How to Play the ESL Talking Volleyball Game

  •  Skills to practice: Speaking and vocabulary practicing.
    Levels: All levels of kids except toddlers
    Requirements:  skip rope, whistle, and one balloon or more just in case.
    General Rules: Every time a student touches the ball, s/he must say a word or sentence.
    Class size: 10 – 20 students

            How to play:

    How to play: Pick out three students, bring them to the front of the class and make them team captains. Tell the students they are going to play a volleyball game. The captains will take turns choosing students to join their teams until everyone is chosen.
     Ask the students to choose their sides of the coin. Toss a coin to decide which two teams start first. The team that looses during the coin tossing has to sit at the side of the playground.
    Define a playground and use a skip rope to divide the playground into two equal parts. Get a medium-sized balloon and blow it to almost full capacity. Tell the two teams to take their positions.
      Tell them the rules- The teacher is the referee.
      Rule 1- Every time a student hits the ball s/he must say a word or sentence under a chosen category. For example the teacher can say “when you touch the ball say a word related to animals” or make a sentence using the verb “like” or ask a question using the word “want”, -almost anything you want to practice.
    Rule 2- Students can only hit the ball once every time. 

    Rule 3: First strikes of the ball must be upwards or across. This is especially useful when starting or restarting the game.

    Rule 4- Loosing points. When a team looses a point the teacher blows his whistle, takes the ball and restarts the game.
        (The ball cannot touch the ground. If the ball touches the ground a team looses a point. If a student hits the ball without saying a word, the team looses a point. If the ball does go over the skip rope after three attempts, the team looses a point. If a team looses a total of three points, the next team takes their place.).

    Tips:   This game can be played in or out of class. This is a great stirrer for most kids’ classes, but note that there are other variables you must consider depending on the students. Also, to avoid one student dominating the game, make a rule such that each student hits the ball and goes to the back. In some cases I (the teacher & referee) would hit the ball to the direction of the student who is not participating actively.

    Caution: This game is exciting as it can be dangerous. I always ask my students with glasses to take them off. To avoid students missing the ball and hitting others' faces, make a rule such that hands don't go over the skip rope.

      • The teacher might decide to play on the weak side to make it more fun.
      • Some students might me physically weak to play- As a teacher I often took out the weak students and put them in the teacher’s team.
      •  Create more rules as time goes on, to save the fun.
      • Watch out for students who wear glasses. I often advise my students to take off their glasses if they can.
      • You might have many broken noses in the end if you don’t make a tough rule of no hands touching or crossing the skip rope i.e students must strike the ball from their own half of the defined playground.

    ESL Fun Interactive Games Teaching & Learning

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    Free MS WORD & PowerPoint Game Templates - Make your own games

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    Kindergarten, Grade1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6

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Video Lessons by Unit & Level

Level 1 Course Video Tutorials

Unit  intro – Alphabet & Phonics Resources. 

  • Aim: Teach letters of the alphabet
  • Unit   1 – Greetings - Hello

  • Aim: Teach basic greetings – Hello, Hi, Goodbye.
  • Unit   2 – What’s your name?

  • Aim: To teach kids how to say their names.
  • Unit   3 – How old are you?

  • Aim: Teach kids how to say their age and  learn numbers 1 to 5.
  • Unit   4 – Numbers – How many?

  • Aim: Teach kids how to count from 1 to 10.
  • Unit   5 A – Colours – What colour is it?

  • Aim: Teach kids how to describe things through colours.
  • Unit 5 B - Colours Vocabulary

  • Aim: Teach colours vocabulary
  • Unit 5 C - Green Monster Colours Lesson

  • Aim: Teach colours through a colours songs
  • Unit   6 – Fruits – I like apples.

  • Aim: Teach kids names of fruits and how to express likes.
  • Unit  7 – Body – I have a head.

  • Aim: Teach kids parts of the body.
  • Unit  8–  Actions  – I can, I can’t.

  • Aim: Teach kids how to express ability using simple action verbs.
  • Level 2 Course Video Tutorials

    Unit  1 – Animals – Farms Animals. 

  • Aim: Teach students how to express preference by using vocabulary related to farm animals.
  • Unit   2 – Family Members

  • Aim: Teach words and expressions used when describing family.
  • Unit  3 – School bag

  • Aim: To teach words and expressions related to classroom items.
  • Unit   4 – Actions – Can and Can’t  

  • Aim: Teach action verbs
  • Unit   5 – Shapes & Sizes

  • Aim: Teach various shapes and adjectives to describe size.
  • Unit   6 – Demonstrative Pronouns – This/That/These/Those

  • Aim: Teach  singular and plurals of nouns and demonstrative pronouns.
  • Unit   7 – Numbers – 10 to 100

  • Aim: Teach numbers 10 to 100 and pronunciation differences between long and short vowels.
  • Unit  8 – Toys – Where is it?

  • Aim: Teach  words and expressions related to toys and to ask where things are.
  • Unit  9 –  Days of the week and weekly activities

  • Aim: Teach days of the week and some things we do weekly.
  • Unit 10 -   Weather – What’s the weather like?

  • Aim: Teach students how to ask about the weather and describe it.
  • Unit 11 -   Food – What do you want to eat

  • Aim: Teach students about the things we eat and express want
  • Level 3 Course Video Tutorials

    Unit  1 – Pets : Why do you like dogs?

  • Aim: Teach  names of pets and give a brief description of pets using personality adjectives.
  • Unit   2a – Time – What time is it?

  • Aim: Teach students how to tell the time and also how to talk about daily routines.
  • Unit   2b – Time – What time is it?

  • Aim: Teach students how to tell the time using quarter to/past/ Half past etc.
  • Unit   3 – Months & birthdays – When is your birthday?

  • Aim: Teach students months of the year and how to tell dates using months and ordinal numbers.
  • Unit   4 – Jobs – What people do.

  • Aim: To teach kids how to describe jobs using action verbs.
  • Unit  5  – Actions – What are you doing?

  • Aim: Students will learn how to describe actions in progress using the present progressive.
  • Unit   6 – Transport – How do you come to school?

  • Aim: Teach students different means of transport and talk about going around.
  • Unit   7 – Clothes – What are you wearing today?

  • Aim: To learn to describe what someone is wearing.
  • Unit   8 –  Where is it? – At home

  • Aim: Teach kids prepositions of place, alongside rooms and things at home.
  • Unit  9a – Vegetables – How much are the carrots?

  • Aim: Teach kids vegetable vocabulary and how to go shopping for veggies.
  • Unit  9b – Vegetables – Extra Vegetable Vocabulary lesson - Cauliflower, broccoli etc.

  • Aim: Teach students extra vegetable vocabulary.
  • Unit  10 –  Weather  and clothes  - Put on your sunglasses.

  • Aim: Teach kids how to talk about clothes relative to the weather.
  • Unit 11 -  Zoo – What does a panda look like?

  • Aim: To teach students how to describe zoo animals by what they eat and look like.
  • Recommended Extra Resources

    ESLTOWER.COM : Many Free English Grammar & Vocabulary Exercises for Teachers and Students

    Want More Materials? Check Out ESL Galaxy for All ESL Lesson Plan needs


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