English Games for Pre-Intermediate Students


Subject: Phonetics


This humorous game is based on a famous nursery rhyme.

Skills: Writing, Speaking, Listening

Level: Intermediate

Recommended Age: 16+

Number of Participants: 4-12 players

Time: 20-25 minutes

Place: Classroom

Equipment: A black- or whiteboard

Materials: A piece of chalk or a marker

Preliminary Preparation: Not required

Immediate Preparation (3-5 minutes).

1. If possible, arrange the game participants so that they are sitting or standing in a semi-circle in front of the board.

2. Write on the board and say the following demonstration sentence:


There was an old lady, who swallowed a fly,


3. Invite each player to find a rhyme for this sentence and to write down it in their notebook. Allow the students a reasonable amount of time to complete this task. While they are working, circulate, monitor and assist, if necessary.

How to Play. When everyone has finished, bring the class to order. Afterwards, invite the players to take it in turns reading aloud their sentences. A typical game might start something like this:

You: There was an old lady, who swallowed a fly,

Player А: And just after that she flew in the sky!

Player В: But I don't think that she will soon die!

Player С: Did she? It's amazing! But why?

and so on around the circle.

A student gets one point for each sentence, approved by you (which can be more than one). A player, who cannot compose an appropriate rhyme, misses their turn, but does not leave the game. When everyone has expressed their idea or missed their turn, you change 'fly' to 'spider' on the borad and say:


There was an old lady, who swallowed a spider!


After that, invite the students to rhyme this sentence. Then follow the same procedure with the words bird, cat, dog, goat, cow and horse. At the end of the activity, the number of points, accumulated by each participant during the whole competition, is counted up. The player, who gets the most points in total, becomes the winner of the game.

Advice. Since the task takes a long time to complete, it would be more feasible to try only the demonstration sentence in the first lesson and to set the others for homework. In this case, the game itself should be carried out in the next lesson.