Containers – mind map and games
Containers – mind map and games

The concept of uncountability is very difficult to understand and use correctly for learners of English. However, even the English sometimes need to count the things which are uncountable. To do this they count the containers the things are commonly packed in or they have a countable expression which is used with the given noun. Thus, they have  one pair of trousers, two pieces of cake or a carton of milk. To master this you have to learn the containers by heart. To make it easier I have prepared a short video, a mind map and three games for you.

Containers – video

Watch the video and repeat the phrases with the native speaker.
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Containers – mind map

The following mind map visually maps the containers and their usage.

containers mind map

Once you have learnt the containers it is time to see whether you really know them. Play the following games and if you win you can be sure that you know the vocabulary.

Containers – games

The first game is the easiest one. You have to choose the correct container for the given phrase. If you succeed you will be given the chance to shoot a penalty. Can you score 10 times? No one ever has. BE THE FRIST ONE.

Containers – penalty game.

The second game is slightly more difficult. Your task is to choose the word which fits into the gap. You have to choose a noun which is commonly used with the given container. If you are successful then you can try to win the fencing duel.

Containers – En Garde game.

The last game is the most difficult one. While in the previous games it was enough to choose a word, here you have to make it up. And in the meantime the invaders get more and more aggressive. Will you save the planet?

Containers – Teacher invaders game.

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Prepositions AT IN ON – place
Prepositions AT IN ON – place

A week ago I published a post on prepositions AT, IN, ON for time. Several students asked me if I could do something like that for prepositions AT, IN, ON but for places. So here you are. There is a mind map graphically explaining the usage of the prepositions and then there are 3 games to practise the grammar point. Enjoy.

Prepositions AT, IN, ON for places – MIND MAP

Here is a mind map, where I try to explain the difference between the three prepositions. I tried to make it as illustrative as possible, so I hope everything is clear.
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[sociallocker id=”3501″] Prepositions of place AT IN ON

Prepositions AT, IN, ON for places – GAMES

[/sociallocker] Here you can try three games to practise the grammar point. The first game is called penalty and your task is to choose the correct preposition and then score a goal.

Prepositions AT, IN, ON for places – penalty.

The second game is called teacher invaders. Your task is to shoot the invaders and every few seconds complete the sentence with the correct preposition.

Prepositions AT, IN, ON for places – teacher invaders.

Are you looking for something quieter at the end? Try the quiz and if you complete more than 80% of the questions correctly you will get to play the game called Angry Finches.

Prepositions AT, IN, ON for places – cloze test and Angry Finches.

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Phrasal verbs – Fred and Betty
Phrasal verbs – Fred and Betty

Phrasal verbs are always difficult to learn. Even though they consist of two or three tiny words, which are easy to remember themselves, they can create so many different combinations that students quickly become totally confused. Moreover, the meaning of the phrasal verb cannot be deduced from its parts. Therefore the students do not know the verbs and refuse to use them.

I really like the programmes which BBC produced some time ago. They are called Face up to phrasals and they are several short, entertaining stories introducing 12 phrasal verbs each. However, they created nice stories and wonderful explanations and that was it. There were no activities to help you really learn the phrasal verbs. And here I stepped in and I created a mind map and several games to help your learn the 12 phrasal verbs.

Fred and Betty – the video

You can watch the video here

Phrasal verbs – mind map

Here you can see all 12 phrasal verbs in a mind map. Each verb contains a definition and examples of its usage.

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Phrasal verbs - mind map

Phrasal verbs – games

I have prepared 3 games for you to practise the phrasal verbs. First of them is called hoop shoot and your task is to choose the correct phrasal verb which best fits into the gap.

Phrasal verbs – hoop shoot game.

The second game is slightly more difficult. You have to read the tasks carefully, as here you have to choose the wrong or correct option.

Phrasal verbs – penalty game.

The last game is called invaders and it is the most difficult game. Your task is to shoot all the aliens and in the meantime complete each sentence with the correct preposition.

