43 Free ESL Worksheets that Enable English Language Learners
ESL Activities That Can Transform Your English Class
Last Updated: Jun 23, 2017
Free ESL Worksheets to Engage Students
43 ESL worksheets to help you run your classes masterfully.
They’re free to use, easy to get started, and powerful enough to run your class how you want to.
Download these free ESL worksheets to engage your students in English. Likewise, these ESL games and ESL lesson plans can quick-start your classroom too.
1 Emotions in Emoticons
Emotions are a common theme in these ESL worksheets because students have a hard time expressing themselves! This simple ESL activity gets students to match emotions with emoticons.
2 Pronunciation Pyramid
Start at the top of the pyramid and work your way down. The teacher says a word and the students circle it. Where do you end up at the bottom of the pyramid?
3 Sounds of English
Of all ESL worksheets, this one gets most surgical for pronunciation showing students exactly where to place their tongue. Place emphasis for each challenging sound.
4 Top 10 Jobs
A Family Feud style ESL worksheet that helps kids reflect their future jobs. Let them guess the top 10 jobs students in North America want to be. They might be surprised.
5 Jobs Match
In the same theme of exploring students future, they associate jobs with pictures in this one.
6 Minimal Pairs
As an ESL teacher, your biggest asset is how well you can pronounce the sounds of English. On this note, have them circle the words you say aloud.
7 Rhyme Time
Bring out your stopwatch. In groups, get your students to think of as many rhymes as possible. The group with the most rhymes wins.
8 Picture Rhymes
This is one of the funnest ESL worksheets in here. Not only does it help students practice pronunciation, but they also learn to rhyme. Each picture is a rhyme, what is it?
9 What is Halloween?
It’s October, that means it’s Halloween. Teach your students what Halloween is all about with this ESL worksheet.
10 Halloween Emotions
Halloween is a scary, yet fun time. These are two contradicting emotions and there’s no better way to teach them with emotional jack-o-lanterns.
11 Christmas Crossword
Some say crosswords are non-educational ESL activities. But I disagree. Not only do students learn to improve their vocabulary, they learn to spell holiday words.
12 Christmas Untangle
A surprisingly difficult activity where students get to decipher words from a bunch of letters. Luckily, we provide answers at the bottom of the ESL activity.
13 Jingle Bells Order
Students listen to the classic Christmas song “Jingle Bells” and order sentences when they hear them.
14 What’s the Question?
Moving out of the holiday theme, we get into asking questions. For each word in the list, make a question. Get creative and think of more.
15 Einstein’s Riddle
THIS is the most difficult of all ESL worksheets. Students have to use logic to solve a riddle that Albert Einstein made at his young age.
16 Your Dream Dog
It’s the memory type of game, where students have to ask questions about something they are thinking of. Who wouldn’t want one of these cute dogs?
17 Spot the Difference
Two pictures look identical, but they’re not. Students have to find 10 differences in both scenes.
18 Similar Sentences
How much do your students pay attention to detail? You read one of the sentences and your students circle the one you said. Sounds easy? Not so much for your class.
19 Blind Directions
The blind following the blind? Let’s hope not. A twist on the maze game, where one student closes his or her eyes and the other tells the way using directions. I’d be surprised if anyone got it perfectly, but that’s why this activity is so good. It’s challenging.
20 Compound Words
A two-word combo in one (compound words) gets students thinking of the origin of English words. Figure out each compound word and then draw one of your own.
21 Preposition Practice
Where is the ball? In this ESL worksheet, students practice prepositions by writing down the location of the ball in each scene.
22 Comic Book Creation
Every kid loves comic books. But what if they didn’t have any words in them? Let’s fill in these speech bubbles with an interesting story.
Charades only works when you have outgoing students. But in groups of two, they feel a bit more comfortable and less stressed out. Go through the worksheet with more words to act out.
24 Emotions Spin
Of all ESL worksheets, this is the most in-depth vocabulary for emotions. Because students always need help explaining how they feel, their arsenal of emotions will at least triple with this ESL activity.
25 Letter Connect
In pairs, connect the last letter of a word by thinking of a word that starts with that letter. It’s the English version of Karuta – a popular Japanese game.
26 Teacher Quiz
If you want to get your students out of their chairs in your first class, then this should be your go-to activity. Find clues around the class, and match answers with the clues.
27 How’s the Weather?
In this ESL activity, students remember the weather for the past couple of days. You can pair them up talk as a large group.
28 Why Learn English?
There are tons of benefits to learn English. As the true language of globalization, how can English help them in the future?
29 Your Superhero
If you’re in Asia, it’s almost like every one of your students have a hidden talent as an incredible artist. This activity is good for superlatives and classes with mostly boys, what would be your ideal superhero?
30 Text Message Translations
From their native tongue to English, translate a typical text message they would send with their friends. Or better yet, make it up if you don’t feel comfortable sharing.
31 Pizza Recipe
Have you ever made a pizza? Which ingredients would you add? Practice imperatives as they explain step-by-step their pizza creation.
32 Valentine’s Day Cards
Who knew rhymes could be so much fun? Finish the rhyme of the classic poem “Roses are red, violets are blue…”. I love Valentine’s day and so will your kids with this ESL activity sheet.
33 Phone Emoticons
Kids use a ridiculous amount of emoticons in phone conversation nowadays. What do they all mean? How do you associate an emoticon to an emotion? Cut out a select few, and use them in a written conversation.
34 Birthday Match
Get your students off their feet to search for clues around the classroom. The detectives pass the information to the secretary and match birthdays with some of the most prolific figures in the history.
35 The Obstacle Course
One blindfolded student gets directed where to go in a classroom obstacle course. The blind leading the blind? I don’t think so, as they improve directions in real-time.
36 Cultural differences
The fine line between culture across the globe is thinning because of globalization. However, some key cultural differences still remain. What are they?
37 Country Outlines
I love geography. Who doesn’t? Match the country with its outline, then draw a country. How close are you to the real thing? One of my brightest students always loved drawing country outlines for fun so I dedicate this one to him.
38 Your Satisfaction Level
Explore your innermost satisfaction. What makes you happy and sad? A lot of ESL worksheets focus on feelings. And this one registers at all levels extreme happiness to sadness.
39 Connect the Dots
If you are empty-handed with 5 minutes to spare, this is a time filler for the end of a kids class, Admittedly, not much value here for English, it’s your desperation move that runs parallel to tic-tac-toe in terms of beneficial value.
40 Listening Test
Test your students listening skills with these minimal pairs. Can they differentiate some of the sounds unique to English? Mix up the minimal pairs five times each and correct their papers.
41 Alphabet Story
Create your own story with consecutive letters from A to Z. For some of these letters, this will challenge their ability to formulate sentences… But that’s OK.
42 Halloween Bingo
Get your students to put the Halloween vocabulary anywhere in the Bingo sheet. As you read any word in the sheet, they cross it off. The first one who gets a line wins.
43 Simon Says
Practice imperatives with “Simon says”. Or better yet, get one of your students to lead giving instructions to the class if they are familiar.