By Kevin Fabris

March 8, 2017

10 - 20 Minutes, 5 - 10 Minutes, Adult, Big Class, Easy ESL Games,, EFL, ESL, Fun, Game, Games, High School, No Materials Required, Some Materials Required, Speaking, Teams, Use It, Vocabulary, Word Game

A Comparison Chain is a fun and easy ESL game that will help you teach comparisons in your ESL / EFL classroom. In practice it's a more complicated version of the classic game Shiritori. Where Shiritori is a word chain that connects words based on the last and first letters, this ESL game connects nouns through the usage of comparative adjectives.

The Details:

  • The only materials required to play this game are a whiteboard, marker and a timer.
  • This game works with students from about the ages of 10 and up. They fairly advanced vocabulary to play.
  • A game can take between 5 and 20 minutes.

How to use a Comparison Chain:

    1. Brainstorm a list of comparative adjectives. I personally love using an A - Z Race as a fun way to brainstorm.
    2. Write the grammar structure "(noun) s are (adjective) er than (noun) s" on the board.
    3. Pick a topic. E.g., animals.
    4. Fill in the target grammar structure with examples. E.g., "Rabbits are cuter than Donkeys."
    5. Divide your class into teams. And have each team form a circle.
    6. Set a timer for an appropriate amount of time...say 1 minute.
    7. Pick which team goes first.
    8. Pick which student goes first.
    9. When you say “go” the first student must use the target language to make a sentence.  Ex, “Dogs are bigger than cats."
    10. Then the student immediately to beside them has to link to the second noun in student 1’s sentence to form a new sentence of their own.  Cats are smarter than birds.
    11. Continue around the circle until the timer expires.The most important rule is that in this game is that, students can not reuse any comparative adjectives or nouns (except when linking).
    12. Add up the the number of links the team made that’s their score.  Reset the timer and change the topic of the nouns to (food) and repeat the process with the second team.
    13. When the timer expires, the team with the most links in their comparison chain wins!

Comparison Chain

  • There are no materials required.
  • It’s a team game.
  • And there is lot’s of relevant target language repetition disguised as a game.


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