Review lessons can be boring enough, but grammar reviews are precisely the type of thing that makes students want to skip class. Now, what if you were to give your students a grammar review they wouldn’t want to miss? Here are some classic games you can adapt to any level and use to review essential structures. You will have a full classroom during your reviews lessons – guaranteed!


1. Shoot for Points

Use a large container or trash can as your “basket”, give your students a ball and have them shoot for points. But here’s the catch: you’ll ask them a question in past simple, and they’ll have to remember the past correctly in order to earn the chance to shoot. They can get 10 points for scoring or five if they miss (because at least they answered the question correctly). You can try any variety of this type of game, whether you use large balls or small ones, or even a wadded up piece of paper.

2. Board Game

Everyone loves a board game, and your ESL students will particularly appreciate one if it’s not only loads of fun, but also a helpful way to review essential grammar. You can design your own to include the tenses and structures your students have learned. 

3. Tic Tac Toe


What you need to decide first is which grammar your students need to review for the test. Then, write the topics on nine index cards or large enough pieces of paper. Arrange the cards face down on a table or stick them on the board, in the classic Tic Tac Toe 3 x 3 grid.
Next, teams take turns choosing a square (you can add letters across and numbers down to make it easier to call out the squares). You turn over the card and reveal to your students the tense/structure/grammar point written on it. Students must then either provide an example or ask a question that another team member must answer correctly to get their X or O on that square. Of course, the first team that gets three Xs or Os across, down or diagonally wins.

4. Snakes and Ladders

You’ll first need to prepare some cards: they may have verb tenses written on them, questions your students must answer or prompts from which to say a complete sentence.

The rules are simple, and the game is so much fun! Let us dive in:

  1. Students must first choose a token to move around the board (a different colored button for each will do nicely!)
  2. Then they take turns rolling the dice to move across the board
  3. They must take a card and answer correctly to remain on that spot, or move back two places if they are incorrect
  4. If they land at the bottom of a ladder, and they answer correctly, they get to move up the ladder
  5. If they land on a snake’s head they automatically move down to where its tail is

5. Football!

play football!

First, you’ll need to draw a playing field like this one on the board or a large piece of paper:
Next, divide your students into two teams. Place a “ball” token at the center. Then, students must answer questions correctly to approach the posts and score a goal. For example, Team A answers correctly and moves right one step closer to their goal. Team B answers correctly and moves the ball left back to the center. Team A answers incorrectly and can’t move the ball at all. Team B answers correctly and moves left one step closer to their goal. If Team A were to keep answering incorrectly and Team B correctly, then Team B will continue moving left to eventually score a goal. When a team scores, the ball moves back to the center, and the team that did not score last starts. The team with the most goals wins.

6. Jeopardy

There is so much you can do with it – you can review everything they’ve learned in a single fun game. Divide your whiteboard into columns for grammar categories and rows with different point values. Divide your students into two teams. Each team chooses a category and the points they want to play for: If they answer correctly you erase the points from the chart and add them to the team’s tally until they’re all wiped off. 

Not all grammar reviews have to be cut and dried. Don’t underestimate the power of games – they help students use the resources they’ve acquired in creative ways. They engage learners to put the things they’ve learned to good use. The competitive environment motivates them to give it their best effort.

Briefsource: Busy Teacher