If you’re looking for some of the best WH Questions ESL games or activities, then you’re certainly in the right place. We have the top ones for you to consider, along with worksheets, lesson plans and a whole lot more for ESL W & H questions.
ESL WH Questions Games and Activities
Let’s get to the best WH question activities to try out with your students. Have some fun with these ESL WH question ideas and teaching tips.
#1: WH Question Board Game
One of the best ESL activities for answering these kinds of questions is a board game. It’s super easy to make your own in just a few minutes and in this case, you’d want to fill the board up with a bunch of who/what/when/why/where/how questions. Then, when a student lands on the square, they have to answer it! For example:
- What’s your favourite food?
- When do you usually go to bed?
- Where do you live?
Try it out with your students today: ESL Board Games.
#2: W and H Question Survey
Just ask my students and they’ll tell you that I LOVE ESL surveys. Here are just a few of the reasons:
- are student-centred
- can be used for just about any topic
- are fun and get students out of their seats!
- cover a wide range of skills
- encourage good listening and follow-up questions
Sounds like something you want to try out? You can learn more about how to make your own here: ESL Surveys for Students.
#3: How Many Questions ESL Game
This is a fun WH game that you might want to play with your students. The way it works is that you make a bunch of matching questions and answers and cut them into little strips of paper. Each student gets a few of them and then has to circulate around the class finding the matches. Once that happens, they play rock-scissors-paper and the winner takes both pieces and gets a point.
Sounds fun? It is! Learn more about it: ESL Rock Scissor Paper Game.
#5: Dialogue Substitution
A very common way that w/h questions are introduced in an ESL textbook is through a dialogue. But, have you noticed that most students just breeze through when without really paying close attention to what they’re reading? Of course, it’s not their fault, it’s ours. We haven’t given them a reason to read!
However, a better way is to remove some of the words which turns it from just a reading activity into one with a heavy meaning focus as well. Try it out for yourself and I’m sure you’ll notice a big difference!
#6: Travel English Conversation Lesson Plan
One of the best ways to give our students lots of practice with W or H style of questions is to give them a conversation lesson like this one on travel and let them get to talking with each other!
This lesson is ideal for intermediate to advanced level students and is perfect for a 1-2 hour class. Check it out here:
Like this lesson plan? It’s from this book:
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 144 Pages - 07/12/2020 (Publication Date)
#7: Talk about the Picture
A nice warmer or review activity is showing students a picture with lots of things going on. Then, ask students some questions that start with W/H. For example:
- Where are they?
- What is the woman doing?
- What time do you think it is?
- How many people do you see?
#8: W/H Question Card Prompts for ESL
#9: Follow-Up Questions
Have you ever noticed that there are a ton of speaking activities that don’t really require the partner or group to actually listen? I try to combat this by requiring follow-up questions.
For example, students may have to tell a partner about their most embarrassing moment. If this is the case, then I’ll require that the partner ask 2-3 questions that start with W/H once they’re done telling the story. This takes it from purely a speaking activity to a serious listening one as well.
#10: Listening Lesson Plan for W + H Questions
In all of my conversational English classes, I like to have a few dedicated listening lessons. After all, half of the conversation is listening but it seems we often focus almost exclusively on speaking!
It’s easy to design a listening lesson based around these common types of questions. Students can do a number of things related to this, including:
- Listening for the first word in a question (who/what, etc.)
- Listing facts mentioned and then making W or H questions that match
- Listening to see how many of these questions are asked in a conversation.
The sky really is the limit! Check this out for more ideas: ESL Listening Lesson Plan.
#11: ESL Conversation Starters
If you tell students to ask a partner some “Where” questions, students will likely talk for perhaps a minute and then there will be a whole lot of silence! Of course, this depends on the country you’re teaching in, but in Asia? This is usually the case.
If you want to do this type of activity, instead give your students some conversation starters filled with WH questions. Of course, encourage a free-flowing conversation with follow-up questions but this gives students something to refer back to in case they get stuck.
For even more ideas, be sure to check this out:
#12: Time ESL Conversation Lesson
If you’re teaching more advanced learners about W/H questions, it’s possible to get beyond the basics with a complete lesson plan like this one. It contains the following:
- Warm-up question
- Vocabulary, idioms, and phrases
- Conversation questions (many of them start with W/H)
- Some writing prompts that are perfect for a homework assignment.
Have a look at this one for time here:
#13: ESL Talk Show
If you’re looking for a fun icebreaker activity that isn’t cheezy or boring, then look no further than talk show. It’s a nice way for students to get to know each other in an interesting and interactive way. Find out more about it:
#14: Steal the Eraser
This is a fun WH questions ESL game that is ideal for beginners of all ages. I use it to review new vocabulary and it lends itself really easily to W/H questions. Besides that, it’s just a lot of fun and students really enjoy playing it. Check it out:
#15: Two Truths, One Lie
This is a simple icebreaker activity that can also be used for WH questions ESL if you do an optional variation. Instead of just getting students to say their three statements, I have the rest of the class do a questions period of 2-3 minutes to try to uncover the false one. This of course leads to lots of W/H questions.
Want to give it a try? Here are all the details:
WH Questions ESL Lesson Plans
If you’re a busy English teacher, then you’re going to know how great it is to just print something off from the Internet and use it in class! After all, why do all the hard work when another teacher has already done it, right? Right. Here are some of the best WH Question lesson plans to consider:
ESL WH Question Worksheets
If you want to give your students some extra practise with ESL WH questions, then you’ll want to consider some of these worksheets. Here are the top picks:
Did you Like these WH Questions ESL Activities?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 94 Pages - 05/30/2015 (Publication Date)
Yes? Thought so. Then you’re going to love this book over on Amazon: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities for Teenagers and Adults. The key to better English classes for just about anyone is a variety of student-centred, engaging and interesting activities and games. This is the book that will help you do just that for the entire semester.
Pick up a copy to keep on the bookshelf in your office to use as a handy reference guide when doing lesson plans. Or, consider taking the digital version with you to your favourite coffee shop for some lesson planning on the go.
Whatever the case, you’re going to need to get ready for some ESL teaching awesome in your life. Head over to Amazon to find out more here:
Have your say about ESL WH Questions
What’s your top pick for WH questions ESL activity or game? Is it one of the options from this list or do you have your eye on another one? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2021-04-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API