ESL Games for Adjectives and Relative Clauses

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ESL Games for Adjectives and Relative Clauses
Games help make using adjectives enjoyable. ( Images)

Adjectives and relative clauses are two components of English grammar. In order to learn how to correctly use adjectives and relative clauses, ESL students must constantly practice describing people, places or things using adjectives and creating sentences that use relative clauses. Games help make this practice enjoyable and keep it from becoming repetitive.

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Alliterative Names

Ask members of the class to use an adjective to describe themselves. The adjective chosen should start with the same first letter of the student's name, for example, "angry Ashley." Go around the room and ask each student share his new alliterative name while repeating the names of everyone who has spoken before him. Not only will students learn each other's names, they will practice using a variety of adjectives. Another way to play the game is to have students describe themselves with an animal and adjective that start with the same letter, such as "I am a lonely lion."

Mixed-Up Words

To help students learn about relative clauses, write sentences that contain relative clauses on sentence strips and cut out each word. Mix up the words and challenge students to correctly put the sentence back together. Once students have got the hang of the activity, divide students into teams and have them race to see who can correctly put the sentence together first. For another relative clauses game, give students two sentences that need a relative clause to be combined. For example "The apple is on the table" and "the apple is red" could be combined to make "The apple which is on the table is red."

Board Games

Play a board game such as "You've Been Sentenced" by McNeill Designs, which requires players to correctly use adjectives and relative clauses to build sentences and earn points. Consider playing an adjectives-only version of popular board games such as "Scrabble," "Boggle" or "Bananagrams." Play "Apples to Apples," a game of comparison and analogies by Mattel, where players must choose a card with an event or pop culture reference from their hand that best fits the adjective in play.

Online Games

Numerous online games are useful when it comes to practicing adjectives. Learning Planet ( offers "Rats!", where players must help a mouse catch falling cheese slices containing adjectives and adverbs in his basket. "PickIt," an adjectives game by EZ School (, gives players a sentence and asks them to click on the adjective to earn points. Houghton Mifflin ( offers "Grammar Blast," which contains quizzes at different grade levels related to several areas of grammar.

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