Getting kids to talk can, at times, be a challenge. In addition, teaching them how to have good communicative skills in public speaking and assert themselves, should be carefully considered. Speaking activities that take kids out of their comfort zone are important. Here are 30 amazing activities to help you get them conversing and remembering that it’s all about being relaxed and having a good time.
1. Public speaking
This game is so much fun and can be used to teach public speaking or speaking in a foreign language. Show the students a silly picture and get them to describe it in pairs or in front of a larger crowd. It’s quite funny hearing the descriptions from the children and the things they come up with!
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2. Who Am I?
This is a classic guessing game that teaches communication skills and helps children learn how to ask the right questions. It has been played at many parties and classroom events and it’s always a big hit. Am I an animal? Am I someone from the past? Am I a food item? Kids have to think fast to solve the answer.
Learn More: ESL Kids Game
3. Pictures and Conversation Cards
These are beautiful cards that are designed to help kids start a conversation and keep it going. You can get some good ideas and create your own to fit your unit or lesson plans. They can be used over and over again and are adaptable for a variety of ages. Great for circle time and winding down time.
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4. Crazy Silly Dialogues
Can you imagine a baby talking to a rat? What about a monster having a coffee with a math teacher? Even crazier is a hamburger talking to a french fry. These are all conversations that children can create with the right images. Give them the pictures and a few guidelines and let their imagination go wild.
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5. Fill in the Gap
There are some amazing resources out there to get kids to speak! One surefire way to get kids talking is missing gap information activities. Your kiddos will love asking each other questions and then fill in the gap with their partner’s answers. Let your learners use this worksheet as a guide for their conversations and sit back as they chat away!
Learn More: ESL Printables
6. Draw and Speak
Get out your crayons and grab a partner. Now it’s time to draw and describe. Draw any picture that comes to mind and then describe it to your partner. You can switch it up and set a theme. This activity is communicative, artsy, and great for learning spatial skills.
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7. Story Construction
Telling stories in small groups can be really amusing. It helps with speaking and communication skills. There is no right or wrong answer, so the children can feel free to invent anything they want. One student just starts it off any way they want before the person next to them continues.
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8. Interview a Partner
Kids love to interview others and ask questions. They just need some guidance and help with inventing the questions. This role-play activity can be acted out in small groups and children can practice and think of their answers ahead of time. These basic interview questions are good for learning social skills and finding common ground. Great for advanced students who can come up with their own questions.
Learn More: ESL Flow
9. Let’s Go To The Supermarket
Kids will love acting out these role-play activities and pretending that they are going to the supermarket. They include short dialogues for reading, listening, and speaking practice. This activity provides a good opportunity to implement and practice math skills whilst learning new vocabulary.
Learn More: All Things Topics
10. Elbow to Elbow
This is a take on the classic game “Find someone who….”. Children have to listen to the instructions and follow suit. Examples include “elbow to elbow” with someone who has the same birthday month as you, or “elbow to elbow” with someone who plays soccer. This is a fun and fast-paced game that helps them learn about their classmates.
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11. Decipher The Lie
We have to teach children that it is not good to lie but this is a game, where students have to think about facts about themselves that not many people know. Have them write down the 3 facts on a piece of paper and another student will read them out. Ensure that 2 facts are true and 1 is a lie and have the class decipher which is which.
Learn More: Free English Lesson Plans
12. The “Yes” Game
This game entails that the students will say “Yes” to everything. The students come up with basic questions, such as; Are you a teacher? Are you a good football player? Do you eat snails? The other answer must be YES.
Learn More: TEFL
13. Sentence Hangman
Sentence Hangman is so much fun and can be played in small or large groups. Students have to come up with their sentences and you can even base them on the vocabulary unit you are studying that month. Try to have them incorporate new vocabulary, and check the spelling as they go.
Learn More: Word Wall
14. Speech Detective
These activities have been created and tested by a speech pathologist. Kids can be detectives and read the clues in the investigation stories with comprehension questions to ask and answer.
Learn More: Speech Is Beautiful
Taboo is usually a game played by older kids in middle school. A few students are chosen to guess the word. They will stand with their backs to the board and listen to the clues given to them by other students.
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16. Comic Book Chaos
Get your kids chatting by playing comic book chaos! Give each child a part of a comic strip and challenge them to describe it to their classmates as well as they can. Have your kids move quickly trying to find the person with the comic strip that matches theirs. They’ll love the excitement this game brings as it’s fast-paced and it incorporates reading and speaking. Copy and cut up some popular comic books or you could have a go at creating your own!
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17. Trapped on a Desert Island
Kids love drama, action, and excitement. What would it be like to be trapped on a desert island? How would you live? What kind of things would you build, make or need to survive? Kids can contemplate these questions before sharing their island ideas with the class.
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18. Never have I…
This is a classic game we all know, but this time around it’s for the kiddies. Have children brainstorm some ideas, like “Never have I played a musical instrument” and all the children who agree with that statement would need to raise their hand.
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19. Twenty Questions
This website is jam-packed with ideas and resources to play the classic 20 questions game. Children have to work together as a team and come up with 20 questions to ask one another.
Learn More: Kid Spot
20. Agree or Disagree?
Have the kids create some “agree and disagree” cards along with “I am not sure” cards. Once you have all the materials needed, children listen to the affirmative sentences read out by another person. Afterward, they could come up with their own list of topics for learners to agree on and disagree with.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
21. Oral Worksheet
Kids love listening to stories but what about, if this time, we read them a classic simple story and follow it up with an oral worksheet? Students will have to narrate their own stories orally in small groups or in front of the whole class.
Learn More: Teach Simple
22. Think Before You Speak
Kids have a tendency to blurt out whatever comes to mind- often without having thought it through first. This activity reminds learners to reflect on if what they are going to say is helpful or hurtful and to try their best to always be kind!
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23. Chic Chat Jar
Have a plastic jar in class to pass around each day. Have kids take a piece of paper which will provide them with a prompt to get talking. Give the class 5-10 minutes to discuss their prompts in small groups.
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24. Name 10
Some kids feel shy or insecure to join in part of a conversation. This game called Name 5 or Name 10 focuses on listing words quickly and although it might not seem like a conversation, it is the first step to getting students to feel at ease with public speaking.
Learn More: Name Ten
25. My Name is Sally and I Like Spaghetti
In the past we played “The Witch’s Cat” but this is a twist on the game. Go around the class in alphabetical order and have the student say what they like. For example, ” My name is Bobby and I like beans.”
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26. I Spy
This game is great for teaching children how to be observant and to learn how to describe things in a difficult way. Many people don’t think much about this game but it really can help children develop their communication skills.
Learn More: Raising Children
27. Fact or Fiction
I love playing this game after every unit as a revision. If you are studying science kids could state ” There are 8 planets” and the remainder of the learners have to state whether it’s fact or fiction. Encourage them to be creative when inventing their questions!
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28. Board Game Time
Who doesn’t love board games? Board games are a great way to relax your kiddos and get them talking! Even the shyest members of your class will come out of their shell as they focus on the game and leave there inhibitions behind! This resource is also great for ESL learners!
Learn More: On Tesol
29. Speaking Activities from Linkedin
Linkedin has some game ideas whether you are at home or on the road. Play the “woot” game. Choose simple words that are commonly used such as “It’s, and, or but”. Every time learners are supposed to say that word, they should say “woot” instead. This game is fantastic for working on word recognition.
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30. Play Hopscotch
We all remember playing hopscotch and having a laugh. This time we have incorporated hopscotch into a grammar revision exercise! Sounds a bit crazy, but the kids love it and they really enjoy jumping around whilst they revise.
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