Makeover Games Make Great Language Practice

Oh, the things you can find online these days! For teens, tweens, and ESL learners, much fun can be had doing Cool Makeover Games. This site has a number of games, each with the potential of being the basis of a communicative activity. Take Colors of the Rain, for example. You can change the clothes of a couple. The man can wear a casual plaid shirt or a variety of trendy shirts and coats. The woman can wear a floral skirt or sleek black pants. There’s a lot to choose from. If you give them an umbrella to share, it starts raining. This is wonderful for reviewing clothing vocabulary and practicing the present progressive.

  • Option 1: Students work in pairs at computer stations during the lesson. Student A makes choices for the male model, and Student B describes the finished picture. “The man is wearing jeans and a sweater. He’s holding an umbrella. It’s raining.” Then they switch. Student B makes choices for the female model, and Student A describes the finished picture. “The woman is wearing a black dress and pink boots. She’s carrying a white purse.” The activity can repeat if new clothing choices are made.
  • Option 2:  You can “dress” the models yourself on one main computer if there is a screen large enough for the class to see. As you make selections, have students describe what they see.
  • Option 3: Students can do the activity at home. Have them print out their finished pictures and write 3-4 sentences about each person using the present progressive.

Other games include changing the facial appearance of an animated character: hair color, hairstyle, eye color, etc. This could be used to contrast past and present tenses. Example: “She had blonde hair. Now she has red hair.” / “She was wearing a white and blue shirt, but now she’s wearing a pink shirt with stars.”

Need something more appealing to the guys? Try the Simpson Dress-Up game. Mr. Simpson (a.k.a. Homer) needs clothes, accessories, and a setting. This activity can help students practice describing physical appearance using the present progressive.

Don’t want to talk about fashion and physical appearance? Try designing the exterior of a house. This activity makes for a meaningful exchange between two students using prepositions of place.  You can also highlight the order of modifiers: “There is a large door in the middle of the house.  Above the door there is a small round window.”


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Chiew says:

    I’m definitely in favour of technology in the classroom, although I find a lot of my peers (especially, need I say, the older generation) are unfortunately not very keen on it for the simple reason that they’re not willing to invest personal time in mastering new technology. I find it indispensable. I’m lucky to be equipped with a notebook and a classroom projector. Instead of writing on the board, I use PowerPoint. It certainly captures the students’ attention better than plain old writing and I can toy around with fonts and graphics to manipulate their focus.
    Next school year, I’m planning to incorporate blogging into the lessons, too. Check my blog out!

    1. englishwithjennifer says:

      How wonderful it is to hear about a teacher’s positive experience using technology in the classroom. Have your older colleagues seen you or another tech-savvy teacher in action? Does your school allow for peer-to-peer training?

      Your plan to use blogs sounds exciting.
      Good luck!

  2. Chiew says:

    Oh yes. They’ve been in my class sometimes. They’d say, ‘That was really good’, for example, but never, ‘I’d like to do that. Could you teach me?’ LoL
    Yes, we do have training sessions, but I think we need to teach them to open up their minds first! 😉

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