The Count | Drama Game for Focus and Listening
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The Count is a simple drama game that is great for improving listening, concentration and following directions. It’s an action game that you can play while social distancing or teaching virtually.

COVID-19 Update!
Try to ensure your students stay two metres apart. It might be best to mark lines for the children to walk on instead of allowing them to walk randomly around the space unless you have a very large space.


  • Ask the students to walk around the room.
  • When the teacher calls a number the students should perform the corresponding action.
  • 1 – clap.
  • 2 – jump.
  • 3 – touch the floor.
  • 4 – change direction.
  • Students who perform the wrong action are eliminated.

Top tip: try a second round but switch which number corresponds with each action to really test their concentration.

In my experience

The Count drama game works with students of all ages, from preschool to adults. You won’t believe the concentration on the students’ faces while they listen for the next number!

With younger students, it is usually worth playing yourself, at least at first. The different actions can be a bit confusing until they get the hang of things.

This game is also a great tool in the ESL classroom. Instead of calling a number, just use the verb itself. Change the verbs to whatever it is that they have recently been studying. It’s a great way to reinforce what each of the verbs means by associating it with the physical action.

Need help keeping your students socially distant? Try marking a space using the following:

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Rebecca is the founder and chief executive officer of Silly Fish Learning Ltd. She is a children's playwright with a vast and varied career in education, primarily teaching drama and English.

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