Home-made YL Listening Task – Animal Definition Game

/ A1, Exam training, Listening training, Pre-A1, Teachers, Young Learners

A quick listening activity you can prepare in 10 minutes for your YL classes to make them practise animal definition.


Level: Pre-A1, A1 (Starters, Movers);
Age: Young Learners;
Group size: any;
Aim: to train student’s ability to listen for keyword and identify animals or the order they are mentioned;
Skill: Listening;
Grammar: has got, can, to be;
Vocabulary: describing animals;
Length: 30 min;
Preparation time: 10 min (print worksheet, think of sentences);
Material: worksheet attached.


Quick activity to prepare for Cambridge Starters Listening Part 3, Movers Part 4 (and also Flyers Part 4). There are three sets of pictures (here only with animals) and a question. Students listen to a short dialogue (or monologue) twice and choose the correct one. This is in the exam.

In order to prepare for this exercise, little preparation is needed and is possible to improvise. One trick of this exam exercise is that all three items are mentioned in the track and students need to listen for clues to understand what the correct answer is.

So after printing the worksheet you can proceed in several ways:
1. You can write one question onto the whiteboard and order a name to every number (picture set). The question could be: What’s my favorite animal? The first person could be Matt. So you could write this short monologue to the picture: Hi, my name is Matt and I love animals. When I was a child, I loved zebras and I always asked my parents to buy me one. But I could only have Goldie, our gold fish. We still have fish at home. I like them too, but the animal I most love is the brown bear. They are big, dangerous, but also intelligent.  Students should hear twice the short comment and circle the bear. And you can continue with number 2 with another name (Lucy, May, Tom, Pat, Sam, Nick, Jack, Jill, Mary, Ann, etc.).

2. You can write several questions to the pictures before photocopying them and invent short monologues to each. For example, number 2: Which of these animals was the main hero in the film? The text could be: Have you seen the new Ringo Jones’ film? It’s fantastic. Ringo is looking for a treasure in the jungle and he has lots of adventures. He even meets a crazy elephant and a group of monkeys follow him. They also want to find the treasure. And do you know what the treasure is? A duck which laid golden eggs! When the monkeys see that the treasure is not a city with banana trees, they run back where they came from.

3) You can also ask your students to number the animals in what order they hear their names. For example, to question one: I went to the zoo yesterday afternoon and I had a great time. I saw a lot of animals. My favorite was the giant gold fish, but before that I see a funny bear. It acted like a clown. But before I got to the bear, I saw 3 zebras. They really looked like horses in pyjamas! (1 – zebra, 2 – bear, 3 – fish)

NB: the picture sets 1-5 on the worksheet come from the Starters’ word list, 6-8 from Movers’ and 9-10 from Flyers’.

You can design your own exercise about many topics using this fantastic website: 123Listening.com. You cannot type in the questions unfortunately, but it still gives you many possibilities how to use them. For younger children, you can even use a similar worksheet with the song Old MacDonald and children have to circle which animals they hear in the song (there are many versions of the song and you can also make up yours, with a guitar even better).



ESL Activity Book: Animals

Activity Book - Animals

a 22-page YL activity book about animals


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