Snakes & Ladders

Snakes & Ladders

Like many of the ESL Games on this site, ESL Game #053 – Snakes & Ladders is simply a personal childhood favorite slightly tweaked to include English language practice.Snakes & Ladders can be easily adapted to several language targets by simply adding an extra set of dice. In this example we’ve added weather as the topic by simply drawing a different type of weather on each side of one die (sunny, windy, stormy, rainy snowy and windy) and a different temperature on each side of the other die (hot, hot, cold, cold, warm and cool). Thanks to Mikey for the artwork on the dice.

This ESL game is ideal for 4 players.

One game of Snakes & Ladders should take between 10 – 20 minutes depending on how often players land on a snake or a ladder.

The only materials required are a Snakes & Ladders board (available here), 2 numbered dice and 2 weather dice, which can be drawn on any blocks you have in your school.

How to:

introduce the target language: “How’s the weather today?”, “It’s temperature and weather condition.” It’s important to notice that the second part of the target answer is the weather condition, and should end with a “Y”. E.g. “It’s hot and sunny.”

Have a paper, rock, scissors battle to determine who rolls first. Then go clockwise from the winner around the board.

Each player rolls 4 dice at a time. After describing the weather, they move their game piece the number of spaces the numbered dice indicate.

Players that land on a snake have to slide down the snake, and players that land on a ladder get to climb up the ladder.

Once a player has finished describing the weather and moving their playing piece, they turn to the player sitting clockwise from them and ask “How’s the weather today?”

Repeat step 3- 5 until one player reaches the final square on the board and wins the game.


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