Let’s be real. If you teach articles, it can be a little bit dry. But, it really is possible to spice things up a little bit with these fun ESL articles games, activities, worksheets and more. Keep on reading for everything you need to know about teaching articles!
Top 12 Teaching Articles ESL Activities and Games
Without further ado, let’s get to the articles activities and games. Here’s our top 12 picks!
#1: Error Correction Relay Race
This activity takes something old and makes it new again. By old, I mean error correction. This style of activity lends itself very well to articles and the students appreciate the elements of teamwork and competition.
Of course, your errors should focus mostly on articles, or the nouns associated with them. To find out more about how to use this game with your students, learn more here: Error Correction Race.
#2 Article Game: Flyswatter
You can try out this fun articles game if you want to add a little bit of excitement to your classes! You can write a bunch of nouns on the board in a random fashion. Some should lend themselves to a or an and other to some. For example:
Then, divide the class into two teams and each student sends their first player to the whiteboard. Say the beginning of a sentence and stop at the article.
For example: For lunch I ate an _____.
The first student to swat apple with their flyswatter gets a point for their team. Erase the word and add a new one and then each team sends up their next player. This activity is great because not only does it deal with the grammar of articles but it deals with the meaning of words as well.
Find out more here: Flyswatter Review Game.
#3: Ball Toss
This is a versatile ESL Activity for kids or adults that can be used for just about any topic. In this case, you might want to make it about what students have in their backpack, pocket, on their phone, etc.
The way it works is that students throw a beach ball around the class filled with questions. For example:
- Do you have an apple in your lunch kit?
- Do you have a pen in your pencil case?
- Jenny, do you have some pictures on your cell phone?
- Do you have the class marker in your pocket?
Whatever question their right thumb is touching, they have to answer before passing the ball onto the next person. Obviously these questions will lead to a ton of questions that use the articles a/an/the/some, etc.
Do you want to try it out? You can learn more about it here: Ball Toss ESL Speaking Activity.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 100 Pages - 11/12/2019 (Publication Date)
#4: Mixed Up Sentences
Try out this grammar review activity as a kind of round-off of a unit. Think of a few sentences that have either one article/noun (for beginners) or multiple articles/nouns (more advanced), and then mix them up. Students have to work to unscramble the sentences.
If you’ve had a very active class, this makes a nice ESL articles worksheet activity to quiet things down a little bit. Learn more here:
#5 Teach Articles Activities: Videos
Between English Central and YouTube, there is an ESL video for literally any vocabulary set of grammar point known to humankind! Bring these into your English classes to spice things up a little bit.
You can use them as a lead-in to help students notice the language. Or a little bit of a review test at the end of class. Instead of lecturing your students on the finer points of ESL Articles a an the, give your students a break and let another teacher do it. Finally, you can find fun songs and chants for teaching kids.
Here’s one example of a video that you might want to use for articles. Check out the a/an song that you can use with kids:
#6: Teach Articles as Part of a Reading Lesson
You’ll usually see the topic of articles introduced via a listening or reading passage. After all, students need some context for what they’re learning and also need to see the grammar used in real life.
Something I like to do is highlight article usage as part of a larger reading lesson. Of course, there are a ton of articles in literally every single thing that you read.
This is particularly helpful as a review if you’ve already dedicated class time to articles. Do you want to find out more about how to make this happen? Then you’ll want to check this out: ESL Reading Lesson Plan Template.
#7 Articles Game: Concentration Memory Game
This game requires a bit of preparation, but if you teach the same unit multiple times, it could be worth it. Prepare cards that are “matching.” One card will have a noun and the other will have the appropriate article.
- a/pair of pants
Then, cut them out and students have to place the card face down in random order. The first student draws two cards and sees if it’s an article/noun that matches. If it is, they keep both and go again. If not, they put them in the same spot and the next student has a turn.
Learn more here: ESL Memory Game.
#8: Odd One Out
Try out this quick warm-up or review activity with your students. The way it works is that you write four things on the board, one of which doesn’t match. In this case, you’d want to relate it to articles. For example:
- apple, egg, carrot, avocado
Students have to say something like, “Carrot because it uses a, not an.” Obviously there could be many other answers as well and I accept them as long as students give a reason to support it.
Check it out here: Odd One Out ESL Warm-Up.
#9 Articles ESL Activity: Is that Sentence Correct?
