Gimme Gimme

An activity that has students running around to give you the item you ask for while practicing "This is / That is" and "Here you are."


  • List of items students can easily grab

How to Play

  1. Teach the students the words. I recommend you either bring a powerpoint / cards to teach the students the words for the items, or you walk around the classroom teaching the students what the items are. Start with some of the easier items first, then work your way towards the more difficult ones. For example, if you're walking around the classroom, pick up a student's textbook and say "This is a textbook." Have the students repeat the word by saying "That is a textbook." In my experience the students remember the words after one or two times saying it.
  2. Split the class into teams/groups of 4 or 3. They don't need to put their desks together.
  3. Have 1 person from each group stand up (the person standing will rotate after each round).
  4. Stand at the front of the class and say what you want to do. Try not to say the name of the item. Instead, do a gesture to help the students understand what you're saying. For example, if I said "I want to write" I'd also do a writing motion. The standing students must find whatever item you want and race to the front to give it to you.
  5. When the student gives you the item, they have to say "This is a pen (for example)." Their team must then say "That is a pen." If the students have learned how to say "Here you are," have them say that too. Take the item and say "Thank you" to which the student responds "You're welcome." After, give them back the item. If they can do all of that, their team gets points. The points they get is based on the number of groups. For example, if there are 5 groups, the first student to give you the item will get 5 points, the second students gets 4 points, the third 3, etc. That way each round all the students have to practice the target grammar.
  6. If you're worried about giving some teams an advantage because of where you're standing in the room relative to their desks, you can move around the room. Also, in the first few rounds, let the students take their time while speaking to you. Let their team be late with the "That is a " responses or remind the student what the item is called. But, after a few rounds, when you think the students have gotten used to how the game is played, force them to be near perfect. If their team is late with the "that is," then the student has to go to the back of the line. If the student doesn't remember what the item is called, have them go to their team to get a reminder before going to the back of the line.

Other Recommendations

  • Ask the JTE what kind of things the students have in their pencil case. Some schools might require different things, so be sure to check that there are enough of the item for all the teams to be able to give you one. You don't want to ask for an item but there's only one copy in the room.
  • Since the students will be running around to get the item to you as fast as possible, be careful about them getting hurt. If they're getting too rowdy, be sure to calm them down before continuing.
  • Some students like to talk while the other teams are presenting items, and this can make it difficult to hear if the student in front of you said the item's name correctly. If that happens, subtract a point from the disruptive team. For repeat offenders, subtract extra points.
  • If you run out of items to ask for and have extra time, don't be afraid to repeat some of the more difficult ones.
  • Be careful about asking for items that aren't simple phrases. For example "glasses" seems like a simple word but we'd have to say "This is a pair of glasses" and that makes things complicated.
  • I haven't tried this with elementary school students, so I don't know if they'll be able to pick up the new words as quickly as junior high school students. If you play this at an ES, be prepared to spend more time teaching the items or use less items.

Use with Relative Pronoun

  • If you want to use this activity with relative pronoun sentences instead, you can. The class needs to be very advanced though. Have them make sentences like "This is a textbook that I use in English class" and the matching "That is a textbook he/she uses in English class." If you want to do that, I recommend doing this in the 3rd semester when the class has learned all the grammars and is just trying to reinforce everything they've learned. (A relative pronoun version is obviously for older students, not the first year students.)

I've attached the list of items I used as an example. Feel free to use it or change it however you want.

Submitted by ThatOneALT July 4, 2020 Estimated time: 30 - 40 minutes
  1. UonumaRobert July 5, 2020

    Nice activity. When I do these race to the teacher with the response activities I usually have students come to either ALT or JTE. That way they don’t all rush to the same location. Cuts down on crashing into each other or into desks.

  2. ThatOneALT August 5, 2020

    I agree with having both teachers as people that can receive the items. The points would just need to be changed so the first student at the ALT receives 5 points, and the first student to the JTE also receives 5 points. The only problem is that since the team members sitting down need to repeat the with "That is a ________," it might get noisy. If you can't hear the teams talking, then you should only have one teacher be a checkpoint.

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