Blast Away Boredom With Drama Games to Teach Children ESL


Blast Away Boredom With Drama Games to Teach Children ESL

Use an active ESL teaching activity your students will love.

Heads on desks, heavy eyelids, and hands fidgeting – oh no, you’re losing them! You can tell. They might as well be shouting, “I’m bored!!” Don’t worry, this is nothing more than helpful feedback from your students that it’s time to switch strategies. Boredom is a healthy signal that the lesson has lost meaning and is difficult to pay attention to. All you have to do is make it meaningful again and a great way to do it is to use ESL drama games that are active, inclusive, and most of all, fun!

The best way to prevent boredom in the classroom is to have an ESL drama game ready for when your students start to disengage. You can predict it and work it into the lesson ahead of time. Development experts say that a reasonable attention span for a child is two to three minutes per year of their age. They can stay focused around that long before they need a “brain break”. We all need that, don’t we?

Average attention spans can look like this:

  • 5 years old: 10-15 minutes
  • 8 years old: 16-24 minutes
  • 12 years old: 24 to 36 minutes
  • 16 years old: 32 to 48 minutes

You get the idea- we need to reel these little ones back in with an activity that gets their bodies moving and minds reactivated. How do we do that? Miming activities are a fantastic way to combine language, action, and structured play to get their energies back up.

Here’s an ESL Drama Game for teambuilding and action:

  1. Get your students to stand up (whether in the classroom or online).
  2. Give an enthusiastic instruction you want them to do with you.

“Let’s eat an enormous hamburger!!”

“Let’s climb a tree!!”

“Let’s paint a picture!!”

  • Have them agree with a “Yes! Let’s!” or “Let’s do it!”
  • Have one child take a turn to give an action.
  • Call on every student to pick an action for the class to act out.
  • Be enthusiastic and have fun with it!

The beautiful thing about using ESL drama games to teach children English is that you can use movement as a way to teach action verbs. They’re learning without feeling like they’re learning! That’s why miming activities are so widely used to teach children English.

For more ideas on how to teach English through drama, download the free e-book, Teach Children English Through Drama.

Visit the Kids English Theatre Youtube Channel for more drama games, language exercises, puppetting demos, and other fun ideas to make your lessons fun and unforgettable. 

Be Theatrical!


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