Good Wordgames as warmers / fillers or coolers from your English class.

In need of a quick warmer / filler or cooler for a lesson? Don’t turn your nose up at word games, they are quick, easy and give students vital spelling and word practice.

Make words from these letters
This is an old favourite. Find a long word like ‘democracy’ and draw all the letters in a box like this:

d r c
a e o
c y m

Now get students to make as many words as they can from only these letters. You can use almost any long word you like

Make sentences from this box
Just the same as the above, but rather than using letters you use words and get students to make sentences. Like this:

jumped fox fence fit because
to lazy he wanted get
the over white The brown

The sentence is :  The lazy brown fox jumped over the white fence because he wanted to get fit.

Put the sentences in the correct order
Another old favourite is putting words in the right order in a sentence. Even though this quite dry and boring -lots of language students, especially those who use a different written script, need to practise their handwriting – even just forming the letters. An activity like this allows students to do this as well as testing their sentence skills.

Here’s my sample PowerPoint for arranging mixed up sentences, save it and change the words to whatever you like

Online wordgames to show on your IAWB
Of course, the internet is abound with word games you can play in your browser. Send these to students as homework, play them in the computer room (in pairs is best) or play them together in the classroom on the interactive whiteboard or projector.

BBC Skillswise – many great word games here

Blocks with Letters on 3 – Amazing game to play with the class

Bookworm – make words from letters – very nice – – A great alternative to PowerPoint

I stumbled on my first presentation while looking through classroom 201X  blog, here’s the link: I was shocked at how easy it is to make really great presentations and set about making a very simple ‘correct the mistakes’ presentation to show to my ESOL students. I tried to embed the file below but I’m afraid you’ll have to click the link under it to get the prezi to play.

Here’s the link to watch the presentation at                                                                                                                                                  

Futher ideas

– next I’ll be asking my students to make their own prezi by signing up to and following the online instructions and watching the video. Look out for it in my next blog.

Check out these other blogs about using Prezi – introduction to Prezi – which is best PowerPoint or Prezi?

Quick PowerPoint lessons for ESOL / ESL/ IELTS – Quick Questions

Here’s the first in a series of quick activities you can show on you IAWB or projector as part of a warm up, cool down or just a filler.

Can’t be bothered to read the post download the lesson here.

Quick Questions

This is a pre intermediate – intermediate lesson and involves students answering questions as quick as they can. It should take about twenty minutes depending on the level of feedback and discussion after the main task.

1. ask students to write the numbers 1-30 (or less if you don’t want to use all the slides). They are going to try and answer the questions they see on the screen as fast as they can.

2. Now run this powerpoint. Click the screen for the next question to appear. Allow students just enough time to read the question and write a brief answer.

3. When you’ve finished all the questions ask students to feedback their answers either to each other in pairs or groups or the whole class (I guess this depends on your class size).

Click here to download the ‘Quick Questions’ PowerPoint

Further ideas

This lesson works brilliantly in a computer room with all the students linked up to the same chat room and the questions either shown on interactive whiteboard or even just read out aloud- students can instantly see each other’s answers and there’s a great buzz as everyone fights to write what they want to say.

I originally designed this lesson for use with Nintendo DS machines as part of a Molenet project. By using the chatroom function, each student armed with their own Nintendo DS can read the questions and write in their answer. What they have written is instantly visible to the other students and the results were hilarious and genuine fun for the learners. For more on using the DS for teaching, check out my blog here. You can also visit the Molenet website where they have loads of ideas for students using mobile technology.

For more great powerpoint lessons go to

The 25 most common spelling mistakes – IELTS and EFL


If you haven’t got time or can’t be bothered to read the post the spelling lesson is here:

The twenty five most common spelling mistakes in English.

The most pleasing things about making spelling mistakes when typing into Google is not that it offers you a handy correction,  but the fact that there are hundreds  of people who have also made the same mistakes, and have also gone the extra mile by putting these mistakes live on the web.

Websites that help with your spelling

There are some great webistes that can help your students with their spelling. The BBC have a really good Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check game as well as lots of others on their skillswise site.

There are also some good flash spelling games at

Spelling Miatakes by Native English Speakers

There are lots of funny places to look at real life spelling mistakes in English, one great example from the north of England is by Prof. Vivian Cook who took photos of genuine spelling errors made by British people.

You can also find hundreds of honest spelling errors by visiting and seraching for ‘spelling mistakes’ under images

Other Mistakes !

If you’re looking for something a little bit more hardcore then there are a whole range of websites that make fun of Chinese spelling mistakes. These are in vogue at the moment but some are a bit rude so I wouldn’t advocate showing these to your class.

Here’s a good one from