is a wide variety of interesting games and activities and this book will help you get there. You’ll have enough material to make it through an entire semester in style!
The best part is that the book is well-organized into various sections so that you should be able to find what you’re looking for in just a minute or two. If that’s not some ESL teaching awesome, then I’m not sure what is.
You can get it in both digital and print formats. Keep the physical copy on the bookshelf in your office to use as a handy reference guide when planning your lessons. Or, take the digital version with you to your favourite coffee shop for lesson planning on the go. It really is that easy to have better classes today!
Sounds like exactly what you need? Get the book for yourself over on Amazon:
Have your Say about these ESL Yes or No Activities and Games
What are your thoughts about these yes or no question games and activities for ESL students? Did you try one of them out in your classes? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other busy English teachers, like yourself find this useful resource.
Or, you might want to check this out: WH Question Games.
Last update on 2020-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API