ESL Activities and Games | Introductions

Functional language | 60 - 90 minutes

A collection of ESL activities and resources for teaching introductions to beginners (A1). This lesson plan serves as an excellent first lesson/ice-breaker and includes suggested board work, as well as some fun and practical ESL classroom activities and games.

If you find the free materials useful and want complete access to all of our teaching resources, you should consider becoming a member. Also, if you have an Android or iOS device, check out the TEFL Handbook app. We have designed it for use in the classroom, and it gives teachers offline access to all of our lesson plans.

Use of the board

Use the sample ESL board work below as a lead-in activity to introduce the students to the target language. These boards are colour-coded to give you an idea of the teacher-student interaction. Any text in blue is an opportunity to elicit a response from the class.

EFL - ESL Lead-in activity for beginners | Introductions


Good afternoon

A role-play activity where students get to know each other while practising the target language for this lesson.

In groups of three, students will come to the front of the class to act out the dialogue from the suggested board work.

Classroom mingle

Students move around the classroom, learning as much as they can about their classmates.

Begin by writing the following prompts on the board:

Spelling of name
Favourite colour
Favourite sport

Next, give the students 5-7 minutes to mingle with as many of their classmates as they can. When they find a new partner, they should take turns getting this information from one another.

Getting to know you

We find out how much your students learned from the previous activity.

You will now have the students help you to introduce different members of the group. Select a student at random and ask the class questions about that student using the prompts from the last activity. Encourage the rest of the students to raise their hands and answer using the correct possessive adjective (his or her).

If it's practical, you should try to do this for every student in the class.


Snowball darts: Memory

Students answer questions about their classmates to earn a throw of the snowball and a chance to win points for their team. 

Start by drawing a circular target on the whiteboard with several concentric layers of different score values. Next, crush a piece of paper into a ball. For each turn, ask a student a question about one of their classmates. Base these questions on the prompts from the activities for this lesson: 

Spelling of name 
Favourite colour 
Favourite sport 

The students should answer using the correct language rather than single word answers. If they get it right, they can throw a snowball at the board. Keep the scores on the board, and depending on the size of the class, play as an individual or team game.

More ESL lesson plans for beginners

We hope that you've found a few of these ideas useful. Our suggested next lesson is on "What's this" style questions. Be sure to check out our complete list of ESL lesson plans for beginners (A1 Upper), as well as our entire collection of ESL lesson plans.

If you need to bring these materials into the classroom for reference, the TEFL Handbook app gives you offline access to all of the ESL resources on this site, plus a lot more.

Printable versions of all resources are available to members. View a sample
Language Levels

Adult Beginner
Beginner +
Elementary +
Upper Intermediate
About TEFLHandbook

We're here to help you plan and teach your best English class.

We've put together a collection of ESL lesson plans and a mobile app that will reduce your planning time and improve the way you teach.

Learn more about our story here.
A library of ESL lesson plans for teachers.

Access the entire TEFLHandbook library

Significantly reduce your planning time and improve the way you present and teach English grammar.

Access the entire TEFLHandbook library

Significantly reduce your planning time and improve the way you present and teach English grammar.

A library of ESL lesson plans for teachers.