Beat the Teacher (ESL Activity)

Level: pre-intermediate+

Objective: lesson revision

If you tutor a student one on one then this game is perfect for revision of your previous lessons, as well as finding out how much the student may already know. It's a form of Naughts and Crosses or as the Americans would call it - Tick Tack Toe.

Before your lesson write down as many questions that you can think of to ask your student and number them 1 to whatever.

  1. What is the simple past tense word for Run?
  2. What is an Abstract noun?
  3. etc...

Ask your student to draw the nine squared naughts and crosses grid by overlaping two horizontal and two vertical lines.

Let's say, you thought of 60 questions to ask your student. Ask your student to write down on a piece of paper the numbers 1 to 60.

The student first chooses a number from their list of numbers. Let's say for example, the student chooses number 3, then question number 3 on your question list is the question you will ask them. Note: after the student chooses a number they have to mark it off their list, so that, that question can only be asked once.

You ask the student the question. If they get it right then they get to place their naught or cross, whichever symbol they choose, in whichever square they like on the grid.

But, if the student gets it wrong then the teacher places their symbol in whichever square they like. If the student gives an incorrect answer then don't forget to tell them the correct answer afterwards. The game goes on like this until the winner gets three symbols in a row.

This game is great for the teacher because it gives them an idea of how much the student has retained from previous lessons, and also, what they already know. My student likes playing this game because she beats this teacher - a lot!

Contributor: Tom