From time to time as an English teacher you might find yourself in situations when your students are tired or uninterested during the lesson.
It can derive from the lack of interest in the topic in question, or they can be simply tired of work or because of other reasons. In my opinion and based on my experiences if it is not too urgent to study the language material you deal with, it is better to give up and shake the lesson up with a game that tends to be rather relaxing and entertaining than demanding.
I have tried to collect and describe some easy games that require hardly any or zero preparation.
What would you take with you to the moon?
You can only shoot this game once but it is still good and tricky enough to play. It is inevitable to know the full name of all the people in the group. Tell your students that they have to leave the Earth and can take only two items with them and you are going to decide whether they can take them or not. They take turns and tell two things they would like to take with them.
You can let them take based upon the following rule: one of the items must start with the first letter of their Christian name whilst the other must start with their surname. The way they can figure it out is that in each round you also say two items that you are going to take with you following this rule. For example as my name is Gyöngyvér Pénzes, I can take a goose and a priest. The game lasts until most of the students realize the pattern. It can take a long time as they tend to think about completely different reasons for their choices.
This game is about refreshing English vocabulary. Students take turns and say a category (e.g. country, food, song, animals etc.) and a letter from the English alphabet to the person sitting next to them. The appointed student has to say two words beginning with the letter and in the category. If they cannot say two words they drop out. The winner of course is the one who is left last in the end.
This game is mainly about writing and guessing. The teacher gives a genre: book, movie or poem etc. Students have to summarize the content of the chosen piece of are in an sms, which means using only 160 characters. The aim is to find out what they have described. It is usually more enjoyable if they solve the exercise in pairs and can help each other in writing. Then you can also have a discussion about the short message service. You can ask them if they have any stories connected to sms writing or if they ever had sent sms to a wrong person etc.
What So Ever Who That When Because
This game focuses on story telling. You write whatsoeverwhothatwhenbecause on the board and start a story. If any of the linking words arise within a sentence the student next to you must continue the story with their own idea. Naturally you can pick up different linking words. Setting up the place and the characters makes it a bit more demanding for students at a higher level of English.