Tic Tac Toe

Posted in: Teacher Resources Forum


Tic Tac Toe

Resources: whiteboard, prepared questions

Level: Any Level

Teacher's instructions:

Draw a grid of nine squares on the whiteboard and write a number on each square (1 to 9). Prepare the questions and set one question for each number relating to the grammar point to be taught. Divide the class into two groups (noughts and crosses). The first group call out a number and answer the question. They can have a group discussion before answering. If they answer correctly, they get the point. Then it is the second group’s turn. The goal of the game is to make a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line with noughts or crosses.



10 Comments for : Tic Tac Toe
  1. This task sounds like a great idea to get everyone involved and working as a team to find the solutions. This would also be a good ice breaker for the class.
    However I suggest some teachers notes on the specific grammar points in the questions that are to be asked with the correct answers.

    • Jinhee Kim
    • January 8, 2017

    Would be a good game for students to interact together, questions could be changed to adapt students’ needs.
    Instead on writing this on white board, it could be printed out and laminated and given to students with a white board marker pen

    • Pam Cramond
    • January 13, 2017

    Tic Tac Toe
    There are a number of excellent teaching strategies involved in playing this game. The students have to work as teams which means that they have to discuss various answers and in doing so, speak in English which reinforces their vocabulary and ease in speaking English. Students have to think about the answers and discuss whether they are right or wrong, therefore thinking about the grammar and sentence construction. They are doing all of this in a fun and engaging way which reinforces the grammar learnt in the lesson. When students get it right there will be a sense of achievement as well as the visual sign of the 0 or × going up for their team.

    • Elizabeth Young
    • January 18, 2017

    The strength of this activity is its ability to be adapted to any ESL level and any grammar point. Moreover, students enjoy this type of active (competitive) engagement because it is fun whilst consolidating and/or evaluating learning at the same time (a useful informal evaluation tool for the ESL teacher also!). Additionally, this activity reinforces the importance of teamwork, collaborative discussion (meaning we can help each other out when we have difficulty with a second language concept); and students practice their speaking skills.

    • Kevin Hayward
    • January 18, 2017

    Familiar game the world over, can be constructed at a number of language competency levels. God team building and ice breaking event also. On the down side I won’t be using it in my face to face sessions with older clients

  2. Great game! I love how it’s adaptable to fit any lesson.

    • Yuliya Snoxall
    • February 6, 2017

    This is a great way to generate discussion about grammar, which makes this activity an effective learning tool. The quality of the questions will determine the quality of discussion, and therefore, learning.

    • Elle Armit
    • February 21, 2017

    Games are great to introduce a topic or to break up a lesson. I really like the idea of this version of Tic Tac Toe, as it’s widely known around the world and is simple to understand & play. The difficulty of the lesson can be adapted depending on level of learners in the class.

  3. This activity can be adapted to any ESL level or grammar point. Furthermore it can be used to introduce a topic, revise a topic and/or break up a lesson – with questions adapted accordingly.
    Students will enjoy the competitive interaction, the importance of teamwork and collaboration during which they will be using their speaking and listening skills and practicing their grammar. At the same time they will also be thinking about grammar and sentence construction reinforced by listening to how the sentences sound.
    In addition, and after the team has selected a numbered square, I would prefer to write the relevant question in the nominated square to further promote reading skills.
    Throughout this activity student evaluation can be sought and at the same time a teacher can measure the effectiveness of the preceding lesson/s.
    I do not believe I would introduce this activity to older aged and/or more conservative students.

  4. This activity could be an enjoyable way to teach a specific grammar point. The teacher would have to give a preliminary explanation of how the game is played for the benefit of those students who may be unfamiliar with Tic Tac Toe. A list of nine prepared questions on the specific grammar point would be required.

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