Phrasal verbs – invaders game.

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Prepositions AT IN ON for time
Prepositions AT IN ON for time

Many students have problems with the prepositions AT, IN, ON. Prepositions are such small words with nearly the same meaning that it seems that you can use any of them. But that is not true. If you want to sound well, you have to be careful with the prepositions. And believe me, it is not so difficult to use the prepositions AT, IN, ON for time expressions correctly. There are many clear rules and only a few exceptions.

Prepositions AT IN ON for time – mind map

Go through the mind map. Start at 1 o’clock and then go clockwise. There are the rules of usage for the prepositions AT, IN, ON.

At the end of the mind map you will see that if you use the words NEXT, LAST, EVERY or THIS, there is no preposition in front of these words. (You cannot say “ON NEXT FRIDAY”).

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Prepositions AT IN ON for time

Prepositions AT, IN, ON for time – games

If you want to really learn the prepositions correctly, you should practise them as often as and as much possible. Here there are three games to make your training more enjoyable. In the games there are 48 different phrases with the prepositions AT, IN, ON. If you finish all the games I am confident that you will know the usage of these prepositions fairly well.

The first game is called Teacher invaders. You should shoot all the Invaders and after some time you have to fill in the correct preposition in the sentences. Good luck.

Prepositions AT IN ON – Teacher invaders game.

The second game, HOOP SHOOT, is slightly easier as you have to pick the correct option and then stop the sliders in the center of the basket.

Prepositions AT IN ON – Hoop shoot game.

The third game is a more of a traditional quiz. Read the text and complete it with the prepositions AT IN ON. If you get more than 70% of your answers correct you will get to play the game called Indiara. Good luck!

Prepositions AT IN ON – Cloze test.

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Defining relative clauses
Defining relative clauses

Defining relative clauses are quite easy to understand and use. The name of the grammar sounds horrible but in fact you just need to know when you should use the words “which”, “that”, “who” and “whose”. I like teaching this piece of grammar as the students quickly get the idea and they are able to use it immediately. In this post on defining relative clauses you can find a mind map and three games to practise the grammar point.

Defining relative clauses – mind map

Always read the map clockwise. Start at the top (1 o’clock) go around the mind map.

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Defining relative clauses

Defining relative clauses – games

Now that you understand the theory it is time to try it out in the real world. You can find here three games to practise defining relative clauses. First is called “Penalty”. Your task is to choose the correct option and then to score a goal.

Defining relative clauses – Penalty

The second game is slightly more difficult. It is called En garde and you have to be careful because most of the time you have to choose the option which is NOT correct. However, there are one or two items where you should choose the correct one. So pay attention.

Defining relative clauses – En Garde.

The last exercise might not seem like a game at all. It looks more like a test. You have to fill in the missing words. However, if you manage to get more than 80% of your answers correctly you will get to a page where you can play a game called “Angry finches” as a reward. So give it a try.

Defining relative clauses – Cloze test.

Other games to learn English

By now our site contains a lot of games and mind maps to help you learn English. We think you should try for example the games on present perfect tense or on reported speech.
Other activities worth trying are vocabulary games on Clothes, Christmas or Personal qualities.

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Present continuous tense
Present continuous tense

When I was preparing the lesson on Clothes I knew that at the same time the elementary students will have to learn the present continuous tense. And as I had a little time to spare I prepared the following activities for them to learn this grammar point.

Present continuous tense Mind map

Once again I present the tense using the following mind map where I try to explain the form and basic usage of the tense.

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Present continuous tense mind map

Present continuous tense games

Now that you know the theory it is time to use it in the games. The first two games – Penalty and Hoopshot – test your knowledge of the form and of the usage of the present continuous tense. The third game test your ability to form the verbs with -ing ending in the correct way.
So good luck and you can play:

Present continuous tense – penalty game.
Present continuous tense – hoop shoot game.
Verbs with -ing ending – teacher invaders game.

