ESL Activities and Games | How to express quantities

Functional language | 60 - 90 minutes

An A2 ESL lesson plan containing practical activities, games and resources for teaching basic quantifiers. 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

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 elementary | Expressing quantities


Quantifier gap-fill

A writing activity where students complete sentences using the correct quantifiers.

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)

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

Pack your bags!

For this fun group task, the students will organise their bags for a trip.

Tell your students 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

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.


A pairwork writing activity where the students create some cooking instructions.

First, pre-teach chopfryboilservemix 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 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. Encourage them to ask you about any tricky vocabulary and add it to the board.

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Hot seat with quantifiers 

Students will have to describe sentences that contain the target language to the player in the hot seat. 

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

More A2 ESL lesson plans for elementary students

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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