Learning English as a second language can be frustrating for students, so it’s important for teachers to know how to incorporate games into the core of a lesson plan — not just as a break or something to do when there’s nothing else on the agenda. The "Asian EFL Journal" says that games encourage relaxation as well as healthy competition during the learning process which helps students more easily remember new vocabulary.

Verb Charades

Write 30 verbs which the students have been studying on individually folded slips of paper. Divide the class into two teams, and write the verbs on the board to help prompt those who are guessing. Have a volunteer from the first team draw from the slips of paper. Give the student 30 seconds to act out the written word for their team. If the team guesses the verb correctly, give them 100 points. If the team doesn’t guess the verb correctly, the other team has a chance to act out that verb as well as the next verb drawn by a volunteer from the second team. The first team to reach 1,000 points wins. To make the game more challenging for advanced students, don’t write the verbs on the board.

Verb Bingo

Using the standard bingo card design, create different bingo cards with a verb in each square except for the middle square which will be considered free. After giving a bingo card and slips of paper for marking squares to each student, call out a verb in the class’s native language. Students must mark the corresponding English verb if it’s present on their cards. The first student to be correct in their claim of “Bingo!” wins. A more difficult version of this game has the teacher read an English definition of the verb rather than the verb in the student’s first language.

Verb Pictionary

Divide the class into two teams, and give a verb to the a volunteer from the first team. Give the student two minutes to draw the verb on the board while their team tries to guess the verb. The point system of Verb Charades also works well for this game. A good motivational reward is to tell the class before the game begins that the winners will be excused from that day’s homework assignment.

Verb Categories

Give students three minutes to study a list of verbs which would fall into one of five categories; for example the categories could be hobbies, sports, things to do in the kitchen, things to do in the office or things a child must learn to do. Then, give each student a worksheet with each of the five category titles listed across the top. After instructing the students to write each verb under the corresponding category, start the timer for two minutes. The student with the most correctly listed verbs when the timer goes off wins.