Posted in Young Learners

Great list of kids games

Quite a well-know site but I’ve just stumbled upon this fantastic list of games for young learners. That’s my primary classes sorted for the next few months!

Posted in Conversation Classes, Games, Young Learners

Christmas Trivia Quiz

This is a fun Christmas trivia quiz for the last day of term. Bring prizes for the winning team.

Split the class into small groups and get them to come up with a festive team name. There are two rounds, the first is the picture round. Show the pictures in the picture round handout, students have to name the items they see.

The second round is the trivia round. Read out the questions below one at a time, students write their answers on a piece of paper. You can download the list of questions here. Christmas Trivia Quiz

Trivia Round

  1. What are the names of these dates? 24th + 25th, 31st of December, 1st of January. Christmas eve, Christmas day, New Year’s eve, New year’s day.
  2. What do people traditionally do under the mistletoe plant? Kiss
  3. Where do children hang their stockings on Christmas Eve? Next to the fireplace.
  4. Which English author wrote the book ‘A Christmas Carol’? Charles Dickens
  5. In Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol, how many ghosts visited Ebeneezer Scrooge? Extra points for their names. 4 Jacob Marley, Ghosts of Xmas past, present and yet to come.
  6. Name 2 of Father Christmas’ reindeer apart from Rudolph. Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Donner, Blitzen, Alternative question: Which of these names is NOT one of Father Christmas’ Reindeer? Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Chaser, Vixen, Donner, Blitzen
  7. The character Jack Skellington appears in which 1993 Tim Burton film? The Nightmare before Christmas
  8. What are the names of the three wise men said to have brought gifts to the baby Jesus? Balthasar, Melchior, Caspar (or Gaspar – Interestingly the Bible does not states state their names, nor even the number of wise men: “…there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem… and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh…” from Matthew 2:1 and 2:11. Thanks A Russell.)
  9. What is New Year’s Eve called in Scotland? Christenmouse, Hogmanay, pigmany
  10. In which modern country is St Nicholas’s birthplace and hometown? Turkey (St Nicholas, bishop ‘Nikolaos of Myra’, 270-343AD, was born a Greek, i.e., of Greek parents in Patara, Lycia. He lived in and was bishop of Myra, Lycia. Patara and nearby Myra, in Lycia, or fully Lycia et Pamphylia, were then technically provincial territory of the Roman Empire with no specific country name. Patara became ruins centuries ago. Where the ancient town of Myra stood, now stands the Turkish town/district of Demre, Antalya Province, Turkey)
  11. From which country does the poinsettia plant originate? Mexico
  12. How many points does a snowflake have? Six
  13. What is the name of the cake traditionally eaten in Italy at Christmas? Panettone
  14. Which country does the tradition of Christmas trees come from? Germany
  15. What do people in England do at 3pm on Christmas day? Listen to the Queen’s speech.
  16. Name 3/5 traditional English Xmas dinner ingredients. Turkey, potatoes, carrots, brussels sprouts, sweet potato, parsnip, broccoli, cauliflower, sausages with bacon.
  17. What 3 things do children leave next to the chimney for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve? A drink, some food, carrots for the reindeer.

Thanks to Business Balls for some of the questions.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Video Classes, Vocabulary Classes

Video Lesson: Mr. Bean

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Just a quick note…

Before you use these materials… We’ve created a new podcast aimed at B2+ level English students and teachers alike. You can listen for free at our SoundCloud page below. We have released 5 episodes so far and you can download teacher’s notes to accompany them from our Facebook page or from this blog. All comments and feedback welcome! Give us a like and a share 😉

This is a video lesson based around the video “Mr. Bean packs his suitcase” thanks to British Council for bringing it to my attention in their lesson plan on making predictions but I’ve adapted it for use in different ways with different levels.

Kids and lower levels

The aim of this lesson plan is to practice holiday vocabulary (clothes and items that go in a suitcase) and some basic grammar structure.

Project a picture of a suitcase on to the board (or draw one) and ask “What do you put in your suitcase when you go on holiday?”  Brainstorm things that you pack on the board. Make sure students know:

  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • swimming shorts/trunks
  • towel
  • underpants
  • can of baked beans
  • cloth/flannel
  • soap
  • book
  • suitcase
  • trousers
  • shorts
  • shoes
  • teddy bear
  • scissors

You could also use this quizlet set to go over clothes vocabulary.

