Do you want to rock the chalk in a big way? Then turn it over to your students and let them have some fun writing (or erasing) things on the whiteboard with these top whiteboard games and whiteboard activities.
ESL Whiteboard Games for Adults and Kids
If you’re an English teacher looking to inject a little bit of excitement into your classes, then you’ll need to check out some of these fun whiteboard games and activities. Are you ready? Let’s get to it!
Oh, and if you don’t have a blackboard, but instead go old-school with a blackboard, not to worry. All of these games work just as well with a blackboard and chalk.
#1: SOS, a Fun WhiteBoard Game
SOS is one of my favourite ESL review games that I like to play with my students. The way it works is probably just like you remember: you try to get three in a row with S-O-S. But, I play it with a bit of a twist with my English learners. Each team is assigned a symbol (circle, star, etc.) and they try to get three in a row on the grid on the board by answering review questions. It’s the perfect activity to do before a midterm or final exam.
Do you want to try it out for yourself? Find out more details right here: SOS Review Game on the Whiteboard.
#2: Flyswatter Game
One of our favourite ESL whiteboard games is the Flyswatter Game. The way it works is that you write a bunch of words on the board, depending on the topic that you’re studying. It could be jobs, animals, or different minimal pairs if you’re working on ESL pronunciation. Another idea is to use this as a holiday activity, as an ESL Halloween game for example.
Or, if you’re working on daily schedules, you might want to either write times or activities on the board. More ideas for this here: ESL Time. Finally, you want to use it for one half of a compound noun.
Then, one student from each team comes to the board and you either say the word (for pronunciation practice) or gives hints about the word (for vocabulary practice) and the first one to hit the correct word with their flyswatter is the winner.
Does it sound like a fun ESL game that you’d like to try out? Find out all the details you need to know about it right here:
#3 White Board Games for Kids or Adults: Pictionary
Do you want to have a bit of fun with your students but review some vocabulary words at the same time? Then consider playing Pictionary. The way it works is that you have a bag of words that students should know. One student goes to the front of the class and has to draw it for their classmates who guess what is it within a certain amount of time. Switch to the next team, and then go on from there.
#4: Disappearing Text Memory Game
The way this quick review game works is that you write a sentence on the board. Then, students have to say the entire sentence together as a class. After that, erase 1-2 words at the beginning and students have to say it again. Keep on going until the entire sentence is gone, but students are able to say the whole thing anyway.
Find out more about this vocabulary and grammar review right here: Disappearing Sentence ESL Activity.
#5 Whiteboard Games: Mixed Up Sentences
If you’re looking to do a quick grammar review at the beginning, or end of a class, then mixed up sentences is the activity for you! The way it works is that you write some sentences on the board that are not in the correct order. Students have to race to make the correct sentence, by writing on their piece of paper. It makes an ideal subject/verb agreement activity.
Another option is to make this just a review activity and not a game and have students write the correct sentence on the board under the incorrect one. More details here: Mixed Up Sentences English Grammar Review.
#6 Games to Play on a Chalkboard: Hangman
Okay, so I rarely mention Hangman in my classes, instead preferring to do some more interesting games and activities. However, I’d certainly be remiss not to mention it here! It’s a classic one and makes an ideal time-filler at the end of class when you have just a minute or two before the bell rings.
The way it works is at the teacher chooses a secret word and draws lines with the number of letters on the board. Students guess the letters and for every incorrect one, you draw a body part of the hanging man. I personally prefer something slightly less gruesome and use a spider instead, starting with just a circle on the board.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 68 Pages - 11/12/2019 (Publication Date)
#7: Idiom Activity
If you have a smaller class, a fun activity to work on idioms is having students draw them on the whiteboard. I usually put students into groups of 2-3 and then give them different idioms to draw, each on a section of the board. After the allotted time, we look at the drawings together as a class and discuss what the idiom actually means!
Find out more about this fun ESL activity right here: Idiom Drawing Activity for ESL Students.
It’s certainly one of the best whiteboard activities so be sure to give it a try with your students.
#8 Games to Play on a White Board: Whiteboard Scrabble
The way Scrabble on the board works is that you draw a letter in the center of the board and students take turns adding words to fit. I award one point per letter. Depending on the level, you can add bonus points (double) for every letter beyond a certain number. For example, each letter beyond the fifth is worth two points.
