ESL Lesson Plan: The Snap and Clap Game

In this energetic and interactive ESL lesson, young learners will dive into the world of vocabulary through the “Snap and Clap Game.” By utilizing simple, physical actions like finger snapping and clapping, accompanied by the auditory cue “snap,” students will actively learn and reinforce new words while developing their listening comprehension and fine motor skills. This playful, competitive format encourages full participation, promoting turn-taking and a lively classroom atmosphere. The lesson is easily adaptable to different proficiency levels, making it a versatile tool for any ESL teacher looking to inject some fun into vocabulary acquisition.

Lesson Plan: The Snap and Clap Game

Learning Goals:

  • Vocabulary Acquisition: Learn and reinforce vocabulary related to common objects, actions, or colors.
  • Listening Comprehension: Develop the ability to recognize and respond to auditory cues (“snap”).
  • Fine Motor Skills: Practice finger snapping and clapping.
  • Turn-Taking and Classroom Participation: Practice taking turns and actively engaging in the lesson.


  • Visual Aids: Picture cards or flashcards representing the target vocabulary (e.g., animal pictures, color cards, action verbs)


  1. Warm-Up (5 minutes):
    • Demonstrate finger snapping and clapping, emphasizing the different sounds.
    • Say the word “snap” while snapping your fingers and “clap” while clapping your hands.
    • Have the children practice snapping and clapping together, repeating “snap” and “clap” as they do so.
  2. Vocabulary Introduction (10 minutes):
    • Show a picture card or flashcard and say the corresponding word clearly.
    • Repeat the word with the children a few times.
    • Introduce the concept that they will snap for some words and clap for others.
    • Assign categories:
      • Snap: Nouns (e.g., animals, objects)
      • Clap: Verbs (e.g., actions) or Colors
    • Practice by showing cards and having children snap or clap based on the category.
  3. The Snap and Clap Game (15 minutes):
    • Divide the class into two teams.
    • Have one student from each team come to the front of the room.
    • Show a picture card to both students.
    • The first student to make the correct sound (snap or clap) wins a point for their team.
    • Rotate through all students.
  4. Variation: Teacher Calls (10 minutes):
    • Instead of showing a card, call out a word from the vocabulary list.
    • Children must listen carefully and either snap or clap based on the word’s category.
  5. Wrap-Up (5 minutes):
    • Review the vocabulary words and their associated actions (snap or clap).
    • Congratulate both teams for their participation and award a small prize to the winning team (optional).

Classroom Management Tips:

  • Clear Instructions: Explain the rules and expectations clearly and concisely.
  • Modeling: Demonstrate how to play the game before starting.
  • Visual Cues: Use gestures and facial expressions to reinforce instructions and maintain engagement.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Praise children for correct answers and good behavior.
  • Pacing: Keep the game moving quickly to avoid boredom and maintain energy.
  • Flexibility: If a child cannot snap, allow them to clap instead.


  • Beginner: Use fewer picture cards and simple vocabulary words.
  • Intermediate: Increase the number of picture cards and complexity of the vocabulary.
  • Advanced: Introduce phrases or sentences instead of single words.


  • Observation: Note which students are able to make the correct sound associations and follow instructions.
  • Participation: Encourage all students to participate actively and take turns.

Additional Tips:

  • Make it Fun! The more fun you have with the game, the more engaged your students will be.
  • Be Enthusiastic! Your energy will set the tone for the lesson.