Picture Quest ESL Activity: Take a Rest my Students!

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Picture quest game
Picture Quest ESL Game

Are you looking for a fun activity to do in your classes in order to give your students a break from the regular old textbook grind? Then you’ll want to keep reading all the details for Picture Quest, a fun group activity that gets your students out of the classroom and having fun around their school or university.

Fun ESL Activity: Picture Quest

When we’ve been working hard in class and students are weary of the studying (like right before finals!), I often give them a break and send them outside on this picture quest ESL activity if the weather is nice.

It’s an excellent way for them to work together as a team and to have a bit of fun in the process. A 16 week semester can be pretty gruelling for the students (and the teacher!).

I generally warn my students in the class before we do this about wearing appropriate shoes! It’s not ideal to be walking all over campus in high heels.

Picture Quest Handout

I give one handout to each team of this paper: Picture Quest. Then I give students 5 minutes to make a plan and send them on their way. The best teams at my university take around 25 minutes and the slowest teams around 40.

The way it works is that students have to take a picture of each thing on the list. To keep it simple, I require that the team only uses 1 phone/camera. When they’re done, they come back and I check to make sure they’re gotten all the pictures required.

You can give a penalty for missing one, or a mistake. I usually say 5 minutes.

Who is the Winner?

Make note of the rules on the top of the handout! The winning team is the one with the lowest total time (how long it actually took them plus any penalty minutes added in).

Does it Work for Kids?

I generally only do this with students in high school or university. Think about it this way. Are the students going to be running around the halls of your school, loudly interrupting other classes and teachers?

If the answer to this question is yes, you should probably avoid it. And it’ll almost always be yes with middle school or younger aged students.

Of course, I mention to my students to be respectful when they’re inside and use inside voices, even though they may be excited!

And for elementary school students, it’s certainly an issue of supervision. You’ll be unable to directly keep an eye on more than one group of students. This is probably not allowed by your school policies so consider this carefully.

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What Do You Think about this ESL Game?

Does this sound like a fun ESL Activity? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think about picture quest ESL activity.

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