Balloons going bang! Sentence strips flying everywhere and kids scrambling on the floor to make sense of what's come out of the balloon...sounds like a recipe for a lot of fun in your classroom!
During the week, pop into your local supermarket and grab a bag of regular balloons and bring them into your school. The idea is that, before blowing up the balloons and tying the knot, you'll be placing into the empty balloon some kind of written content.
There's a few things you can do here; depending on the age and level of your students, you could either put in a sentence you've been recently studying, but first cut up the sentence into individual words. Or perhaps, you've been reading short stories and you cut up the story into paragraphs, or for low levels, you can put in small pictures and separate words, but the idea is much the same, you put in some kind of content cut up into bits, blow up the balloon and then tie a knot in it. Repeat this a few times so you have a number of balloons, all with identical content rattling around inside.
In class, put your students into small groups. The best thing to do is to have your balloons all different colours and then name your groups that colour. For example, red team has the red balloon, green team has the green balloon, etc. When you're ready, place the balloons spaced out on the floor. Your teams have to run to their balloons, pop them and then put the written content inside in the correct order, whether its words to make sentences, paragraphs to make your short story, or words to pictures, whatever you've put in your balloon. The first team to correctly order it is the winner.
Stuart's Tip: I did this once with individual words cut up to form a long sentence. When the kids stamped on the balloon, the words went all over the classroom and got hopelessly mixed up with the words from other groups and the activity failed. Use a different coloured piece of paper, or a different coloured pen, for each balloon. If they do get mixed up, it's not a big problem.
Need some different ESL Games for Children?
Ghosts and Spiders is an ESL classic whiteboard game for kids and an absolute winner if you teach Young Learners. The best thing about this ESL whiteboard game is that you need very few things to set up. Kids aged 4+ will really respond to playing Ghosts and Spiders and it will help them to review new words or simple English sentences very well.