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Lesson Plans & Ideas
XO – Tic Tac Toe for Language Learning

XO – Tic Tac Toe for Language Learning

May 24, 2017


Tic Tac Toe is a favorite childhood game, popular way before electronic entertainment ever existed. This game has withstood the test of time. All students that I have taught played it as kids. How can this game be utilized with students, and how can it relate to their language learning process?


  • Activity: Vocabulary
  • Learner level: All
  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Activity time:15 minutes
  • Materials: Vocabulary cards, whiteboard, marker or PPT



Step 1: Decide on what kind of lesson you want to give i.e vocabulary, grammar, writing…etc…

Step 2: Write down the words or the questions that you want the students to answer.

Step 3: You have to decide how the questions will be revealed. i.e Do you want the students to see the questions (sample 1), or do you want the questions to be hidden (sample 2).



Step 1:Divide students into two groups. Call one group X and the other O.

Step 2:Draw a tic-tac-toe box on the board and number each of the boxes from 1 to 9 as in the figure below.

What I like to do is to write the vocabulary word in each box. Then I ask students different questions about the word they choose (sample 1). The questions I ask are:

  1. What does the word mean?
  2. Put the word in a complete sentence.
  3. Give me a synonym for the word.


Sample 1:


Sample 2: You have to write questions on nine cards  and place them face down on the table.


Step 3: Ask Group X to choose a word/number at random, and you can enjoy the gameJ.

The winning group is the one that completes a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line first.

In conclusion, this is a fun activity that I always like to play with my students, and I think it is gives the students a sense of challenge and competition. I also believe it helps my students review and understand the words better in a fun way.




May 24, 2017
Lesson Plans & Ideas