Fun TEFL Games with Limited Resources

OK, so your TEFL classroom might not have a brand spanking new Blu-ray player or a fancy projector, but that doesn’t mean your students can’t have lots of fun in your lessons. Teaching in a class with limited resources doesn’t have to be boring, all you need is yourself, a board and a classroom full of rowdy students. And here’s a few TEFL games for classrooms with no resources:

Stand up, sit down

1.  Divide the class into two teams of equal numbers and get them to line up in a row.

2.  Show each student a flashcard, in turn. The student that is shown the card must say what is on the card.

3.  If the student can correctly identify what is on the card, they can remain standing. If they get this incorrect they have to sit down. The winning team is the team which has the most members standing after each student has been shown a card.

Depending on the size of the class, this game could be extended by continuing to show cards until each team only has one person standing. You could then do a winner of winners between the last two at the front of the class, by showing them as many cards until one person has to sit down and the other is declared winner for his/her team.

Hot seat

1.  Put your students into groups of about 4/5. One student must sit with their back to the board with the other students facing the board (This can be done as a class activity in two teams, depending on the number of students you have of course!)

2.  You can either draw, put a flash card on the board or just write a word. The students then have to describe what the word is without saying the word.

3.  The first group to correctly guess the word wins a point.


1. Divide your class into teams (numbers dependent on how many students you have).

2. The first student reads a word and then has to draw it quickly while the other students guess what it is. The first team to correctly guess what the picture is gets a point.

3.  Depending on the ability level you can give bonus points for teams using the grammar correctly, such as ‘she is watching TV’ or ‘she watched TV’ rather than just TV.

Race to the board!

1.  Split your class into two teams and get them to sit into two lines facing the board.

2.  Give each team a piece of text with lots of different sentences.

3.  The person at the front of each line has to run to the board and write the first sentence then pass the text to the next person who writes the next sentence and so on.

4.  The team to finish first gets 30 points and the second gets 20.  For every spelling mistake or repeated words or sentences the team lose a point.

Find a seat

1.  Prepare a set of questions on separate pieces of card (“Have you ever xxx?” or “Do you like xxx?”). Try to write questions that most students would say yes to. You could even get your students to write their own questions.

2. Place all the questions into a bag, then arrange the chairs into a big circle, leaving one fewer chairs than you have students. Explain to the students that the person without a chair reads out a question and if you would answer yes you have to move to another chair.

3. The first student who is without a chair picks a question out from the bag then rushes to find a spare chair before someone else does.

All these games can be adapted to different ability levels and to what you’re trying to teach or re-capping with your students. If you are still lacking inspiration you can get some extra help here:

What games do you use in your TEFL classroom with limited resources?

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