More games

If you are an elementary student trying to learn English the following games and mind maps might be useful for you.
As I mentioned above our previous post deals with CLOTHES and can find there a video, mind map and four games to practise this vocabulary set.
Then you should certainly try our post dealing with past simple tense. There is a mind map explaining the usage and form of the past simple tense. Moreover, there are several games where you can learn the past forms of irregular verbs. So, do not hesitate and try our Past simple post.
If you think that you need to learn or practise more vocabulary, there is a post dealing with food. There is a mind map with the pictures of different kinds of food and then there are games where you can practise what you have learnt.

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Clothes vocabulary – elementary
Clothes vocabulary – elementary

Clothes vocabulary is useful and quite easy to learn. Here you will find a video introducing the correct pronunciation (American English) of the words. Watch the video and repeat. In the second part of the video you should say the words yourself.
Then there is a mind map introducing the new words. You can add more to the mind map if you want to. Further you can find here several games to practise the clothes vocabulary.

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Video

Watch the video and repeat the words. Then say the words for the clothes you see.

Clothes vocabulary mind map

Here is a mind map of the clothes vocabulary. You can (and you should) print this mind map out and add more words you want to learn.

Clothes vocabulary elementary

Clothes vocabulary games

Once you went through all the words and you think you know them, it is time to practise them in the following games. First one is fill in the blank. Your task is to write the word you see in the picture. You will get 10 words to practise.

Fill in the blank

The second game is a matching activity. Your task is to click on the word that you see in the picture.

Matching

The last activity to practise clothes vocabulary is a crossword. Click into the crossword and you will see the clue. Write the words.

Crossword

The last game is called Click the word. Read the sentence above the pictures and then click on the correct picture and on the button submit.

Clicking

I hope that by now you know all the new words pretty well.

Other games to learn English

The Kiss is a classical story by the American author Kate Chopin. You can read and listen to the simplified story and then try several comprehension games at http://www.aj3000.org/TheKisspage/the_kiss_story.html .

Christmas – vocabulary and listening
Christmas – vocabulary and listening

Christmas is nearly over, but when the holiday ends I would like my students to tell me about their Christmas. To be able to do this properly they will need a lot of Christmas vocabulary. Here is a mind map introducing all the key words and concepts connected with Christmas in Great Britain and the USA. Go through all the words and content and then play the game to practise the Christmas vocabulary.

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Christmas Vocabulary game

Once you know the vocabulary it is time to practise it. Here is a simple quiz where you should fill in the names of the things you see in the pictures. If you get more than 80% of all the answers correct you can play a game called Indiara. Good luck.

Christmas Vocabulary quiz

Christmas Traditions – listening

I come from the Czech Republic and I have prepared a short text describing the unusual traditions connected with Christmas here. You can listen to the recording and then play a comprehension game. To make the listening easier for you, you can listen and read the text at the same time. This kind of listening is very good for your pronunciation too, as you can read along.

Listen and read
Comprehension game – Hoopshoot.

If you feel that you need more listening practice, try the following dictation exercises. Listen to the recording and then fill in the missing words. You can stop the recording whenever you like and play different parts again. In this way your listening comprehension will improve.

Czech Christmas Customs Dictation – elementary
Czech Christmas Customs Dictation – pre-intermediate
Czech Christmas Customs Dictation – intermediate

I hope you will find all these resources useful.
Merry Christmas.

More Games to learn English

If you like these exercises there are many more games to learn English at this site. We recommend the following ones:
Past tense of the irregular verbs – this post contains a mind map and several highly addictive games to learn the English irregular verbs in the past tense.
And what about present perfect tense? Is it still a mystery for you? Try the following post on Present perfect tense.

Adverbs – elementary
Adverbs – elementary

I like teaching adverbs to students because it is very simple, there are only a few exceptions and you can see that they have learnt something immediately. Adverbs are an easy grammar point and students can use them in the same lesson and feel that they achieved something.

