ESL Games for Teenagers

Strange Pairs

Subject: Comparatives


Skills: Speaking, Writing

Level: Elementary

Recommended Age: 12+

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 (10-15 minutes). Invite each player to find a pair of nouns, differing from each other only by the first letter. As the players say their pairs, you write them on the board next to the name of their authors. It might look something like this:


Kirill: mouse - house

Uliana: fridge - bridge

Filipp: cake - lake



When everyone has got their own 'strange pair', ask each player to make as many sentences, comparing these two things, as possible. Allow the students a reasonable amount of time for completing this task. While they are working, circulate, monitor and assist if necessary. Their lists might look something like this:
A mouse is smaller than a house. 
A mouse is faster than a house. 
A mouse is more intelligent than a house. 

and so on.

How to Play. When everyone has finished, bring the class to order. Afterwards, invite the players to take it in turns reading aloud their lists. A student gets one point for each logical statement. You write the final result on the board next to the player's name and their 'strange pair' like this:


Kirill: mouse - house - 7 points


The activity continues as long as all the lists have been read aloud. The player, who gets the most points, becomes the winner of the game.