Board games – get them to make them?

At the end of one of the units in our coursebooks I ran out of ideas on how to do some fun revision. I find that with teens it’s always hard to find something they will be motivated to do and use the language previously learnt.

In the school where I work we have just introduced a new product that is divided into modules. Each module lasts 4 weeks and has a final project in the fourth week around the language learnt in it. This just confirmed what I already knew – kids LOVE project work!

I had heard other teachers mention in our office and at other branches that they had started getting teens to do project work too. I decided to give it a go. I got my students to design their own board game and I was quite impressed with the result.

It did take a good part of an hour to make the game and about half an hour to play it – but if students are actively using the language, having fun and producing some good examples of language I think it’s well worth it.

I tried this with high level teens classes to review vocabulary on transport and grammar around articles and comparatives but I think it can be used for almost anything. The learners made their own rules and sets of cards (“questions”, “charades” and “compare using the adjective given”), depending on the number you landed on you had to pick up a card. It was a great lesson and they really enjoyed it.


  • As students make it they are more willing to participate and play
  • They won’t challenge the rules or consider them silly as they came up with them themselves.
  • They get to practice more than language (drawing, craft work…), my students made little pikachus as board pieces using origami skills (Pokemon GO is big here in Thailand at the moment)
  • Fun, engaging, motivating and entertaining.
  • You as a teacher get to play too (I found students think it’s great if you abide by the rules they’ve made for their game).
  • If the game is good enough you can use it with other classes you teach.


Give it a go and see what your students are capable of, you might be as surprised as I was!

2 thoughts on “Board games – get them to make them?

  1. Jamie C

    After some great experiences in class, I did a workshop here in Vietnam about using board games with YLs. I found that getting students to make and play a board game was a great way to use the second half of pretty much any language lesson. Getting students to draw the board on the floor can also be fun, but obviously it depends on if your school lets you do this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah… When I worked in China we had a full size snakes and ladders that we could use, it was like a mat. So much fun. In the school I work at now we have carpets in the classroom so I’m not sure they would appreciate drawing on those! Thanks for the comment ;)!


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