Gesture Game

Practice a variety of verbs and 'action' expressions as a class.

A fun, all class activity in which volunteers attempt to guess the gestures the rest of the class are performing.

  • Select three or so volunteers to stand at the front, facing the board.
  • Show the rest of the class a gesture – either a picture or potentially the word written down for harder concepts.
  • On the count of three, volunteers turn to face the class, who do the gesture as best they can.
  • The first volunteer to pick the gesture gets a sticker, sits down, and chooses the next volunteer.
  • Continue until you've run out of fun verbs, or energy.

This can be used for a general verbs lesson, for "I can ~ .", or "Let's ~ .", or with a time topic in which students describe their day.

Anything that can be physically acted out can be used – tried and tested fun verbs to throw in include sumo wresting (相撲 / すもう), surgery (手術 / しゅじゅつ), kibasen (騎馬戦 / きばせん), or the calligraphy that your kids do (習字 / しゅうじ).


Try not to keep any one volunteer standing at the front for too many rounds – they might get a bit sad. Though you'll probably have a bank of verbs you're trying to teach, throw in some others that the kids will enjoy.

Large flash cards with the target verbs/vocabulary.