Short Grammar Activities and Quick Lessons

Lightning-fast classroom activities you can use in a pinch

High school students giving presentation whiteboard in classroom
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These easy to implement and quick to execute grammar exercises are perfect to use in the ESL classroom when you're short on time but need to get your lesson across. 

Jumbled Sentences

Purpose: Word Order / Review

Choose a number of sentences from the last few chapters (pages) that you have been working on in class. Make sure to choose a nice mixture including adverbs of frequency, time signifiers, adjectives, and adverbs, as well as multiple clauses for more advanced classes. Type (or write on the board) jumbled versions of the sentences and ask the students to reassemble them.

Variation: If you are focusing on specific grammar points, have the students explain why certain words are placed in certain places in a sentence.

Example: If you are working on adverbs of frequency, ask students why 'often' is placed as it is in the following negative sentence: 'He doesn't often go to the cinema.'

Finishing the Sentence

Purpose: Tense Review

Ask students to take a piece of paper out for a dictation. Ask students to finish the sentences that you begin. Students should complete the sentence you begin in a logical manner. It's best if you use connecting words to show cause and effect, conditional sentences are also a good idea.


I like watching television because...
Despite the cold weather,...
If I were you,...
I wish he...

Listening for Mistakes

Purpose: Improving Students' Listening Abilities/Review

Make up a story on the spot (or read something you have at hand). Tell students that they will hear a few grammatical errors during the story. Ask them to raise their hand when they hear an error made and correct the errors. Intentionally introduce errors into the story, but read the story as if the errors were perfectly correct.

Variation: Have students write down the mistakes you make and check the mistakes as a class when finished.

Question Tag Interviews

Purpose: Focus on Auxiliary Verbs

Ask students to pair up with another student they feel they know reasonably well. Ask each student to prepare a set of ten different questions using question tags about that person based on what they know about him/her. Make the exercise more challenging by asking that each question is in a different tense (or that five tenses are used, etc.). Ask students to respond with short answers only.


You're married, aren't you? - Yes, I am.
You came to school yesterday, didn't you? - Yes, I did.
You haven't been to Paris, have you? - No, I haven't.

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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "Short Grammar Activities and Quick Lessons." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Beare, Kenneth. (2020, August 27). Short Grammar Activities and Quick Lessons. Retrieved from Beare, Kenneth. "Short Grammar Activities and Quick Lessons." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 30, 2023).