This is quick review activity that you can use at the end of your class on articles. Or, use it as a warmer activity at the start of the next one.
The way it works is that you write a bunch of sentences on the board or PowerPoint. Some are correct, while others have some errors. Obviously, you’d want to focus your errors on articles!
Students have to work in pairs to correct the sentences. Find out more details here: ESL Error Correction Activity.
#10 Teach Articles Game: Hot Potato
If you want to have some fun, educational times in your English classroom, then look no further than Hot Potato. It’s fun, entertaining and lends itself really well to articles.
The way it works is that students pass around a hot potato timer (you can buy it on Amazon), or another object and you can use your cellphone timer to stop the clock at random intervals. There are also videos on YouTube that work well for this too.
Then, show the student holding the potato a flashcard. Things around the class, or other common objects work best. They have to make a true statement about it.
- I didn’t eat an apple for lunch today.
- I’m not holding the marker in my hand.
- I can see the clock.
- A bottle of water is on your desk.
Find out more here: Hot Potato Game.
#11: ESL Food Activities and Articles
Food and drinks are an area of English that are particularly heavy on the articles, depending on if the item is countable or uncountable and plural, or not. For some of the best ideas for using food and drink games and activities to teach this important grammatical concept, you’ll want to check this out:
#12: Singular and Plural Noun ESL Activities
Articles are a key part of teaching singular and plural nouns. For example:
- Give me an apple.
- Give me a t-shirt.
- Please give me the apple.
- Give me some apples.
Which article you use really depends on the situation and plural nouns don’t take specific articles. It’s for this reason that it’s useful to teach these two things together. For some of the best ideas, be sure to check this out: ESL Singular/Plural Noun Activities.
ESL Articles Worksheets
ESL articles practice is easier than ever with these worksheets that you can just print and go. Seriously. It’s English teaching made easy. Here are some of our favourite sources for ESL articles worksheets and exercises:
ESL Article Online Practice
ESL articles practice is perfect for our students if they really want to master this grammar point. One of the best ways to do this is with online practice. Here are some of the sites that I like to recommend to my students if they want a bit of extra work with them.
Do you have any recommendations for ESL articles practice? Leave a comment and let us know please.
ESL Articles Lesson Plans if You Teach Articles
And finally, do you not have a lot of time for lesson planning? Don’t worry. We’ve all been there and I’m sure you’ll want some easy to use lessons that you can just print and go. Here are some of the best lesson plans for teaching articles:
How to Teach Articles: FAQs
There are a number of common questions that people have about teaching articles. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What are Examples of Articles?
Some examples of articles including the following: a/an/the. The purpose of articles is to define whether something is specific (the) or unspecific (a/an).
Where do we Put Articles in English?
You should put articles in English in front of a singular or plural noun or an adjective. They define whether or not that thing is specific or not specific.
When should you not Use an Article?
You shouldn’t use an article before plural countable nouns that are used in a general sense (water/air, etc.) or for names of countries, people, continents, cities, rivers, and lakes. However, plural countable nouns do use an article when used in a particular sentence.
How to Teach Articles
Can I Use “The” Before My Name?
It’s not correct to use “the” before a name. Names, along with things like countries, continents, etc. don’t require articles.
How Many Types of Articles are There?
There are only two types of articles in English. The definite article (the) and the indefinite one (a/an).
Did you like these Tips for if you Teach Articles?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 144 Pages - 10/24/2019 (Publication Date)
Yes? Thought so. Then the book you’re going to love can be found on Amazon: 39 ESL Grammar Activities. It’s filled with enough grammar games and activities to use for an entire semester. Keep things interesting and engaging for your students by mixing things up a little bit in your classroom.
Reinforce key grammar concepts that you teach your students by making them more meaningful with these activities. Get beyond the English textbook and have some fun with your students.
You can get the book in both digital and print formats. The digital version is easy to get onto your phone, tablet, or desktop by downloading the free Kindle reading app. Or, keep a copy of the book on the bookshelf in your office and take it out for some lesson planning sessions.
It really is that easy to have better English classes. Check it out over on Amazon, but only if you want to get yourself a serious dose of ESL teaching awesome in your life:
Have your Say about these Article Games and Activities
Do you teach articles and have tried out any of these activities? Or, do you have another article game 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.
Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other busy teachers, like yourself find this useful resource.
Last update on 2020-03-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API