What happens when students finish an assessment and there are 10 minutes remaining in class? Or when the internet goes out, or for some other reason, you cannot do what you had planned in class? Or your first activity took longer than expected and you do not have enough time for the next task? Here are some 5-10 minute activities that take no prep and can be used at any time. (Some may require a few minutes of prep the first time but are then available for future use.) Most are quick games.
Music: Have a database or list of youtube lyric videos that can be watched and/or sung. Here are some slides with links that I use in Spanish class. The first page is a list of songs that we sing with the guitar. The second is a list of video based songs that we’ve seen this year. It grows as the year progresses.
100 Game: A simple game to practice numbers.
Discussion: Talk about plans for after school today. Have students discuss what happened yesterday in groups. Have a cup with random questions/topics that can be selected and discussed.
Vocabulary Tennis game: A simple, no-prep game to practice vocabulary in categories.
Who am I?: Play it as a class or bring up 3-5 students to play in front of class. Another variation is to have the teacher guess who he/she is.
Basurabol: A game that can be played without any preparation.
Don’t smile: A quick, fun way to get many reps out of a desired structure.
True or False: A fun (sometimes violent) game based on statements in the target language. No prep needed.
Circumlocution practice: Make a powerpoint presentation with 5 words in English (L1) on each slide. They should be words that are unknown in the target language. Put one student in a chair facing away from the screen (the hot seat) and project a slide. The teacher describes the terms in the target language and each student tries to guess as many as possible in English in 2 minutes. Keep track of fastest times somewhere in the room. Requires some time to prepare the slides, but they are always available afterward. Here is one of my files with 5 terms per slide: