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Fill-in-the-blanks: Games and Activities for ESL
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Fill-in-the-blanks: Games and Activities for ESL

This article will help enhance your students' English language skills with a variety of interactive and engaging fill-in-the-blank ESL activities and games, designed to improve vocabulary, grammar, and listening abilities.

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You've come to the correct place if you're seeking some of the top fill-in-the-blank games and activities. offer our favorite games, worksheets, amusing quizzes, online practice, and more! Watch this space for all things fill-in-the-blank.

Fill in the Blank ESL Activities

1. Story with Picture Blanks

This is an easy task for newcomers. Choose a short story that has few words and replace them with blank spaces and straightforward illustrations. The finished story can then be read by the children once they have filled in the spaces with the words (cat, ice cream, blue, etc.).

2. Information Gap Fill in the Blank Activities

The fill-in-the-blank exercises with knowledge gaps are some of our favorites. Each student, for instance, has an identical city map, but they must communicate with one another to identify the many structures that are missing from their maps.

Or perhaps there is a crime, but only certain of the students have all the necessary clues. They can solve the crime if they have a conversation.

3. Your Own Homemade Fill-in-the-Blank Games

Check out this fun website to make your own fill-in-the-blanks worksheets and games. There are a ton of nice options and it’s very easy to use.

4. Dictogloss

Try out this difficult listening exercise! Giving students a worksheet to fill in the blanks with some of the keywords missing is an alternative to having them take notes. Students can listen and attempt to use the appropriate word to complete the sentences.

Here's a step-by-step procedure for Dictogloss in an ESL class:

1. Choose a Suitable Text: Select a text that is appropriate for the level of your ESL students. The text should be challenging enough to promote learning but not too difficult that it discourages participation.

2. Pre-teach Key Vocabulary: Before starting the dictogloss activity, introduce and explain any key vocabulary words or phrases that might be unfamiliar to the students. This will help them better understand the text during the dictation process.

3. Read the Text: Read the selected text aloud to the students at a moderate pace. You can read it multiple times, depending on the complexity of the text and the proficiency level of the students. Each reading should be clear and distinct.

4. Note-taking: During the readings, students should take notes to capture the essential points, main ideas, and any specific details they can remember. Encourage them to use abbreviations and symbols to write down the information efficiently.

5. Collaboration: After the final reading, have the students work in pairs or small groups to combine their notes and recreate the passage collaboratively. This step promotes communication and negotiation among students, helping them fill in any gaps in their individual notes.

6. Reconstruction: Now, the students begin reconstructing the text based on their collective notes. They can take turns suggesting sentences or ideas while their group writes them down. The goal is to reconstruct the text as accurately as possible.

7. Comparison: Once all groups have completed their reconstructions, have each group read their version aloud. You can write the different versions on the board or display them on a screen.

8. Analysis and Discussion: Engage the students in a discussion about the different versions. Compare the similarities and differences between the original text and the reconstructions. Address any grammatical errors or inaccuracies that may have arisen.

9. Final Reading and Reflection: Finally, read the original text once again, allowing the students to compare it with their reconstructed versions. This step reinforces the correct language usage and helps students identify areas for improvement.

10. Follow-up Activities: Depending on the focus of your lesson, you can design follow-up activities such as comprehension questions, writing exercises, or discussions related to the text.

5. Spelling Challenge

Have some common words with one or two letters removed for your children to practice spelling. The letters must then be filled in by the kids. For instance:

Spelling Challenge for Beginners:

ExampleCorrect Spelling
c _ tcat
d _ gdog
s _ nsun
b _ tbat
f _ shfish
b _ rdbird
fr _ gfrog
c _ wcow
d _ ckduck
c _ pcup

Spelling Challenge for Older Students:

ExampleCorrect Spelling
f _ c _face
b _ tt _ _bottle
l _ br _ rylibrary
t _ nn _ stennis
ch _ mp _ _ nchampion
c _ r _ _ rcurious
_ _ ghb _ rneighbor
w _ _ th _ rweather
_ _ c _ _ nballoon
_ _ ss _ _ ndiscussion

6. Error Correction Relay Race

"Error Correction Relay Race" is a fun spelling and grammar activity that can be organized as a relay race, involving multiple teams or individuals. 

Here are some examples of sentences with errors for the participants to correct:

For Beginners:

  • I lik to eet ice creem. (I like to eat ice cream.)
  • She play soccer yesturday. (She played soccer yesterday.)
  • The cat is sleep on the couch. (The cat is sleeping on the couch.)
  • He goed to the park. (He went to the park.)
  • We is going to the movies. (We are going to the movies.)
  • My frend has a new bike. (My friend has a new bike.)
  • They wach a movie last night. (They watched a movie last night.)
  • She goed to the store and buyed candy. (She went to the store and bought candy.)
  • The dogs bark in the morning. (The dogs bark in the morning.)
  • I runned fast in the race. (I ran fast in the race.)

For Pre-Intermediate Students:

  • The quick brown fox jump over the lazzy dog. (The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.)
  • There are many types of fruits, like apple's, orange's, and banana's. (There are many types of fruits, like apples, oranges, and bananas.)
  • He don't have no idea about the plan. (He doesn't have any idea about the plan.)
  • The book was laying on the table. (The book was lying on the table.)
  • She sings gooder than her sister. (She sings better than her sister.)
  • The teacher telled us to be quiet. (The teacher told us to be quiet.)
  • We seen a movie at the cinema last night. (We saw a movie at the cinema last night.)
  • My brother eated all the cookies. (My brother ate all the cookies.)
  • The weather is nice today, so me and my friends goes to the park. (The weather is nice today, so my friends and I are going to the park.)
  • I should of studied harder for the test. (I should have studied harder for the test.)

In this activity, the participants must identify and correct the errors in each sentence as quickly as possible while passing the sentence to the next team member in a relay race format. The team that completes the relay race with the fewest errors wins. It's an engaging way to reinforce spelling and grammar skills while having fun!

In conclusion, offers a diverse range of fill-in-the-blank games and activities that cater to both beginners and more advanced ESL students. These activities provide an engaging and interactive approach to language learning, promoting vocabulary retention, grammar skills, listening comprehension, and collaborative problem-solving.

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