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ESL Kids Game: Meatballs!

This is a really cool language game which is fun in the classroom and actually requires quite a bit of skill! In short, your students will be blowing ping-pong balls off of a plate and saying sentences while they go.

Before Class

Before class, go to a shop or supermarket and buy ten ping-pong balls and a plastic plate. Buy nine balls of one colour i.e. orange and one ball a different colour i.e white.

Number each ball from 1-10 using a permanent marker, get your plastic plate and head to class!

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In Class

On the board, write ten sentences using structures your students have recently been learning. Number your sentences 1-10. When you're ready put your students into pairs and get the first pair to stand up. The two students face each other holding the plastic plate between them. The teacher then puts all the ping-pong balls on the plate.

The idea is to blow the orange balls off the plate one by one, leaving only the white one on at the end! One of the pair goes first and blows off an orange ball. Let's say she blows off ball #7 onto the floor, she now has to say sentence #7 on the board. It is now the other person's go.

Keep going until all the orange balls have come off the plate. The kids then finally say sentence #10 on the board. If the white ball is last on the plate, then the team get 10 points. If the white ball is accidentally blown off the plate with one orange ball left on, then they get nine points, two orange balls eight point, and so on. Give each pair a go.

Time for Round 2! Now rub off your sentences and leave just one word from each sentence on the board. For example, in Round 1, maybe one of your sentences was 'I have never eaten hamburgers', rub off all of the other words and just leave 'hamburgers'. Get the first pair up and have them play again, trying to blow the orange balls off. This time, when a ball comes off, they still need to say the same sentence i.e. 'I have never eaten hamburgers' but they only have a single word to prompt them.

This is an excellent TEFL activity for speaking and pronunciation practice. It will really raise their confidence and oral English fluency. The team with most points after two rounds is the winner!

Like this game?

There’s loads of ESL games on this website. Navigate to some of these other games for teaching English to see if they’re for you!

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