Monday, September 17, 2012



Flyswatter is an easy no prep game best used to review vocabulary and popular with all levels of EFL students (though it is great for non-EFL too).

  1. Write all the vocabulary on the board (if you have a smart board you can put it up that way).
  2. The class is divided into two-four groups.
  3. Each group sends one student to the front of the class.
  4. They stand a meter and a half away from the board facing the class (their backs to the board).
  5. The teacher calls out a clue this can be the word's definition, antonym, a visual clue (gesture/picture).
  6. The students can turn around AFTER the teacher gives the clue.
  7. They try to find the word on the board.
  8. The first student to hit* the word gets the point for their team. *Traditionally this game is played with each student having a fly swatter, but I have also had students just slap with their hands or use a rolled up newspaper.
  9. If none of the students hit the word, their group can help them by calling out hints; however, they can ONLY call out direction words in English (higher, lower, right, up, down, etc.)
  10. Once the points have been given the students go back to their group and new students come up.
  11. The game is played until everyone has a chance to play, or all the words have been used.
  1. Instead of writing the word you can play this game with preschool students by drawing or posting up pictures (or just the colors).
  2. Rather than giving clues the teacher will actually say the vocabulary word (or maybe something that is the color of the word).
SAME-SAME but different
  1. Write the antonyms on the board and give students the vocabulary word instead of a clue.
  2. On the same lines write synonyms on the board and use the vocabulary words as clues.
  3. To make it more complicated you can use a mix of antonyms, synonyms and vocabulary words on the board.
  1. Use it JUST to review directions and not vocabulary words.
  2. Pass out a list of words paired with random words, colors matched with numbers, very advanced words with their definition, etc.
  3. Since the students won't have the list memorized they will need to be guided (up, down, left, right) by their group who has the answers.
This is a great game when you have some extra time in class, or if you teach somewhere that doesn't give you a lot of materials when you teach.

You'll learn the best ways to adapt it for your class. With some classes you have to make it so they can only hit one word and then the other teams get a guess before they can hit again (otherwise they'll just hit all the words randomly). Have you used the game? How would you adapt it?


  1. Replies
    1. I hope it works well for you! This has never failed me :)

  2. If you don't mind, I'd like to add your blog to my ESL resources on my blog :-). This is a great game, too, simple and fun, especially for language learners!

    1. It is one of my favorite games! I have used it at every level I've ever taught and it is the only game that has never failed me. I am thrilled you like it enough to share it :)

  3. Great game! I'd like to add your blog to my list of resources on my blog if you don't mind :-).


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