1) Get your students to write
a set of instructions on how to play Pokémon Go
This will help teach your
English students about the use of the imperative form of the verb when giving
instructions as well as the type of vocabulary that is required to do so.
2) Practice counting and
There is a significant use
of numbers in Pokémon Go, ranging from a Pokémon’s power, their weight and height
and the items that you collect in your Pokémon inventory, all of which can be
useful when teaching numbers in English. For younger learners you can also use worksheets to get them to count and add up by looking at the number of Pokémon
on a page or by doing similar exercises.
If you can get your
students to sing and remember a catchy song it can help make the English within
it much more accessible. Once they know the lyrics you can focus on the meaning
and the grammar behind the words and it can be great fun too!
4) Use the game to help teach
giving and receiving directions in English
Pokémon Go is all about navigation. The game
involves using an in-game map and walking around the streets to find and catch
Pokémon, which is a great opportunity for students to practice asking for
and giving directions in English. If you have a small group of students
you can appoint a group leader every 5 minutes and get them to give
directions to the rest of the group or get individual students to ask
members of the public for directions if this is suitable.
5) Get your students to write
descriptions of the Pokémon they catch
come in different shapes, sizes and colours and all have unique names. For students who are starting to learn colours and basic
adjectives this is ideal. When your students come across a Pokémon you can
get them to write a description and/or describe it to you and the other
students. If your group is particularly knowledgeable about Pokémon you
may even be able to play a guessing game where one student describes the
Pokémon’s key features and the other students have to guess which Pokémon
6) Make use of Pokestops to
learn English place names
These are virtually
located in the Pokémon Go game at select places near you and are where players can freely
collect items used in the game. What makes them
interesting is that they are often found at significant public places such as important buildings, parks or
historical sites, which all provide a good base for useful English vocabulary that can be
incorporated into the exercise, particularly when writing a diary.
7) Have your students write a
diary about playing Pokémon Go
Students can write about
where they went and what Pokémon they found there whilst playing Pokémon Go.
For older students this can also be utilised for homework by sending them
out after class to find Pokémon. You can then have them report back in the next lesson on what Pokémon
they caught by describing the Pokémon and getting the rest of the class to play
the guessing game.
8) Do a Pokémon treasure hunt
If you don’t want to use
the Pokémon Go app or if not all of your students have access to a mobile phone,
you can make cut-outs of Pokémon and hide them at your chosen location and get
your students to find them. Once your students have found them you can get them
to describe the Pokémon they found to you or again play the guessing game,
possibly even with a reward at the end for your students if appropriate! If you want to try this you’ll find some good
cut-outs of Pokémon over at ESL Printables.
9) Imagine and create your
When your students have learnt sufficient English adjectives to describe existing Pokémon
you can get them to imagine and create their own Pokémon along with a written
description of what its special powers would be. There are a number of cases
where it has been shown that using imagination is particularly important for a
child’s learning and development, so this could be a good way to tap into this.
10) Get your students to write
a fact file on their favourite Pokémon
This ties in with getting
your students to describe Pokémon and is another useful skill for any students
who might end up working or studying in an English speaking environment where
they have to do research and/or produce fact file like reports on a subject, company
11) Illustrate the differences
between regular and irregular verbs
The five key verbs that
you’ll see used by Pokémon Go players are to find, locate, catch, battle and
train. These verbs can be drilled in
class to help your English students understand their use along with the key
differences between these types
of verbs, and they can then be practiced whilst out looking for Pokémon. There is obviously a
wealth of possibilities when it comes to teaching
verbs and this is just one idea.
12) Introduce the Present
Here’s another idea! If
you listen to people playing the game you will often hear them ask ‘What
Pokémon have you caught?’ or ‘Where have you been to look for Pokémon?’ This is
a great way to get students to start using ‘I have caught’ or ‘I have been’ in
order to introduce the Present Perfect.
13) Hold a class debate
Some people will like
Pokémon Go and others will not, so is it a good game to play and could it have
any benefits or other uses? Have students split into two groups and argue for
and against this point. You can use related news articles about Pokémon Go and
drill any necessary vocabulary beforehand. This would be a good exercise for
more advanced students, as would the other ideas below.
14) Write a review of the game
Get your students to look
at existing reviews of Pokémon Go on Google Play and then write their own
review in English using similar words or any other vocabulary that you may have
taught them for the exercise.
15) Advanced English lessons
Pokémon Go is a global phenomenon
and has got people all over the world talking about it. This makes it an
interesting subject matter that can be used to examine and discuss a number of
topics including the health benefits of playing Pokémon Go, the risks
associated with the game, societal trends and the future of augmented reality.
These topics all provide excellent scope to practice more advanced English
vocabulary and can be utilised in a number of different ways.
Let us know if you have
any more ideas of your own in the comments and thank you for reading!