If your ESL students know lots of animals, especially pets, but they need to practice the vocabulary in interesting context, try this guessing game ‘What pet have I got?’. Students will feel comfortable to speak English, even those with low self-esteem or shy, as they work in pairs.
- pets (in the example: hamster, cat, tortoise, budgie, dog, spider, rabbit, guinea pig, fish),
- body parts (for example: ears, wings, legs, fins, a tail, etc.),
- verbs (for example: sing, fly, jump, climb trees, swim, run, etc.)
- Can it …?; Yes, it can. / No, it can’t.
- Has it got…?; Yes, it has. / No, it hasn’t.
- Have you got…?; Yes, I have. / No, I haven’t.
Materials: stripes of paper and pens (optionally: a set of word cards with pets for each pair of students)
- Revise vocabulary for pets, body parts and verbs with your students if it is necessary.
- Students work in pairs.
- Distribute stripes of paper and pens and ask students to write some pets on them. Optionally you can prepare word cards with pets before the lesson.
- Students put their word cards face down.
- One student takes a word card (his partner cannot see what is on the card) and asks: What pet have I got?
- The other student should guess what animal his partner chooses. He can ask three supplementary questions, using structures: Can it…? or Has it got…?,before he attempts to answer the question.
Student A: Can it fly?
Student B: No, it can’t.
Student A: Has it got four legs?
Student B: No, it hasn’t.
Student A: Can it swim?
Student B: Yes, it can.
Student A: Have you got a fish?
Student B: Yes, I have.
- If he spots the answer, gets a point and can take the word card. If he guesses wrong, the word card goes back on the table.
- Students mix the cards and continue playing in turns.
- Student who racks up more points / word cards is a winner.
This guessing game you can organize as a whole class activity. In this case, one of the students chooses a word card and the rest of the class try to guess the pet.
I hope you like the activity and find it useful and beneficial for your ESL students. Enjoy and leave a comment.