seksekI realised I mostly wrote about quick games, fillers or warmers that may help the teachers to motivate the students or change the phase or the pace of a lesson.

I believe these activities are great to present and practice a new language. During the activities, students will be more involved, enthused and eager to do or finish the activity and the teacher will look more friendly, approachable and cheerful.

I’m sure the experienced members of my PLN will have more to add to the followings but let’s say this is kind of an introduction for the new comers to the ELT world.

Games and game like activities


  1. Tongue twisters: these are great challenges and also good for pronunciation and memory.
  2. Find someone who: You can use this activity anytime you want during the lesson, as a warmer for presenting or awareness-raising or at the end of a lesson as a filler to practice the target language.
  3. Puzzles, word games: these are good for vocab revision. I also ask my students to create their own puzzles then they exchange the puzzle and try to solve the ones their friends prepared. If you want they can prepare them in pairs or groups.
  4. Charede: this one is my favourite. It can be used as a filler. Team them and tell them they will compete. Usually we play charde with grammatical structures such as If clauses, time clauses or relatives. Once they code certain things and get the rule they easily guess the sentence. Plus they mime and have fun.
  5. Yes-No Game
  6. Line up according to: This is a good warmer and also works well to group your students for the next activity. You can line your students according to the seasons they were born in or the fast food they like or the shoes they are wearing. The alternatives are endless. Just use your imagination.
  7. Stand up if: This one is also a great warmer, filler or energizer. Shout out sentences and tell your students to stand up if the statement is correct for them. You can change the instruction and say, for instance, touch your nose if you agree and jump if you disagree.
  8. Associations : give 2 object, which looks completely different and ask them to find the similarities.
  9. How can we use it other than: Give them an object, say a paper clip and give them time to list what else we can do with a paper clip apart from attaching paper.
  10. Tic-tac-toe: you can use it to practice and revise vocabulary and grammar points.
  11. Dictations
  12. Shake hands: This is a great activitywith lots of laughter and action.Play some music and tell your students when you stop the music they will greet each other as you instruct. Instruct your students as follows:
  13. Greet each other as two close friends
  14. Greet each other as neighbours


  1. Guided Fantasy: it is great after a hard day’s work, just relax, close your eyes and imagine…. You will find lots of ideas in  Imagine That by J. Arnold,H. Puchta, M.Rinvolucri .
  2. Sentence completion: good for feedback and/or evaluation.
  3. Memory games
  4. Flash dictations.
  5. Wall dictation


  1. Puzzles
  2. Miming
  3. Chinese whispers
  4. Hot seat
  5. Vocabulary match to find the new partner
  6. Bingo
  7. Tic-tac-toe
  8. Hang a man
  9. Find someone who: Find someone who with words and definition. Find someone who can define ‘a word’. / Find someone who can use ‘this particular word’ in a sentence. / Find someone who knows a synonym or antonym for ‘this word’


  1. Find someone who
  2. 20 questions
  3. Kim’s game
  4. I went to the market and I bought
  5. Stand up if

Food for thought


If you are also about to finish the school year and need something else other than your course material, quotes are always good  for wonderful activities.

What can you do with them?

1. Write some of them on pieces of paper and stick to the walls and do wall dictation.

2. Jumble some of them and ask them to unjumble.

3. Play hang man or charades.

4. Ask them to choose one and illustrate it and prepare a poster.

5. Ask them to create a slideshow, using moviemaker, animoto, photopeach, bookr.

6. Tell them to create word clouds.

7. Brainstorm ideas and ask them to write stories in groups.

8. Let them create glogsters.

9. Don’t forget to discuss them.

10. Ask them to choose a favourite and give reasons.

Some quotes to begin with

We become ourselves through others. Lev Vygotsky

Hope is good breakfast but it is bad supper. Francis Bacon

Nothing is built on stone; all is built on sand but we must build as if the sand were stone. Jorge Luis Borges

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. Confucius

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein

Some people should start up ideas and other ones should carry them out. Jimmy Hendrix

A teacher can but lead you to the door, Learning is up to you. Chinese Proverb

Just Improvise – A Quick Game


Life is a lot like jazz… it’s best when you improvise – George Gershwin

Sometimes my mind doesn’t allow me to enjoy the moment.

Last week a group of actors from a drama club visited our school and they performed with our students. They improvised in the school yard. They started with some warm ups and continued with a few short ‘games’.