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Forming adverbs – infographic

Recently I have been experimenting with mind maps a lot and I was surprised how good the students’ results are. They pass even the most difficult tests and some of them pass them with 100% which I am really not accustomed to. Seeing these wonderful results I decided to go on with creating more mind maps. Here is one dealing with adverbs and their formation in English:

Adverbs mind map

Forming adverbs – games

Once you or your students understand adverbs it is time to practise forming the adverbs in games.

Adverbs – half a minute game. You have 30 seconds to put the letters into the correct order to create the right adverb.

Adverbs – Teacher invaders. Your task is to shoot all the invaders but from time to time you have to form an adverb from the given adjective.

Adverbs – Penalty game. In this game you should choose the correct option to complete the sentence. If you get it right you will have a chance to shoot a penalty.

Adverbs – Hoopshoot game. Choose the correct option and then score.

I hope you enjoyed the lesson and that your knowledge of adverbs is much better than it was a few minutes ago. If not look at the links section, too.

Forming adverbs – links

If you are looking for another explanation of adverbs, you can find one at British Council site.

Here is a great video explaining what adverbs are. I believe it can be used for teaching English as ESL too. Enjoy.

Advice
Advice

Phrases to ask for advice and for giving advice are incredibly useful for normal life. Students should be able to express their needs and I believe this post will help them with this.

If you go through all the activities here, I am sure that you will learn these phrases in twenty minutes. However, to make this knowledge permanent it is necessary to practise the phrases for asking and giving advice at least once in the following week.

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Here you can see a mind map which should help you remember the phrases better.
Advice_mind map

 

And to practise all the phrases there is the storyboard game:

 

Advice – storyboard game

 

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Verb patterns – pre-intermediate
Verb patterns – pre-intermediate

My pre-intermediate students are confused by all the different verb patterns. So the last two weeks I spent designing a mind map that would help them. It is in no way a comprehensive description of the grammar, but I feel quite happy about it. Looking for some rules I discovered that the pattern verb + to + verb is much more common than verb + verb-ing.
So my advice to my students is: “If in doubt, use TO + verb.” I hope this mind map will help you understand the verb patterns too.

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Verb patterns

To practise the verb patterns you can try the following games.

The first game is called Penalty Shootout. Your task is to choose the correct answer and then score a goal. To be able to play the game, you need to download the file and then open it in Acrobat Reader by Adobe.

To practise the verb patterns you can play the following game. Its name is En Garde. Your task is to choose the correct answer and then stop the target as close to the centre as possible. Hopefully, you will be faster and more accurate then your opponent. The game is in Flash and will play only if you download the file and open it in Acrobat Reader by Adobe.

Enjoy.
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Past continuous tense
Past continuous tense

I have read a lot of articles and explanations about the past continuous tense. Here I try to sum up everything that I have learnt to a visually appealing mind map and under the map you can find three games to practise the tense. Let’s start with the mind map:

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Past continuous tense - mind map

Here are three games to practise the grammar point:

The first game is called Penalty Shootout. In this game you should choose the correct past tenseand then try to score a goal. Good luck. To play this game, click the download button and then open the file in Adobe Reader. (The game will not play in a browser).

The second game is called Hoopshoot. Once again, you have to choose the correct answer and then try to score. To play this game, click the download button and then open the file in Adobe Reader. (The game will not play in a browser).

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Furniture vocabulary
Furniture vocabulary

Furniture vocabulary is one of the easy areas for learners of English. However, I think that it never hurts if the students experience some success.

In this post, there is a video with all the words, an infographic and three games to practise the vocabulary.

Furniture vocabulary – video

Start your lesson with the vocabulary film. Listen and repeat the words and then say the English word for the furniture that you see in the picture. The words are presented and then repeated. The video is based on the learning method described and recommended by Baddeley in his book on memory. I can confirm that it works.

Play the video at least twice in the lesson. Your students will remember the words better.

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Furniture vocabulary – infographic

Here is a mind map showing all the important furniture words. The pieces are placed in the rooms but they could appear in a different room.

furniture mind map

Furniture – games

And now it is time to practise the new vocabulary. Here you can find three games. First is a quiz and if you label more than 70% of the pictures correctly you will get to play a game called Indiara. The game is in HTML5 so it will play on all mobile devices and desktop computers.

