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Changing chairs

When it comes to having fun with English, this classic, energetic game is always a winner! It's easily adaptable for all ages, abilities, vocabulary sets & language structures so give it a try!

Simply arrange however many chairs you need into a rough circle and ask all the students to sit on a chair (If you have a large group it is no problem to split into two smaller circles).

For this example we'll use a group size of 16 - They are reviewing present continuous - he/she

I have chosen flashcards illustrating running, jumping, eating, drinking - 4 of each - Hand these out to the students.

Firstly, confirm what the cards are, and which children have them. Ask each student 'What's he doing...' etc... and get them to say the correct structure (e.g. he is running).

Now, explain the game - The students have to shout 'What's he doing?' and you say a sentence (either he is running, jumping, etc..)

The students with that card have to change seats (not with the seat directly next to them if possible). Repeat this a few times with different cards so that the students all understand what to do - Next introduce 'All change' - When you say this, everybody has to change seats (adds a bit more fun!). Once all the students understand, call 'All change' and while they are moving, remove a chair.

The student left in the middle now has to respond to the others shouting 'What's he doing?', not you. The student in the middle says 'he is running etc..' and has to try and sit down while the others are changing.

The game continues like this with you saying 'All change' from time to time to keep the energy (N.B. the students don't say 'All change'). As a variation you can remove a second chair and get two students to question and answer alone, depending on what language you are using in the game.

Bear in mind that this example is based on present continuous, but the game can be played simply with vocabulary that you'd like to teach -

I hope you enjoy it, and let us know below how you get on! Feel free to leave your comments or even post of video of your class playing the game!


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