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10 Summer Classroom Activities and Games – Great for ESL Lessons!

    Teaching English during summer can often be very difficult. It’s hot, students have a lot energy and everyone would rather be outside enjoying the warm weather. To help with that I’d like to share 10 Summer Activities you can do in your class. Keep students engaged with plenty of games and movement-based activities. Even though this is primarily for English Teachers, most of these can be used in other classes too.

    And as always, I’ve added all the best worksheets in the description where you can get them for free by joining the Etacude email list.


    Now, let’s check out 10 Summer Classroom Activities and Games for English Class:

    Five Senses

    Summer is all about the senses. The amazing smells, the warm sun on your skin, a cool breeze, the sound of laughter or waves if you’re at the beach. This is a great outdoor activity if you can take the kids outside. If not, they have to stay inside and use their imagination.

    Pair students with a partner and give them a paper. On the paper, they write the five senses: See, smell, hear, touch and taste. Then, they have to fill in the sections with as many examples they can think of as possible, give them a minimum number like 5 so they don’t keep it blank.

    For example: “See children playing outside.” “Smell the flowers.” “Hear the bees buzzing.” “Touch the sea sand.” “Taste the ice cream.”

    Once they are done, ask pairs to share the items they have on their sense paper. Write the answers on the board to compare. You could take it a few steps further by telling the students to write sentences with those words or a story.

    Human Scrabble

    This is not necessarily a summer activity, but it will get the students moving.

    Get some A4 papers and write a letter on each—similar to what you would do with real Scrabble. Add lots of vowels, S’s, R’s, N’s—you know, letters that are easier to use.

    Once a teacher shouts Scrabble, students have a minute to arrange themselves into groups to create the longest word possible. Groups can score points by having the longest or most complex word.

    Once they’ve created a word, each individual student can write down their score. After ten rounds, you can stop and see who has the highest score at the end.

    Once a word has been created, they may not use it again. You can also swap cards so that students have different letters to use. With younger students, you can give a point per letter and with older classes give each letter the real scrabble score.

    I’m going to the Beach Riddle

    This is sometimes a frustrating yet fun riddle activity. You start by saying, “I’m going to the beach and I’m taking a…” Here you can say anything, but whatever you say is related to a secret rule that only you know…

    For example, the secret rule is “milk/ dairy foods”. “I’m going to the beach and I’m buying a milkshake to drink.”

    Each student has to take something. If they say, “I’m taking a towel,” they can’t go!

    If they say “cheese,” they can go. The students continue until they have figured out what the secret rule is.

    There are many creative rules that you can use. It could be categories like food, or the word has to start with the first letter of your name, or the alphabet so you start with “Apple”, Only words with four letters. Compound nouns like pencil case. It can be anything inside the classroom, and any rule you can imagine.

    Summer Flashcard Activity

    Create flashcards or write down Summer Vocabulary on paper.

    Have four students each hold up a flashcard at the front of the class, flash and then hide their card.  The teacher calls out one of the words and the children have to remember where the word is and line up in front of the child holding that flashcard. Children have great fun trying to remember, jumping from one line to the next, following their friends, and excitedly waiting for the card to be revealed. In a second round, it’s fun to add a challenge and get the children holding flashcards to change places, and then repeat the activity with the whole class”.

    Once they are in their lines, you can ask random students to use the word in a sentence. That gets them all to think of possible sentences to use if asked.

    Blindfolded Games

    There are many activities that can be played by using a blindfold. Any scarf or sleep mask will do.

    One such activity is by the touch or taste challenge. Get different summer-related items like a snorkel, tube, sunscreen, beachball ect. A student puts on a blindfold and you give them different items to touch and identify.

    You can then let them use the items in a role-play or write a story, whatever you feel like you want to do.

    If it’s in your budget, you could get fresh summer fruits for them to taste – watermelon, apple, oranges. As a cheaper option, you can use fruit-flavored sweets instead of the real thing.

    Another fun blindfold activity for question practice is to have everyone stand in a circle with one student in the center wearing the blindfold. Spin him/her around a few times and have him ask the nearest student a question. When the student answers, the blindfolded student must guess who it is. Let students think and write some ideas for questions before starting. You can let students change once they guess the correct person.

    Travel Activities

    Travel is another common activity that takes place during the summer months.  A fun activity is to help your students plan real or virtual summer vacations. They create a personal itinerary and discuss or write about their plans. I added a list of Travel Questions that students can ask each other in the worksheet file which you can get for free once you join the Etacude email list.

    Click HERE for the FREE Travel Questions

    Suitcase of Random items

    Another travel-related activity is to have a suitcase with many random items. If you don’t want to do that, you could find a picture on the internet of a collection of items or it could be many people in one photo, almost like Where’s Waldo. Give the students a minute to study the suitcase contents or picture. Then they write everything they saw. It could be fun to put students in pairs to write everything down together. After that, randomly remove a few of the items, students then have to guess what’s missing.

    They can also create a dialogue or story based on the items.

    Scavenger Hunt

    Create a list for the summer scavenger hunt. There is an example in the link to resources. Students walk around the class (or outside if possible) and make their own scavenger list of things to see. They should try to make it specific. Then randomly redistribute the lists to everyone. They have to walk around and find the items. After you’ve given them time to complete, put them in groups and where they explain the items and where they were found to the other students.

    This is a good activity to practice prepositions and explain where things are.

    Planning a Picnic

    Summer is also a popular season for picnics and barbeques. Discuss with your student how they would plan and organize a (real or imaginary) picnic or barbecue. The students create a Mind Map about the best location, weather, food, and beverages for the event. Practice conversations about verbal invitations and review writing invitations with your student. Help your students discover some in-season dishes they would like to make and they can write a recipe for foods they would like to create. Many great places you can take this activity.

    Summer Bucket List

    Students create a summer bucket list. They write what activities they hope to do that summer. After sharing their bucket lists, they can plan a timeline to explain how they might achieve these goals.

    It’s very important for students to share these ideas with their classmates in pairs or small groups, and then they share what their friend is planning to do. This is a great way to practice listening for information and then sharing it. Also, I’ve found that students are less shy to speak in front of the class if they are talking about another friend’s activities instead of their own.

    So these are 10 summer games and activities for class. Check out this next video for more fun and easy activities you can do in class.

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