ESL House Vocabulary: Word List & Games

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

This lesson provides ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers with house-related word lists and games for use in the classroom. These games are ideal for younger learners and foster the development of English speaking, listening and writing abilities.

ESL House Vocabulary

The games in the lesson can be played using any of the following word lists. If you are teaching more advanced students, try increasing the difficulty of the vocabulary words you use. Here are some lists of common house-related terms that you may want use in your games.

Types of Homes

  • House
  • Apartment
  • Condo
  • Houseboat
  • Farmhouse
  • Mansion
  • Cabin
  • Shack
  • Villa
  • Yurt
  • Loft
  • Penthouse
  • Townhouse
  • Mobile home

Rooms in a House

  • Foyer
  • Living room
  • Dining room
  • Bedroom
  • Master bedroom
  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Family room
  • Den
  • Sitting room
  • Sun room
  • Laundry room
  • Pantry
  • Office
  • Storage room

Items in a House

  • Counter
  • Sink
  • Chair
  • Table
  • Sofa
  • Bookcase
  • Bathtub
  • Bed
  • Mirror
  • Curtain
  • Toilet
  • Door
  • Carpet
  • Lamp
  • Ceiling fan

Things Outside the Home

  • Front yard/lawn
  • Backyard
  • Driveway
  • Garden
  • Patio
  • Sidewalk
  • Swimming pool
  • Tree house
  • Porch
  • Swing set

What Is It?

In this game, you will focus on teaching listening and speaking skills by reading a list of clues to students about a type of house or a type of room in a house. The winner of the game is the student who can guess the correct answer after hearing the least number of clues.

For larger classes, try dividing the students into teams and have one representative answer for each team per round. If a student shouts out a wrong answer, they must sit out the rest of that round.

Clues Round 1

  1. This place has many rooms.
  2. This place is very expensive to buy.
  3. Sometimes this place has a maid and a butler.

Answer: Mansion

Clues Round 2

  1. Some people have one of these in their backyard.
  2. This place is normally just for kids to play in.
  3. Sometimes this place is high off the ground.

Answer: Tree house

Clues Round 3

  1. This place usually has two machines.
  2. One of these machines gets very hot.
  3. You take dirty clothes here to wash them.

Answer: Laundry room

Clues Round 4

  1. This place is located in a forest.
  2. This place is made of wood.
  3. This place is popular with people who love the outdoors.

Answer: Cabin

Clues Round 5

  1. This place is full of appliances.
  2. This place has lots of cupboards.
  3. This place often has a pantry.

Answer: Kitchen

Where I Live Blueprint

This game is designed to get your students talking to each other and encourages the use of descriptive language. Each student needs two blank sheets of paper and a pencil or pen. First, show the students how to draw a basic, top down blueprint of the layout of their home. The easiest way to accomplish this is to draw your own blueprint on the blackboard and label each room. Allow your students to be creative with their drawing, but limit the drawing time to prevent the blueprints from becoming overly complicated.

After the drawings are completed, put the students into pairs. Set a timer for one minute, and tell the first student to describe their home from the perspective of the front door to the second student. As he listens, the second student should draw the description on their second sheet of paper. Instruct the students to use descriptive phrases similar to the following:

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