No-Prep Filler Activities and Games

A1 Elementary Students

Imagine you have the perfect lesson plan designed to the last minute but upon finishing the lesson you find out that you have 10 minutes left and don’t know what to do! Don’t panic. Tthese no-prep filler activities are her to give you some ideas on what to do on the remaining minutes of the lesson.

Shark Tank - No-prep activities and games - English with George

1. Shark Tank

Quickly draw stairs on the board, going downward. Shout,

“Ahrrrrrrrrrrrrr, a monster!”

and draw a shark, dragon, or otherwise terrifying thing on the board at the bottom of the stairs

Tip: all young learners will laugh hard if you label this monster as yourself!

This game is basically Hangman. Each student or each team guesses letters to try to guess a hidden target vocabulary word. Each time they miss, they move down one step toward the monster.

2. Word Chain – The End is the beginning

Students stand in a circle or just stand up where they are. You can also play this game with a ball or without one.

Start the game by giving a student any letter in the alphabet, e.g. “b”. Pass the ball to a student, then they have to say a word that starts with that letter, e.g. “bear”. The next student then gives a word that starts with the last letter of “bear”, e.g. “race”. And so the game continues.

You can also play different variations with the game, e.g. a student needs to give words that are longer than three letters, it should be related to a theme, all words should be verbs, etc.

3. Countdown

This is an adapted game from British television. First, put nine random letters on the board (make sure you have a mix of vowels and consonants). Explain that they have to make the LONGEST word that they can. Set a timer for 30 seconds (or use an actual Countdown Clock, like this one). Demonstrate with a practice round together, working to make a long word. Emphasize that absolutely any word gets points. The only way to get zero points is to not even say, “I” or “a” or “in,” according to which letters are being used.


easier = six points         I = one point         ripe = four points   etc.

Split the class into 2-4 teams and repeat the procedure.

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