Richard Constable

Having fun with teacher

Some great word activities that will make you the most popular teacher at school.

EFL professional teachers are asked to choose one of the following options below the question.

Which type of teacher did you most like when you were a pupil/student at school?

a; The teacher who endeavored to educate you to the highest level of his/her abilities.

b; The teacher who did his/her utmost to prepare you for your future life as an adult.

c; The teacher you had the most fun with.

And again with the same options: 

Which of your old teachers do you remember with the most fondness?

If you have cast your mind back a subsequent amount of time and were being honest with yourself I would guess that most of you optioned for 'c' for both questions.

In my case, it is Mr.Salter, my Downham Market Boys' Secondary Modern School drama teacher, not only a fun style instructor and amusing raconteur, still also a highly skilled educator who never stressed the point.   

Bearing all that in mind, here are some warmers, fillers and coolers for your school or/and language center classes that could ensure your students habitually plead for more. These could help you to become the Ms, Miss, Misses or Mister Popular teacher -  the one you have always dreamed you would one day become.  

Truly, allow me to be the first to wish you a very 'Merry Xmas' and a 'Prosperous New Year!' (Incidentally, people sometimes ask me why I teach seven days a week in schools in Thailand? I tell them it's because I want to achieve my ambition of becoming a millionaire before my one hundredth birthday. Boom! Boom!) And to feel the warmth of my generosity in accepting some of the secrets of my trade as a gift.

Most noteworthy ABC listening, speaking and comprehension quizzes can be based entirely on the vocab that you have taught your students as a review, or on what you believe they already know as a chance for them to use their English skills. Also, they can be presented as a method of introducing new vocab, but only for highly capable learners. (Make at least 5 coffee time clues and answers per letter.)

As the teacher you are to give the clues verbally to the class; when a student has answered the question you will immediately give the next clue, having awarded a point to the individual who answered or his/her team.

Only the relevant capital letter should be shown on the board.

Examples Teacher's script


a fruit not an apple
not a crocodile
an island and a country
a painter


a fruit not a banana
an animal not a buffalo
England, Scotland &
a small child
good football


a fruit (not a coconut)
milk comes from
North American country
comes from milk
a vegetable (not orange)

These clues often need to be repeated with some emphasis, not all students are linguistic geniuses - be sure to give them time to think.

avocado or apricot, alligator, Australia, astronaut. blackberry or blueberry, any animal beginning with B, Britain or British, baby, Buriram, cantaloupe or cranberry, cow, Canada, cheese, chocolate, calcium etc, accept cabbage, corn or cucumber


paint your home
one person one vote
red velvet cake
big bed
grow stronger


for a letter
some more
6 pm - 9 pm
green stone
very, very

decorate, democracy, dessert, double, develop, envelope or email, extra, emerald, especially/extremely or exceedingly

No, I am not trying to make a claim for being the originator of cryptic quizzes, I am just giving you the 'heads up' on what is a great lexical activity for your students, if you haven't already figured it.

Logical Thinking.

A comprehension and speaking activity which main value gets your students thinking and using sentences in the new language.

You should explain briefly, that when you speak a foreign language you can never know 100% of all the words so you need to think logically.

Then give clues when and if necessary.

4 l____ on a c_____.

12 m_______ in a y______.

7 c_________ of the r_________.

100 y_____ in a c_________.

77 p_________ in T_________.

2 h_____ on the f_____ of a c_______.

Clues for the above:
object in the classroom; requires no clue; in the sky - some days! requires no clue; requires no clue; requires your hands and face


4 legs on a chair, 12 months in a year, 7 colors of the rainbow, 100 years in a century, 77 provinces in Thailand, 2 hands on the face of a clock
There are at least 60 usable and do able versions of these. And you can go right up to 100 d______ c_______ is the b_______ p_____ of w_______ (clue; think science) Answer: 100 degrees Celsius is the boiling point of water.


A listening and pronunciation game/activity.

Read these third person verbs out for the students just once and then get them to tell you what you said. Next, write them up on the board whilst awarding one point for each third person verb and two points per answer; job/career.

Pronunciation of 3rd Person Verbs.

/S/ /z/ /iz/ job/career

mops irons polishes

shoots scores passes

acts sings dances

kicks spars punches

resets installs processes

housekeeper or maid, footballer - volleyball or basketball player, entertainer, Thai boxer or muay Thai, computer engineer/programmer

At the end drill the class chorally on the third person verbs.

What is that I hear you say? "Too easy!" . . ."Puerile!" You cynical farang teacher, I'll have you know I came up with 120 jobs plus 360 individual third person verbs. (What can I say, I've spent a lot of lonely evenings in by the fireside and one simply had to fill the time.)

Further examples.

/S/ /Z/ /IZ/ job/career

fights disarms marches

chops blends blanches

chats serves replenishes

sleeps listens watches

meditates prays blesses

enunciates exemplifies influences

Opps! I got a bit carried away, that last one is probably only best used only for a significant few advance Thai students. All joking apart, good IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC and certainly SAT students are able to figure the equation.

