We all understand the importance of leading in a topic and making sure that students are focused and are ready to learn. That’s why most ESL teachers tend to focus their energy on warm-ups and ice breakers. More often than not, end of lesson activities are neglected.

Sometimes, we are too engrossed in teaching that when we look at the time, we realize that there’s only so much time left so we just go ahead and summarize the key points of the lesson and tell the students what they have learned for the day. When we do this, we do not only give an abrupt ending, but we also rob students the chance to reflect on what they have gleaned from our lesson.

No matter how brilliant the beginning and middle of the lesson had been, there still needs to be a strong closure otherwise students will leave our class feeling a little confused. Closure is the time when students make connections and better remember what they have learned.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: ESL Warm-up Activities with Free PowerPoint Download

Here are some examples of closure activities that I like to do in my class. These can be used for the remaining three to five minutes of class time:

Sum it up

Ask students to summarize the day’s lessons by:

  • writing a paragraph or two; or
  • drawing a web or mind map about the lesson’s content.


Show a list of vocabulary words you discussed today and ask students to choose 5 and write down them down on their notebook. Give the definition of a random word from the list but don’t say the word itself. If students think they have the word you defined, they tick it. The first student to tick all 5 words they had chosen shouts BINGO and wins the game.

Download BINGO ready-to-play PPT here!

Gamify Quiz

Make a very short wrap up quiz on Kahoot and watch students review the lesson while having fun! Use the remaining time to let students respond to a survey question.

Speaking of games, you can download my Jeopardy template for FREE on TpT!

Challenge the Teacher

Let students make up questions for you to answer about today’s lesson. In turn, you can ask them higher order questions to see if they can beat you.

Exit Pass

A good way to end the lesson is to ask students to produce something either written or spoken in order to leave the room. This strategy is well-known as Exit Ticket where student give you something as they exit the door. This can be done in many different ways:

  • Ask the students to tell you orally one or two new vocabulary words they have learned from your class today.
  • Ask the student to self-rate their understanding and write down one or two things they would like to know more about in the next lesson.
  • Write questions or vocabulary words on 10 sticky notes and hide them under random desks. Students who sit where the post-it notes are will answer the questions before leaving the room.

Round Robin

Round Robin is a brainstorming technique that encourages contributions from all participants. Ask students to form a circle and then start by giving a review question (e.g What have you learned today? or Share one vocabulary you have learned today.). Working clockwise, each one will verbally give an answer until a full circle has been completed. Since each student can only give one thing, this gives more students a chance to respond.

Snowball Fight

This really works well with elementary and middle school kids. Ask students to write a question about the day’s lesson on a piece of paper. Tell them to crumple up the paper and have a “snowball fight.” After a few seconds, ask students to pick up one paper and face a partner.They will read the question and share the answer with each other. Repeat until the bell rings.

Think, Pair, Share!

Think, Pair, Share! is good closure activity to go beyond vocabulary words. Since most lessons in ESL are theme-based (e.g Food, Countries, Family and Friends), you can ask a higher level question about the topic for this activity.

  • Give students 2 minutes to think about their response to the question.
  • Let them pair up or face their partner.
  • Give 3 minutes to share their answer with each other!

Journal Entry

You can also make journal writing a routine for closure. Students can write 3-5 vocabulary words and use them in a sentence. They can also answer a reflective question about the topic you discussed. The bottomline is to always give them a chance to reflect about the lessons you teach.

Ball Toss

Students toss a ball from one to another. The student who catches the ball will quickly give one thing he/she learned in the class today. A variation is to pass the ball counterclockwise while a music is playing. Whoever is holding the ball when you pause the music will verbally share something.


Ask students to write a question on a scratch paper about today’s topic. Collect all the papers and put them in a bowl.  Ask a volunteer to pick one paper from the container. Let him/her read out and answer the question. Continue until the time is over.



When students understand that the end of lesson activities are an integral part of your overall lesson, they are more likely to think twice before packing up to go to their next class!

If you have a favorite closure activity, please let us know in the comments!

Author: Melchor Bernardo

Students call me Teacher Mel. After quitting law school, I moved to Vietnam to be with my first love – teaching English! This website is a bit of a copy of my teaching styles and philosophy. I live by the words of Benjamin Franklin: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Related Post

13 Fun Things to Do on the Last Day of School As the school year winds down, it is sometimes difficult to keep teaching to the last minute so here are 13 fun things to do on the last day of school...
Vocabulary Puzzles for Fun Classroom Activity! There are many types of vocabulary puzzles for all ages including adults! Students can create the puzzles for their classmates to solve!
ESL Warm Up Activities with PowerPoint Download Bring energy to your class or fill the time when the lesson runs shorter than expected with these ESL warm up activities with free powerpoint download...
Classroom Speaking Activities for Any Language Cla... Here's a list of engaging classroom speaking activities which can be done in a variety of ways such as individual tasks, pair works or group activitie...

19 comments on “End of Lesson Activities for ESL Classes

  1. There is always a need to end the lesson on a note which makes the students confident on a topic, as the ending also has the same importance unlike the beginning, as students are learners needing equal guidance throughout any topic class.

  2. Islemenglish on said:

    Very useful ideas. Thanks for sharing them.

  3. Hi my dear teacher Alisa I saw and I subscribed all of your videos and now I know most of things in english please if you have telegram please find me because I need help alot and I want to countinue english.

  4. I like that you mentioned about having a student to summarize the lesson every end of the day. That should make each student attentive since they could be called at any day for this. Additionally, the challenge your teacher idea is quite promising for both parties to learn from each other. I hope all classes would have this since it’s going to be a great benefit for both the teacher and students. The teacher would gain the student’s attention while the teacher would be able to keep the class focused while being entertained. In my opinion, that’s the perfect blend of fun and learning. Thanks for the interesting article about the end of lesson activities for ESL classes!

  5. I like the journal entry,, thanks

  6. Really useful and enjoyable resources.

  7. NicholasHill on said:

    Thank you so much for this submit

  8. Aurelija on said:

    Thank you for inspirational ideas which I will definitely apply in my classroom.

  9. Wow! I’m truly impressed by the way you detailed out almost everything. It truly is actually going to assist me lots. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so clearly.

  10. Nice Article!! Thanks for sharing this informative article with us

  11. Useful information and wonderful design you got here! I would like to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the articles you publish!

  12. Hello,
    I am roxy smith.
    thanks for sharing this post.
    provide you best Assignment help Australia anytime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.