EFL - ESL activities and games for expressing quantities

An A2 ESL lesson plan containing practical activities, games and resources for teaching basic quantifiers. If you're an iOS or Android user, try this lesson out on our TEFL Handbook app. It gives you offline access to all of our materials, perfect for quick reference in the classroom.

Lead-in activity

The ESL sample board for this lesson focuses on the functional uses of basic quantifiers, how they are used to imply small or large quantities along with questions and negatives. It's common for language learners at this level to have some knowledge of these quantifiers, so try to elicit as much as possible.

EFL - ESL Lead-in activity for expressing quantities | Elementary

ESL classroom activities for expressing quantities

Quantifier gap fill

In this ESL gap-fill activity, write the following style of prompts on the board for your students to complete. Do the first one with the class. Below are some examples:

1. There’s _____ cheese in the fridge if you want it. (small)
2. _____ miles is it to France?
3. I’d like _____ biscuits, please. (small)
4. There aren’t _____ students in this class. (small)
5. Did you eat _____ pizza in Italy?
6. We have _____ people here today. (large)

Key: 1. a little, 2. How many, 3. a few, 4. many, 5. much, 6. lots of/a lot of

Pack your bags!

This fun and creative ESL will get your students thinking about how to express quantities in English. Tell them that they are going to imagine they are going on holiday for one week and have to pack a bag. Divide the class into two or three groups. Students will work together to decide what they need to bring. They should use a mix of quantifiers and exact amounts:

Three pairs of shorts.
A lot of sun cream.

Holiday ideas: Beach holiday, Skiing holiday, Camping holiday, Music festival

When they have finished, you can play a game where the groups now try to guess what the other teams packed in their bags.

Student A: I think they brought a lot of sun cream.
Teacher: (To student B) Did you bring a lot of sun cream?
Student B: Yes, we did. We brought three bottles.


Now for an ESL activity that demonstrates a typical functional application of quantifiers. It will also test your student's ability to apply indefinite and definite articles. First, pre-teach chop, fry, boil, serve, mix and grill. Then, elicit a simple recipe idea from the students and with their help, write the recipe steps on the board. Don't forget to include the quantifiers. Use the following structure and keep it simple:

Then / next...
After that...

After this, the students will work in pairs to write a simple recipe idea of their choosing.

Classroom games

Hot seat with quantifiers

We can modify this ESL game to practice quantifiers. Divide the class into two teams. On each turn, one student will sit with their back to the board facing their teammates. On the board behind him, you'll write a simple statement that contains a quantifier. The students have to make their teammate in the hot seat say that sentence without using any significant words from it. You can set a time limit if you wish. Some examples could be:

A few people
A little pineapple juice
lots of homework

Additional EFL - ESL resources

For some more lesson planning options related to expressing quantities in English, have a look at these resources from around the web:

Teach-this.com have a list of ESL activities related to teaching Expressions of Quantity.

ISLCollective have a great collection of worksheets on quantifiers. Our personal favourites, 'Quantifiers' and 'Quantifiers a lot of, many, much, a little, a few' cover everything in this lesson.

The YouTube channel Learn English with Papa Teach Me has a fantastic video on quantifiers that would be a great addition to your lesson.

More A2 level ESL lesson plans

Our suggested next lesson is on question words. Be sure to check out our full list of ESL lesson plans for intermediate students, A2 lower and A2 upper, as well as our complete selection of EFL - ESL lesson plans. If you use an iOS or Android device, have a look at the TEFL Handbook app. An ESL lesson planner for English teachers. It has a lot more content and gives you faster access to our ESL resources, making it easier to use in class.

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