ESL Money Games

Instructor: Erin Rowe

Erin is currently teaching English at a university in South Korea and has a Master's degree in Education.

In this lesson, we'll explore some fun games to play while teaching ESL students about currency. With these activities, you can create a memorable and entertaining learning experience for your ESL students.

ESL Money Games

Money, or currency, plays an important role in our everyday lives. Teaching students about the terms and concepts of money can be beneficial for their conversational ability and general knowledge about currency use.

The games and activities included in this lesson will aid ESL students in learning currency vocabulary, as well as learning how to properly use currency terminology in everyday speech.

Money and Figurative Language

Figurative language is often very difficult for ESL learners to grasp. This activity will introduce students to a variety of phrases that use money within a figurative language construct.

Materials needed: chalkboard/whiteboard, blank paper for each group

How to Play

The teacher will write a variety figurative language phrases that use the term 'money' or a concept of money on the board. For example:

  • Money doesn't grow on trees.
  • Put your money where your mouth is.
  • Money makes the world go round.
  • A penny for your thoughts.
  • A penny pincher.

Students will be put into groups and will be tasked with trying to determine the meaning of each saying. For lower level students, the teacher can provide the meanings and have the students match the meanings to the phrases. The group that has the most correct will be declared the winner.

Shop 'Til You Drop

This activity will have students connect to the concept and terminology of money in English in a very interactive and personal way by role-playing in a shopping situation. Before the activity begins, shopping terminology should be given to the students or listed on the board.

Materials needed: produce (you may want to use fake produce or images of produce) and play money. The produce will need to be priced according to the available money.

How to Play

The teacher will break the students up into 2 groups: shoppers and shopkeepers. The shopkeepers will be partnered up and must decide what kind of shop they will be running by choosing from the available produce. The shoppers will be given a large amount of play money.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account