Tick Tock, Tick Tock!!

Argghhh!!.....No....!!.....Hurry up!!.... Quick! Quick! - Typical noises from the students during this game! What is it? Probably my favourite game! - 'The bomb game' -

It's simple, effective at getting students to use your target language repeatedly, and above all else, great fun!

I usually split my class into teams, with this game, but it can also be played as individuals (with 3 lives) -

With a full class of around 25 students, you'll definitely need to split them into 2 or 3 groups (around 8-12 students is a good number) after initially showing them how to play -

The good news? All you'll need is some screwed up paper balls, the timer on your phone, and your language cards.


Firstly, decide on your target language - It can be absolutely anything with this game -

From simple vocab, to more complex grammar structures. For the purpose of this example, i'll be using pictures of vegetables from our Book 1, to get the students to use 'I like & I don't like'. For higher levels, you could just as easily print out a list of verbs in the infinitive form and ask students to use the verb you show in any tense you are practicing. You can also play the game without prompts to make it harder. For low levels, it could simply colour cards, whereby all they need to do is say the name of the colour rather than a sentence.

Arrange to students into a circle and have two paper balls, as well as your timer, handy. Explain that you will be setting a time, on your phone/timer, between 20 & 90 seconds.

Hand one ball to a student, start your timer and show the relevant card - Here, i'm showing a picture of a carrot.

The student with the ball has to say the correct sentence - Here it will be 'I like carrots, or I don't like carrots' - The ball (the bomb!) gets passed around while you show different cards to each student. When the answer is correct, they pass it on.


When the timer runs out, the student with the bomb 'explodes'! - If you're playing in teams, the other teams get a point - If you're playing as individuals with 3 lives, the student with the bomb when it explodes, loses a life. Adapt this game by adding a second ball on the other side of the group.

This becomes a question & answer activity.

Here, I show a carrot, one ball asks 'Do you like carrots?' the other ball answers 'I like/don't like...' - When the timer is up, the 2 students with the balls play 'Rock, Scissors, Paper' to see who wins.

A simple, flexible game that students always love! - It never ceases to amaze me how excitable they get playing this game - Whatever age, or ability, it's always great fun!

#kreativenglish #eslblog #englischfuerkinder

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