ESL Games: Name Ten

The Game: Name Ten provides student engagement while students review vocabulary learned and acquire new vocabulary in a competitive, fun environment. This is a fast action game with a high level of student engagement.

Materials NeededUntitled2

  • Paper and writing materials for students
  • Timer or clock
  • List of categories for students to think of “naming ten”

How to Play

  • The teacher lists categories, whereby students are to name ten:
  1. Sports played with a ball
  2. Animals that lay eggs
  3. Three-letter parts of the body
  4. Food items that are usually grilled at picnics
  5. Foreign countries that begin with the letter “A”
  6. Traditional holidays celebrated throughout the year
  7. Fun things to do on a Saturday
  8. Humorous movies, television shows, or books
  9. Foods made with chocolate
  10. Jobs where you need to wear a uniform
  • The students write down as many things they can think of that pertain to that particular category. The goal is to name 10.
  • The first person who completes a list of 10 reads their list.
  • The class discusses the ideas and determines their accuracy.
  • Other ideas are added and discussed from the class.
  • The next category is read by the teacher and the game continues.

How to Make It

  • The teacher can either have a list of categories on paper to read aloud, or the categories can be written on slips of paper to be drawn at random from a container and read.
  • The students use their own paper and writing materials (pen/pencil).


  • The students can work with a partner or in teams.
  • The categories can be adjusted to the age and ability of the students, and/or the categories can reflect recent learning (skills and concepts) in class (i.e., rivers in North America, capitals in Europe, math terms dealing with division and multiplication, greetings to say when you meet someone for the first time, rules of capitalization, etc.)
  • There can be a limited time per category. When the time is up, the person/team who has the most answers reads their list first.
  • The game can be played for points. Points can be awarded in several ways:
    • The person/team with 10 correct answers first gets 5 points and no other person/team gets points.
    • Each person/team is awarded points to match the number of correct ideas they had.
    • Each person/team only gets points for correct answers that were not said by any other person/team and, in addition, if a person/team names 10 answers before the time is up, they are awarded a bonus of so many points.

About Marc Anderson

Marc Anderson
Marc Anderson is the CEO of online English training company that teaches English online to students around the world. During his free time he likes to read, travel and enjoy life.
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3 Responses to ESL Games: Name Ten

  1. Satta Result says:

    Thanks for sharing this.

  2. This is a great game! It promotes learning, using your thinking skills, tests your memory, and promotes retention. Points make the game worth playing, and if there’s no loser in this. Everyone benefits by testing their vocabulary skills. Thanks for sharing your gaming idea!

  3. Yeri says:

    Creative ideas to recycle vocabularies already learnt.

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