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ESL/EFL listening, speaking, and vocabulary activity for kindergarten

For this ESL/EFL activity the teacher needs just animal flash cards. The activity helps kids to improve their vocabulary and develop their listening and speaking skills.

First of all the teacher has to make sure the kids know the vocabulary. Teaching animals for kindergarten kids shouldn’t be very difficult since it is their favorite topic.

At the kindergarten I work for there are three age groups of kids: 3 years old, 4 years old, and 5 years old. The 3 year old group just learns vocabulary and they are too young for this activity but the other two groups know vocabulary already so this activity is suitable for them.

The teacher shows the kids the pictures of the animals one by one and gives them some details about each animal. For example, when the teacher shows them a picture of a giraffe, he points out the giraffe’s neck and says “giraffes have long neck”. When the teacher shows a picture of a monkey he would say “monkeys like to eat bananas” or for a frog the teacher can say “frogs can jump and swim”.

The teacher should give them these details several times before playing the game and he or she has to mime a lot so the kids understand what the teacher is talking about.

Once all these are done the teacher can play the game. The teacher covers the cards and says: “this animal likes to eat bananas” and the kids have to guess what animal the teacher is talking about. The teacher can ask them to raise their hands in order to answer or just answer without raising their hands, like I do. Whoever answers first gets the card.

I always ask them to put the cards on the floor and don’t touch them otherwise they start playing with the cards and won’t pay attention to the game anymore. If they touch the cards then the cards are taken back.

At the end, the kids who got at least one card are rewarded with a sticker.

For older kids (5 to 6 year old), the teacher can say the animal and the kids have to say the details. For example the teacher says “monkey” and the kids say “monkeys like to eat bananas”.

During this activity the kids learn a lot of vocabulary words, practice listening (all those details the teacher gives), and practice speaking when the teacher says the animal and they say the details. Kids love this activity and they love the sticker they get at the end of the lesson.

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