Furniture vocabulary – label

The second game is basketball. If you choose a correct answer you will get a chance to throw the ball into the basket. Good luck 🙂 To play this game, you need to download the game and then open it in Adobe Reader. Then click on the game and it will work.

The third games is called Matching. Your task is to find the picture and the correct word. Will you manage it in fewer then 40 turns? This game is in HTML5 and it will play on all mobile devices and desktop computers.

Furniture vocabulary – matching game
Past simple tense
Past simple tense

Past simple is one of the most important English tenses. Scott Thornbury once wrote that he would sacrifice all the perfect tenses and other grammar if he could teach past simple properly. I agree with him, because if the students could you this tense, then I would probably forgive them everything.

Basic English grammar rules – infographic

To teach all the basic English grammar rules about the past tense I use the following mind map.
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Basic English grammar rules – online quiz

I believe that it is critical that students know the irregular verbs. Here you can find two games to learn and practise the verbs. You cannot master the basic grammar rules without some memory work and a lot of practice. To play the games, click the download link and open the downloaded file in Adobe Reader. Then click on the game and enjoy.

During the week more activities on Past simple tense are coming. Watch out for them.
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Personal qualities
Personal qualities

Students often find the vocabulary for personal qualities really difficult to learn and understand. Here I try to present the vocabulary in a slightly different way and give the students a chance to practise the personal qualities in games.

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Personal qualities vocabulary – video

Start your learning with this video. Repeat the words with a native (American) speaker and read the definitions of the words.

Personal qualities vocabulary – infographic

Here is a mind map where I tried to organise the personal qualities into reasonable and memorable categories.
Personal qualities mind map

Personal qualities vocabulary – interactive quiz

And now it is high time to practise the new vocabulary in games.

To play the En Garde game, download the file and open it in Adobe Reader. Then click the picture and the game will start.  Your task is to choose the correct answer and then stop the target as close to the centre as possible. Hopefully, you will be faster and more accurate then your opponent. The game is in Flash and will play only on desktops:

Personal qualities Wordsearch.

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Reported Speech
Reported Speech

Reported speech is quite difficult. Students are often confused why the tenses change and what they mean. Here they will get a chance to understand the grammar point better.

Reported speech – video

First, they can watch the two videos explaining the usage of reported speech.

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The second explanation is based upon the Grammar challenge by BBC too. This time they explain the reported questions. Right click the link below and download the file. Then open it in Adobe Reader, otherwise it will not play.

Grammar challenge reported questions

Reported speech – mind map

Here you can see a mind map which tries to sum up all the grammar points into one picture.

reported speech mind map

Reported speech – online quiz

And as this site concentrates on games to practise grammar and vocabulary, here is another game to practise reported speech. In this game only the basic rules are practised and therefore the option that the direct speech remains as it is, is never correct in this game.

Reported Speech – En garde game

To play the game, click the download button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Then open the downloaded file in Adobe reader (it is free) and it will work.

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Food – elementary vocabulary
Food – elementary vocabulary

Food, glorious food … Food is one of the most important vocabulary areas to teach. You can teach about 30 different vocabulary items connected with food in this post. There are several activities to use: an infographic, a video and an online quiz.

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Present perfect _ basics
Present perfect _ basics

Many students do not understand the present perfect tense. Here is an infographic which should make the present perfect tense easier for students to understand.

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Present perfect vs Past simple tense
Present perfect vs Past simple tense
Present perfect vs Past simple infographic

Many students find the difference between present perfect tense and past simple very confusing. To help them I have created the following infographic.

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Present perfect tense
Present perfect tense
Irregular verbs mind map

To learn this difficult tense you first have to learn the past participles. Regular verbs just add the ending -ed but you have to memorise the irregular ones. Here is a mind map which might help you memorise the irregular verbs first

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