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ESL Battleships

In this popular game, students attempt to work out what their partners have marked on a table by asking questions. This game is based on the popular game of the same name that has been played for more than a century.

esl battleships
ESL Battleships can be easily adapted as a grammar game.


PRE: Prepare tables for students to use. Each student will need two copies of the table so that they can use one to mark their answers and another to mark their partner’s answers.

1: Provide students with copies of the table. If teaching online, this will need to be editable, so is best provided as a worksheet.

2: Tell students to choose an answer for each question in the first table by placing a tick. They should not do anything with the second table at this point. If doing this offline, tell students not to show anyone else their answers.

3: Show students how to play by showing them the second table. Elicit the questions to find out if a student put a tick in the first row. Demonstrate asking and answering with a student. Put ticks and crosses in the appropriate boxes

Using example grid below
S1: Does Mark have a pencil?
S2: No, he doesn’t. Does Lisa have a ruler?


1: To make this activity simpler, and with fewer stages, you could fill the tables before the lesson so that there is an A and B version.

2: Another simplification is to have one student in each pair complete their table first and then have the other student ask questions, and then swap roles. You can have students count the number of questions they ask.

Example Grid:

James Helen Mark Lisa

Example Language:

has got/has … got?





Image by David Mark from Pixabay
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