Odd One Out: ESL Warm-Up Game

ESL warm-Up Game

Skills: Reading/speaking or writing

Materials Required: Groups of words

Odd One Out is an ESL warm-up game that can be used to review vocabulary from the previous classes. Write up a few sets of vocabulary words on the board. I use 4 in one group, with one of them being the odd one out. Some examples:

orange, yellow, apple, banana                Yellow is the odd one out because it’s not a fruit 

table, book, chair, desk                            Book because it’s not a piece of furniture

fish cat dog zebra                                     Zebra isn’t a pet. Or, a fish doesn’t have legs


1. Make 4-6 groups of 4 words, with one of them being unlike the others.

2. Put students in pairs and they have to choose the odd word from each group and also write (or say) why they chose it. Example: Yellow-not a fruit.

3. Have students raise their hands when they complete all the sets and check their answers.

Like this ESL Warm-Up Game?

It’s from this book: 39 ESL Warm-Ups: For Teenagers and Adults. Get 38 more ESL warm-up games and activities for teenagers and adults.