Soldier, chef or cook, bartender, Thai security guard, monk, language teacher/ tutor or lecturer

Pronunciation of plural nouns, with the same method and rules as 3rd person verbs above.

/S/ /Z/ /IZ/ category

grapes bananas peaches

pilots engineers nurses

ants flies cockroaches

shirts neck-ties dresses

mosques temples churches

fruit, careers or jobs, insects, clothes, religious buildings

Again when you have your whiteboard filled, drill the students chorally. I have devised around 60 sets of plural noun categories but there must be more.

Pronunciation of possessives apostrophe and s.

You as the teacher shall pronounce each name in its possessive form as many times as you are asked by the students. They write number 1 - 12 and either /S/, /Z/, /IZ/ plus its final phonic sound.

Some examples of English names with the relevant final sounds.

1; Pete's

2; Jill's

3; Anne's

4; Blanch's

5; Max's

6; Mike's

Thai nick names with the equivalent phonic final sounds.

7; Pat's

8; Diwl's

9; Ton's

10; Petch's

11; Mix's

12; Kook Kik's

Answers are the same for both sets:
1; /S/ t  2; /Z/ l  3; /Z/ n 4; /IZ/ ch 5; /IZ/ x 6; /S/ k

7; /S/ t  8; /Z/ l  9; /Z/ n 10; /IZ/ ch 11; /IZ/ x 12; /S/ k  

Completing the trilogy with this short and intense game still a rare opportunity to practice and reinforce the pronunciation and listening rules of possessive apostrophe and s.

Pronunciation of regular verbs in the Past Simple.

/t/ /d/ /id/ job/career

raked mowed planted
moon-walked traveled rocketed
scooped served handed
stamped shelved dated
unpacked romanticized visited
serviced haggled solicited

park keeper or gardener, astronaut or spaceman, canteen or food server, librarian, travel writer (Please do your best to ignore the last example, I can
only explain it as some form of 'Freudian slip' or something due to overwork and fatigue.)

Finally, drill the class chorally on the past simple irregular verbs.

Again I conjured another 120 jobs and 360 individual regular verbs; most of these are for pre-intermediate to advanced students. And yes, I already know I have to make a concerted effort to venture out more often.


To begin, write the following on the whiteboard:

Same/Same = Out!

E.g category Colors = Red; Blue; Pink; Orange; Red = Red/Red = Same/Same = Out! = (already!) You must listen and remember!

If the students repeat a previous answer he/she is out of the game.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ! = Too slow! = Out!

The teacher must call a slow count from 1 - 5, if the student hasn't answered by 5 he/she is out of the game, cause it has to be fast moving to be stimulating for the players.

Also, the teacher must repeat every student's given answer and pay particular attention to each answer so that when a student gives an example of a category word already given the teacher can say "Same - same, out!"

Standard game categories: Animals - Countries - Fruit - Jobs - Sports - Food.

Special categories: Thailand's provinces - Cartoons. (Your Thai language abilities have to be at least reasonable for these two.)

Both adults and students love this game and will want to play it now and again, but I don't mean like as in 'now and again', yet I mean like as in 'NOW!' and 'AGAIN!'

Have fun with these, move at a fast pace and persevere as you'll have to be the teacher games' master a few times with a new game before you're able to present it perfectly. Above all else, if you don't keep the students round about level on points they'll lose interest. (In the early days of the BBC's A Question of Sport, viewers would switch over to the other side if one team was out in front, so the BBC devised a way to keep both teams roughly level until the end. It is now the longest running sports quiz show in the world.)

If there is anyone who is still reading this, thank you so much your patience, endurance and diligence, also may I offer you my commiserations. Nonetheless, you can prepare to be loved in droves.  


Hi Elizabeth,

You're welcome!

Here's hoping your inspiration takes you on a rewarding journey of lexical creativity.

By Richard, Bang Na (23rd November 2019)

Thank you so much for sharing this. I appreciate the time it took to include all these games and activities on this post. You've inspired me!

By Teacher Elizabeth, Bangkok (22nd November 2019)

Post your comment

Comments are moderated and will not appear instantly.

Featured Jobs

Editor for Regional Business Publication

฿80,000+ / month


English Teacher for Immediate Start

฿45,000+ / month


NES Primary 1 Homeroom Teacher (Female)

฿38,500+ / month


NES Homeroom Primary Teacher for Grade 1

฿55,000+ / month

Chiang Rai

Full-time Native English Teacher

฿45,000+ / month


Fun Native English Teachers for October Start

฿44,000+ / month


Featured Teachers

  • Arianne

    Filipino, 27 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Amy

    South African, 31 years old. Currently living in South Africa

  • Jiang

    Chinese, 39 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Claries

    Filipino, 24 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Joeza

    Filipino, 44 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Mike

    American, 58 years old. Currently living in Thailand

The Hot Spot

The cost of living

The cost of living

How much money does a teacher need to earn in order to survive in Thailand? We analyze the facts.

Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.

The Region Guides

The Region Guides

Fancy working in Thailand but not in Bangkok? Our region guides are written by teachers who actually live and work in the provinces.

Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.