ESL activities and games for teaching daily routine

Functional language | 60 - 90 minutes

A collection of ESL activities, games and resources for teaching daily routines to beginners (A1). This lesson plan includes a sample board and several ideas for practical activities and games.

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Use of the board

The board below offers one suggestion for a lead-in activity. First, try to elicit the different times of day and add them to the board, you may even add the L1 translations. Next, step through the activities of a typical day, eliciting as much as possible through mime or use of the student's L1. You'll find that students at this level are already quite familiar with quite a few of these.

EFL - ESL Lead-in activity for adult beginners | Daily routine


My routine

The students write about their own routine using the new language from the board.

This ESL writing activity follows on from the board work. The students will create daily routines for themselves, using the sample board as a guide.

Routine quiz

Students answer questions about their daily routine.

Move around the class asking the students questions about their routines.

Teacher: What time do you have Breakfast?
Student: I have breakfast at eight o'clock.

Routine interview

The students will work in pairs and interview each other about their daily routine.

We switch things up for this ESL group speaking activity. Now the students will be interviewing each other about their daily routine using the same 'What time do you...?' questions as the previous activity.

What does he/she do...?

Quiz the students on their partner's daily routine.

This activity will challenge your students to switch tracks and report on their partner's routine in the third person. Before you begin, you could quiz your students on how verbs change in the third person. Next, have the students swap books with a partner. Finally, move around the class asking them questions about their partners' routines:

Teacher: What does Mark do on Thursdays?
Student: On Thursdays, he plays football.


What do you do at...?

Players have to guess the activity that a classmate does at a specific time.

Students have to guess the activity that another student does at a specific time. First, divide the class into two teams. Next, each student writes down a time on one side of a piece of paper. On the reverse, an activity that they usually do at that time. On each turn, a student from one team reveals their time. The opposing team must then guess the activity. Depending on the level of the class, you may want to limit the number of guesses to one or two. Allow the guessing team to confer, and when ready, they should give their answer to the teacher in the form of a statement. Encourage the following type of dialogue:

Teacher: Okay Juan, what time have you written down?
Student: Half past two.
Teacher: Team B, what do you think Juan does at half past two?
Team B: We think he finishes school at half-past two.
Teacher: Juan. Do you finish school at half-past two?
Student: Yes, I do.
Teacher: Well done! A point for Team B.

More ESL lesson plans for beginners

If you've found these ideas useful, have a look our complete list of ESL lesson plans for beginners (A1 Mid-level), as well as our entire collection of ESL lesson plans.

Are you an iOS or Android user? Then you should give our app a go! The TEFL Handbook app has over 100 lesson plans, 300+ ESL activities and over 100 ideas for classroom games. All of which can be accessed offline, perfect for quick reference in the classroom.

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