Odd One Out Speaking Activity

Odd One Out ESL Speaking Activity

Challenge your students to think outside of the box with this ESL speaking activity: Odd One Out. This activity is inspired by a lesson from TEFL.net

This activity works best with intermediate to advanced level English language learners. It can be played both in the classroom and remotely.

How to play Odd One Out

To start, write the following four words on the board:

Car Bicycle Train Taxi

Ask students which thing they think is the “odd one out” (doesn’t belong) and WHY.

Example answers:

  • I think the bicycle is the odd one out because it only has 2 wheels and everything else has more than 2 wheels.
  • In my opinion, the train is the odd one out because it’s the only type of transportation that is public.
  • I believe that the odd one out is the bicycle because it doesn’t use any gas.
  • As I see it, the bicycle is the odd one out because there aren’t any passengers.

The main idea is for students to think of as many examples as possible for each set of four words.

Next, split students into small groups or breakout rooms to complete the activity. Print off one activity sheet per group (or send it in the chat for online classes.)

You can get a copy of the activity sheet for the Odd One Out ESL Speaking activity here. Otherwise, keep scrolling to see the list of word sets.

Additionally, you might want to pre-teach expressions for expressing opinions. Students can use these expressions when giving their answers.

Monitor students and provide support as needed. If your class requires more support, you might want to come together after every 5 sets of words to discuss answers. Make sure each group has a “secretary” to record answers.

Why you should try the Odd One Out speaking activity

Unlike other speaking activities where there is only one set answer, this activity challenges students to think and stretch their vocabulary

Additionally, this activity can be used as a warmer. Try just one or two sets of words at the start of a lesson or after a break to get students speaking and communicating in English.

Students doing the speaking activity

Odd One Out speaking activity word sets

  1. Cup, glass, jar, pitcher

  1. Book, notebook, laptop, tablet

  1. Wallet, bag, purse, backpack

  1. Garden, forest, palm tree, flower

  1. Rocket, moon, spaceship, alien

  1. Water, boat, fish, swimsuit

  1. Theater, television, actor, model

  1. Tiger, zebra, lion, giraffe

  1. Breakfast, snack, lunch, tea

  1. Hammer, shovel, knife, saw

  1. Biking, swimming, rollerblading, basketball

  1. Teacher, college, university, student

  1. Pillow, sofa, chair, blanket

  1. Bell, whistle, tweet, whisper

  1. Flip flops, sandals, heels, boots

  1. TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

  1. Orange, apple, strawberries, grapes

  1. Airplane, luggage, flight attendant, pilot

  1. Video, photo, movie, text

20. Song, music, lyrics, singer

Final Thoughts

If you try the Odd One Out speaking activity in your class, leave a comment below and let me know how it went. 

Happy teaching!

More free lesson plans from ESL Teacher 365

Business Discussions Lesson: Teach Business English

Prepositions of Place Zoom Lesson for Beginners

-ED Pronunciation Lesson for Beginners

ESL Teacher 365 Online Courses & Memberships

Teach Online in 10 Days Mini-Course

A step-by-step 10 lesson mini-course that will teach you how to become an online teacher so that you can life a life of freedom & flexibility - with unlimited income potential!

TEFL Teacher Roadmap Teach Course

A proven step-by-step formula that will teach you how to move abroad with confidence & clarity. A self-study online course for anyone asking "NOW WHAT?!" after completiting their TEFL certificate.

Teach Abroad Club Membership

Ready to start your teach abroad adventure? Teach Abroad Club is the ONLY monthly membership & community that supports you through the teach abroad process - every step of the way. 

Follow ESL Teacher 365

More Posts from the Blog

Teach Abroad in China 2024

Teach Abroad in China 2024

How to teach English abroad in China – a complete guide to visas, types of schools, salaries and benefits of teaching in China.

Thanks for visiting ESL Teacher 365!

Thanks for visiting ESL Teacher 365!

Certified Teacher & Founder of ESL Teacher 365

I am passionate about helping people teach abroad & online so they can live a life of adventure!

I’ve taught in 6 different countries and love sharing my teach abroad (and online) tips and tricks.

The world is yours to teach and explore!

– Jamie


Disclaimer: ESL Teacher 365 participates in Amazon Associates and other afilliate programs. This means I may earn a small commission if you use one of my links, at no extra cost to you. This helps me continue to provide helpful resources for teachers. Thank you!