If children are old enough to write, put them in pairs and hand out post-it-notes and a pencil to each pair. Tell them they are going to watch a video of a silly man packing his suitcase, they have to write 5 things on the post-it that they think he will put in his suitcase. Have them copy the following:

Mr. Bean will put

  1. _________
  2. _________
  3. _________
  4. _________
  5. _________

in his suitcase.

Then stick all the post-its on the board and show the video. The team that guesses the most objects correctly wins. Have them read out their original post-it using past simple affirmative and negative forms: “Mr.Bean put a shirt in his suitcase. He didn’t put a mobile phone in his suitcase.”

Higher levels – video dictations

Ask students: What do you have to do before you go on holiday?

Buy your ticket, pack your suitcase, find your passport etc.

Pre-teach the following vocabulary:


  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • swimming shorts/trunks
  • towel
  • underpants
  • can of baked beans
  • cloth/flannel
  • soap
  • book
  • suitcase
  • trousers
  • shorts
  • shoes
  • teddy bear
  • scissors


  • to fit (the chair doesn’t in my bag)
  • to take out (I took a pen out of my bag)
  • to pack a suitcase
  • to swap (I swapped the shirt for a t-shirt)
  • pick up (I picked up the pen)
  • throw away (I threw away the coke can)
  • to choose (I chose the red shirt)
  • to do eeny-meany-miney-mo
  • to realise (I realised I had forgotten my passport)
  • to squeeze (I squeezed the toothpaste)
  • to snap in half (He snapped the pencil in half)

Put students in pairs and arrange them so that 1 is facing the screen and one has their back to the screen. Tell them that the one facing the screen is going to watch 20 seconds of the video then describe it to their partner, their partner will then repeat back what they’ve heard to make sure they have understood. Students then change positions and repeat until minute 3:14. Then let all students watch the end together. Alternatively students could come up with predictions for how the video will end.

I recommend pausing the video quite frequently so that students can concentrate on describing 2 or three actions accurately rather than trying to describe a big chunk of the video.

Then replay the whole video from the start so that everyone can watch it together, ask students if they think their partner described the action well.

Posted in Games, Vocabulary Classes, Young Learners

MES flashcards: Games for young learners

This is a post in a series of 30  minute classes for young learners. They have been made for groups I teach which range from 4th to 6th of primary.

This is post is simply a list of games to use with the amazing free resources from:

They have a fantastic selection of downloadable flashcards divided into loads of categories. Each week I have been picking a new category, printing the flashcards and they game cards and playing one of the following games with my groups, it’s a great and fun way to quickly expand students vocabulary.

First stick the set of flashcards to the board and elicit the vocabulary and drill pronunciation.


Bingo – Students draw a 3×3 grid on a piece of paper and fill each box with a piece of vocabulary. You then read out sentences about each character, for example: “I breath fire and fly over the castle.” (Dragon) “I do magic and mix magic potions” (wizard) they cross off the characters they have as you describe them until they get a line or bingo (when they have crossed off all 9 squares).

Mimic – Print out the set of fantasy game cards from MES as well. Split the class into groups of 3-4, encourage the groups to think of an English name for their team. Then they take it in turns to send one member up to the board, this member then has 1 minute to mimic as many of the different characters using the game cards. Their team receives one point for each correctly guessed character. The team with the most points wins.

Board Games – Print out this great pirate gameboard:

Put students in groups of 3-4. Number the flashcards on the board 1-33 (cards will have more than 1 number) students then play the board game but every time they land on a square they have to make a sentence with the corresponding piece of vocabulary: EG “I brush my teeth with a toothbrush.”

Memory/Go fish – Print out multiple sets of the MES game cards, split students into groups of 3-4. Give them two sets of game cards, they spread the cards out face down on the table and play pairs/memory/go fish/whatever you call it where you’re from. Every time they turn over a card they have to say the vocab word and when they find a pair they have to make a complete sentence.

I welcome any more suggestions you might have for other flashcard games.