Gesture Game


The Gesture Game, also known as Charades is a dynamic ESL classroom activity to review vocabulary, especially good for action verbs. This page will introduce the Gesture Game and how it can be used in ESL and language learning classes.

Materials Needed

- Vocabulary Cards: Prepare a set of vocabulary cards with words or phrases relevant to the lesson.  
- Whiteboard or Chalkboard: Useful for displaying vocabulary and explaining the rules using pictures.


- Pre-teach the vocabulary.
- Create groups of 3 to 5 students. 

How to Play

- Take a card, look at it and demonstrate performing a gesture. Have the students guess the word. If you are teaching a certain sentence or question and answer pattern, include that too.

- In each group, designate one student as the "actor" for the first round. The other students will be the guessers.
- The actor from each group draws a vocabulary card and silently acts out the word or phrase, using gestures, facial expressions, and body movements. They cannot use any verbal communication.
- The other students in the same group observe the actor's gestures and try to guess the word or phrase. They can discuss and collaborate to arrive at an answer.
- After the round ends, rotate the role of the actor to the next student in line within the same group. Continue with the next word or phrase. Repeat this process until each student has had a chance to be the actor.


- This game can be fun and competitive enough without needing to keep scores, but keeping score may help in some cases.