#9: Word Association White Board Activity
If you’re introducing a topic to your student, chances are that they’ve already seen it, particularly if they are common ones like hobbies, jobs, sports, animals, weather, around the city, etc. A way that you can get students to activate their prior knowledge is to use word association.
Basically, students will shout out vocabulary words that they know related to a certain topic and you’ll write them on the whiteboard in a mind map. Better yet, if you have a smaller class, you can get students to write the words on the mind map themselves.
More details right here: Word Association Mind Map Activity.
#10: Just a Minute Blackboard Games
#11 Marker Board Games: Jeopardy
This is a classic ESL review activity that you might want to try out with your students before a midterm or final exam. The way is works is that there are categories worth certain points. The first team chooses a square and then you ask them the corresponding question.
If correct, they get the points. But, if incorrect, the other team has a chance to answer and steal the points. If you wish, you can also subtract points for incorrect answers and also have more than 2 teams.
#12: More ESL Whiteboard Ideas
#13: Round Robin Story Activity
Try out this fun activity where students collaboratively make a story. Have a look right here:
#14: Spelling Challenge
In my opinion, spelling is an important but often neglected skill in many TEFL classrooms. One easy way to practice this but have a bit of fun at the same time is through a spelling challenge.
It’s simple in that you just say a word and students have to race to write it on the board. However, it can also serve as an excellent review activity for any sort of vocabulary that you’ve been teaching. Check it out here:
Try out one of the top whiteboard activities in class today.
#15: Word Race
Write a category or a specific letter on the whiteboard. Give students a time limit (e.g., one minute) to write down as many words as they can that fit the category or start with the given letter. The student with the most correct words wins the round.
Draw a tic-tac-toe grid on the whiteboard. Divide the class into two teams. Students take turns choosing a square and answering a question or completing a task correctly to mark it with their team’s symbol (X or O). The team that gets three in a row wins the game.
#17: Quiz Show
Create a quiz show-style game on the whiteboard. Prepare a set of questions with multiple-choice answers. Divide the class into teams and assign a team name or symbol for each. Ask the questions one by one, and teams have to write down their answers on mini-whiteboards or paper. After a time limit, reveal the correct answers and award
Did you Like these Whiteboard Games? Then Check This Out
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Smith, Jennifer Booker (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 134 Pages - 03/31/2016 (Publication Date)
Yes? Thought so! Then the book you’re going to love is this one, available on Amazon: 101 ESL Activities for Kids. The key to interesting, engaging English classes with children is a variety of interesting games and activities. This book will help you get there in style!
The best part is that the activities are well-organized into various sections from speaking to listening, reading, writing, grammar, review, and more. You should be able to find exactly what you’re looking for in just a minute or two.
Does it sound like exactly what you need? Then you’ll want to check out the book for yourself over on Amazon, but only if you want to get yourself a serious dose of ESL awesome in your life:
There are a number of common questions that people have about using these kinds of activities with English learners. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What are whiteboard games for ESL?
Whiteboard games for ESL are interactive activities that involve using a whiteboard or marker board as a tool for learning and practicing English language skills.
What are the benefits of using whiteboard games in ESL teaching?
Whiteboard games in ESL teaching offer visual and hands-on learning experiences, promote engagement and participation, encourage collaboration and communication, and provide opportunities for review and reinforcement of language concepts.
What types of whiteboard games can be used in ESL classrooms?
There are various types of whiteboard games for ESL, including vocabulary games (e.g., word association, spelling races), grammar games (e.g., sentence completion, sentence transformation), word-guessing games (e.g., Hangman, Pictionary), and interactive quizzes or trivia games.
How can whiteboard games be adapted for different language proficiency levels?
Whiteboard games can be adapted by adjusting the difficulty level of questions or tasks, providing more or less support, or modifying the game rules to suit the language proficiency level of the students.
What materials are needed to play whiteboard games in ESL?
To play whiteboard games in ESL, you typically need a whiteboard or marker board, markers or pens in different colors, erasers, and any necessary game materials like flashcards, word cards, or question cards.
White Board Games for Kids and Adults: Join the Conversation
Did you pick up some cool things to do on a whiteboard with your students? We hope so! Leave a comment below and let us know your favorite one. Or, do you have another activity or game that you’d like to recommend to us? We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2022-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API