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ESL Classroom Activity to Teach Numbers

written by: Heather Marie Kosur•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 2/1/2013

Whether you are teaching English to children or adults you are going to have to cover numbers early on. The following activity gets your students pronouncing and listening to numbers in English while working in interactive groups.

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    Learning Numbers Game

    After presenting the set of numbers you are working on for your current lesson split your class into groups of threes.Tell each student to take out a blank sheet of paper and write the target numbers all over it in a random order. They are to write the actual numerals and not spell them out. Have them put a circle around each number. If you are teaching the numbers one hundred through nine hundred students will write any of these numbers that fall into this category. Tell students to write a couple numbers between two hundred and three hundred and then a couple between three hundred and four hundred and so on. There should be about thirty numbers written on the page in total.

    When everyone has filled in their paper it is time to start. Explain to the class that one member of the group will present his sheet of paper with the numbers to the remaining two students. He will then pronounce one of the numbers written on the paper out loud without physically indicating where it is. The two students who are listening will compete to indicate on the paper where the given number is. Students can point at the number with their finger or with their pen.

    Instruct your class to keep score and to change roles once a student has answered correctly ten times. When there is a new person calling out the numbers the group will now use his paper. This way students can practice different numbers for each round. I would let your students play this game for about ten minutes. Most classes have a lot of fun with this and there is usually some friendly competition going on. Let them have fun as long as they are on task and then move on to a quieter activity.