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ESL Boggle Game

ESL Boggle Game

Students make words using the popular Boggle game. An ESL writing warmer to practice vocabulary and vocabulary building.

Level:  Elementary

Topic:  Warmer

Time:  20 minutes


  • Boggle Game or Boggle App.

    Boggle App available free on iTunes, Android, and Kindle - For no ads and a few more features, there is an option to buy for $0.99. 



Students get into groups of three to five. Draw a 4 X 4 grid on the board.


Start the Boggle app and press the “Quick Play” button. Shake your phone when instructed. Once the letters fall into place, pause the game and fill in the 4 X 4 grid.

If you do not have the app, or are unable to access it, you can go around the class and ask each student for a letter to put into the grid.


Give your students 3 minutes to find as many words as possible. To make a word, the letters must be connected horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Each letter may only be used once per word.


After 3 minutes, students get together in their groups and compare their words. Then, each group counts how many words they got. Students with identical words may only count the word one time for their group.

Point Breakdown:

3-letter words = 1 point

4-letter words = 2 points

5-letter words = 3 points

6-letter words = 4 points

and so on...


The group with the most words tells the class their words. All words must be real and spelled correctly.

This is the advantage of the Boggle app. Once the timer expires, it gives you a list of all the possible combinations from the 4 X 4 grid. You can also highlight words and look them up, all within the app.

Extended Practice

Writing – Have the students choose three or four 5-letter words and make sentences with them. Encourage them to use their dictionaries and experiment using unfamiliar words.


Speaking – Have groups choose three or four 5-letter words and make a short skit. Once they have finished writing and rehearsing their short skit, have them perform in front of the class. While the groups are performing, other students listen and pick out the words from the game. Elicit the words used in the skit from the other students.


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Big In Nippon
I've seen this idea on other sites. It's not all that original! What I do like about this take is the Extended practice at the end. At least this way the students are doing something with the new vocabulary. I imagine this would help with understanding and retention. I personally like to have groups choose the words for other groups. This way they try to choose harder words than what they would choose for themselves.

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I'm Becki, the Co-Founder and the one who put up all these great speaking activities. We’re here to provide enjoyable lessons for teachers like you! Learn more