If you’re looking for some of the best no prep ESL games and activities, then you’re in the right place! Keep on reading for the best options for those last-minute classes when you have time to prepare a lesson.
No Prep ESL Games
Let’s get into the ESL games and activities that require no preparation time.
#1: Word Challenge Spelling Game
Try out this fun, engaging, and interactive spelling game for all ages. It also requires no prep whatsoever!
#2: The Line Up Game
A nice option for a last-minute ESL activity that requires no prep is line up. It’s fun, interactive, and can be used for any size of class. Check it out:
#3: Writing Prompts for Teens
A nice, very low prep option for a TEFL class is to get students to write about one of these topics:
Writing Prompts for Teenagers.
#4: Odd One Out
This is a game where students can have to choose the thing that doesn’t belong from a group of 4 words. It’s easy enough to come up with the words on the spot. Have a look here for some ideas:
#5: Memory Circle No Prep Game
#6: Pop Culture Trivia
Have some fun with your students by checking out these questions:
#7: Group Therapy Icebreaker
Try out this fun icebreaker for adults. It’s ideal for helping students get to know each other, and it requires nothing in the way of prep.
#8: Round Robin Story
Try out this simple, collaborative writing activity that doesn’t require any prep time:
#9: Would You Rather Questions
One of the best options to get people talking is would you rather questions. Check out some of them here:
Would You Rather Food Questions.
#10: I’m an Alien No Prep Warmer Activity
#11: Me Too!
This is a fun speaking and listening activity that doesn’t need any prep. It’s fun and gets the whole class involved. Learn more about it here:
#12: Man/Woman on the Street Interview
Take something old (talking to a partner) and make it new and fun by turning it into an interview. Find out all the details:
Man/Woman on the Street Interview Activity.
#13: English Teacher Emergency
Check out these last-minute ESL lesson plan ideas.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 68 Pages - 11/12/2019 (Publication Date)
#14: 3 Things Writing Activity
I like this TEFL writing activity because it requires no preparation whatsoever! Take a look at it here:
3 Things ESL Writing Activity.
#15: Tongue Twisters
Have some fun with this no prep ESL speaking solution!
#16: 20 Questions No Prep Game
#17: Riddles for Kids
A fun, no prep ESL activity is to do some of these riddles:
#18: Word Association
This is a nice warmer activity that can show you what students already know about a topic. It requires no preparation at all:
Word Association ESL Activity.
#19: Food Trivia Questions
Who doesn’t like talking about food? Check out these fun trivia questions.
#20: Just a Minute No-Prep ESL Activity
#21: Find Something in Common
This is a nice icebreaker activity for the first day of class. Students have to talk to their classmates, finding out something that they have in common with each one. Learn more about it:
#22: Is that Sentence Correct?
A nice way to see if students understand a grammar point is to write some sentences on the board. Some are correct, while others are not. Students have to decide which ones are incorrect and then make the required changes.
Is that Sentence Correct?
Dictation is a bit old school, but I like to use it in my classes every once in a while. It also makes the ultimate no prep ESL activity. Try it out:
#24: Picture Prompt
#25: Mixed-Up Sentences
Write some sentences on the board, but mix up the word order. Students have to race to unscramble the sentences
Mixed-Up Sentences ESL Activity.
More No Prep ESL Activities
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 88 Pages - 09/28/2020 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
If you’re looking for even more English class ideas that require no preparation, check out this book: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Grammar Activities and Games. You’ll have dozens of ideas that you can implement at the very last minute at your fingertips!
Get your copy of the book today and get ready for better English classes tomorrow:
FAQs about No-Prep, No Materials ESL Games and Activities
There are a number of common questions that teachers in a time crunch have about some fun games. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What are some fun ESL games that require no preparation or materials? Answer: Here are five examples of such games:
- “Simon Says”
- “20 Questions”
- “Word Chain”
How can I modify “Simon Says” for more advanced ESL learners?
To make “Simon Says” more challenging for advanced ESL learners, you can introduce complex commands or rules. For example:
- Use multi-step commands: Instead of simple actions like touching your nose, instruct students to perform a series of actions like “Simon says take three steps forward, turn around, and clap your hands.”
- Add conditions: Specify conditions that students must follow. For instance, you could say, “Simon says touch your nose if you have a pet at home” or “Simon says jump twice if you were born in summer.”
- Increase the speed: As students become more comfortable, you can speed up the game, giving them less time to respond to commands. This challenges their listening skills and ability to react quickly.
Can you suggest a no-preparation ESL game to practice vocabulary?
One simple vocabulary game that requires no preparation is “Word Association.” Here’s how it works:
- Start with a common word related to the lesson’s vocabulary, like “house.”
- The first student says a word that’s associated with “house,” such as “door.”
- The next student must say a word related to the previous word, such as “key.”
- The game continues, with each student contributing a word that’s related to the previous one.
- If a student can’t think of a word within a few seconds or repeats a word, they’re out. The last student remaining wins.
How can I adapt “Charades” for a large ESL class without materials?
“Charades” can be adapted for a large ESL class without materials by using pantomime and actions to convey words or phrases. Here’s how you can modify it:
- Divide the class into teams. Each team takes turns sending one representative to act out a word or phrase.
- The representative from each team acts out the word or phrase silently while the rest of the team tries to guess.
- Set a time limit (e.g., one minute) for each round. If the team guesses correctly within the time limit, they earn a point.
- Rotate the representatives so that everyone gets a chance to act.
- The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
No-Prep ESL Games: Join the Conversation
Do you have any go-to no-prep TEFL activities? Leave a comment and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
Last update on 2022-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API