ESL Warm-Up Game: Odd One Out | ESL Vocabulary Game

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ESL warm-Up Game

Odd One Out is one of my favourite ESL warm up activities. If you’re looking to get your classes started off on the right foot, then keep on reading to find out more about it.

The best part is that it requires no materials and you can make it up in a minute or two before class starts. Every English teacher should have at least a few of these activities in their back pocket.

Skills: Reading/speaking or writing

Materials Required: Groups of words

Level: Beginner to Low Beginner

Learn More about Odd One Out

Odd One Out is an ESL warm-up game that can be used to review vocabulary from the previous classes. You can write up a few sets of vocabulary words on the board or put them up on the PowerPoint.

I use 4 in each 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

Then, the students have to choose which one doesn’t fit, and then explain why it doesn’t. You can do this just for fun, or make an element of competition to it. If a competition, you can have students write down the odd word, and then the explanation. When done, they put up their hands and you can check.

Procedure for Odd One Out ESL Warm-Up Game:

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.

4. I usually make a rule that I’ll only check each group once in order to prevent random guessing.

Like this ESL Warm-Up Game?

Do you like this ESL warm-up game? Then you’re going to LOVE this book: 39 ESL Warm-Ups for Teenagers and Adults.

SEE TEFL in Chiang Mai, Thailand

It’ll help you get your classes started off on the right foot, guaranteed. It really does make a difference to your students whether you start with a warm-up, of if you just jump into the heart of the lesson. Keep in mind that some of your students may have spoken a single word of English since your last class! Ease them into things with a quick warm-up.

Most of the ESL Warm-Ups in this book can be used to review material from previous classes, similar to how this activity can be used to review old vocabulary words.

39 ESL Warm-Ups is available in both print and digital formats. The (cheaper!) digital copy can be read on any device if you download the free Kindle reading app. It’s easier than ever to have almost 40 top-quality warmers at your fingertips wherever you might be planning your lessons.

You can check out the book for yourself over on Amazon:

—>39 ESL Warm-Ups for Teenagers and Adults<—

Check out Another ESL Warm-Up

Another one of my favourite ESL warm-up activities is Just a Minute. You can learn more about it in this short video below:

What’s your Favourite ESL Warm-Up? 

Do you have a favourite warm-up game or activity that you like to use with your students. Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.


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