While watching them, I caught my mind thinking how I could adapt them in my classes.

There were fabulous ideas and yesterday we tried one of them.

Level: intermediate and above

Time: it’s up to you and your students

Aim: to practice relative clauses, vocabulary

Preparation: none

  1. Ask students to stand up and form a semi circle.
  2. Tell them you will start the game saying ‘I’m the door.’
  3. Then a student will come and say a sentence which is related with the door and act as the thing in the sentence. He may say ‘I’m the lock on the door.’ And pretend as if he was a lock.
  4. Then a third one will come and complete the scene. He may say ‘I’m the key that opens the door.’ The first one will decide who will continue and may say ‘I want the key to stay here’.
  5. Then the key repeats ‘I’m the key that opens the lock’ and the game continues until you get bored.

When playing it they will make associations, connections, they can even play with the words and choose rhyming ones.

For example the next student may say ‘I’m the flock of birds flying to the south’ after hearing the word ‘lock’

We really enjoyed the activity very much. It can be a warmer or filler. Think about dull Monday mornings or long Friday afternoons.

NB My students are teenagers aged between 15 to 17. I think this activity will be suitable for teenagers and adults.

What is the movie?



This is an activity I did with one of my classes last week.

Choose a soundtrack of a movie (preferably an instrumental piece)

Tell them that piece of music is from a movie

Ask the students to relax and listen to the music

When the music is finished tell them they are going to listen to it again and write a paragraph answering the following questions.

  • What kind of a movie is it?
  • Describe the scene that this music is being played
  • Who are the actors and the actresses


The result was amazing. Although it was early in the morning, they came up with brilliant paragraphs. They even found each other very creative and music helped us to start the lesson with a smile on our faces. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Motivation and Inspiration

Why do we attend seminars and conferences?

After the very successful ISTEK seminar, I’ve been thinking why we should attend seminars and conferences.

I’ve been teaching for 21 years. I haven’t attended any IATEFL conferences yet but it is one of my dreams. I hope it will become true one day. However, I try to attend most of the ELT events organised in Istanbul and I truly enjoy them.

I don’t always learn something new.

But do we just go there to learn something new?


Then why?

For me, these are great occasions for us to learn more from the teacher trainers, speakers, writers  or more experienced teachers.

Not just to learn how to survive but to interact, to be motivated, to see that they are not alone.

Even if we are experienced, we can always find something to learn.

We can always adapt a thought, an idea to our teaching.

Every teacher has her own recipe book but we always need inspiration…

Some thoughts to be remembered from ISTEK elt

Andrew Wright reminded us that we are all characters from a storybook, he reminded that we are all stories.  He said ‘before we go out we create our image for our role to create our stories.’

Jeremy Harmer reminded us whose English we are teaching with his outstanding talk and I remember the great poem years ago I read and used in a class activity but as the others it was forgotten in the archives of my lesson ideas. ‘Beauty is a fat black woman…’ Not only he reminded us the poem, he also suggested a great activity to use with poetry.  ‘WALL DICTATION’

Herbert Puchta was extraordinary. He said ‘In times of difficulties, we need leadership qualities’. So a teacher shouldn’t only teach present perfect tense, she should also be a guide, leader to help her students find their own way.

While listening to Luke Prodromu, I realised how inspirational my 4th grade teacher was. I remembered her reading us stories every Friday afternoon and we sitting and imagining the scenes at our desks. Maybe because of her I love reading very much, or maybe because of her I love teaching very much.

I really enjoyed Lindsey Clandfield’s talk on Culture, Celebrities and Content in an era of global English and loved his cheerfulness and twitter  guided attitude.

Nicky Hockley was great. I’m sure many teachers will start using web 2.0 tools after her examples.

The workshops I attended were wonderful, I had the chance to meet Sean Banville and learned too many useful things about teaching news. I had never realised I could do so many activities with them When I thought of news, the only activity that came into my mind was the translation.

Shelly Terrell was excellent. It was a priviledge for me to listen to her.

And I missed too many… How I wish I had the chance to attend the workshops of my PLN.

Yes, That sense was also great too.

And the Pecha Kucha’s…,

The ones who didn’t attend, missed a great, cheerful event.

I’m looking forward to the next one. I’m sure it will be as perfect as this one.

Thank you Burcu Akyol for what you’ve done.

P.S: When I started writing this post I hadn’t planned anything and this was not I meant to write but it just happened and I couldn’t control myself 🙂