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A Classic Fun Speaking Game with Variants


What's the time Mr Wolf? -

      1. How to Play - Variants for small to large groups

      2. Language ideas to use with this game           

      3. Materials for you to use with this game           

      4.Tell me what you think
What's the time Mr Wolf?

Category: Speaking

Group size: Variants for 3 players to a large class

Level: Beginners to intermediate

Materials: Variants with no materials needed, or with

Age: 5 to 12

During the game your class will repeat the sentences of your choice many times, thus making these phrases become a part of their speaking repertoire.


VARIANT ONE - The classic game - suitable only for small groups in a 'summer camp' type environment.

One pupil is the Wolf.  The wolf walks slowly ahead with the class following behind. The class ask in unison "What's the time Mr Wolf?" Mr Wolf replies "It's one o'clock" (or whatever time he likes). The class repeat the question until Mr Wolf replies, "It's dinner time!" At this point Mr
Wolf turns round and tries to catch one of the group. I suggest swapping Mr Wolf over at this point, regardless of whether the wolf catches anyone or not. If you like Mr Wolf can also call out breakfast time, lunch time, tea time, supper time, and even elevenses, (a British custom of coffee or tea and biscuits around 11am).  whenever Mr Wolf calls out a time involving eating he turns and chases the group.

VARIANT TWO - Quiet, controlled classroom variant.  3 to 60 pupils.

One pupil is the wolf.  The wolf faces the black board or away from the group. The class members stand behind their desks and ask in unison, "What time is it Mr Wolf?" Mr Wolf replies, "It's one o'clock". The class repeat the question until Mr Wolf says, "It's dinner time!" At this point the class freeze, Mr Wolf turns round and sees if anyone is moving.  If the wolf catches anyone moving they become the new wolf. See variant three for more time telling options.

Combine this with variant three for more fun.

VARIANT THREE - Classroom variant no materials.  3 to 60 pupils.

One pupil is the wolf, facing away from the group. The class each hold up 1 to 10 fingers, 1 arm in the air for
11, two arms in the air for 12. The class ask in unison, "What time is it Mr Wolf?" Mr Wolf replies with a time,
e.g. "It's 5 o'clock".  Anyone holding up 5 becomes the wolf. If more than one pupil has five then the wolf picks one of them out. You can combine this with variant two for more fun and variety.

To use more time telling possibilities you can use the following idea. 3 o'clock would be three fingers held above the head. Quarter past 3 would be three fingers held to the right of the body. Half past 3 would be three fingers held over the stomach. Quarter to four would be three fingers held to the left of the body.

VARIANT FOUR - Classroom variant with flashcards. 6 to 60 pupils.

Pupils stand at their desks with a wolf up front. In this version, each class member has a flashcard with a different time on it. Remember you can ask the class to draw a clock and choose a time themselves, to have everyone kitted out with their own flashcard in minutes. When the wolf gives a time, e.g. "It's half past five", anyone holding that time must call back "It's half past five", or "Is it really?" The class keep their flashcards flat on their desks, or hidden from the wolf. The wolf then turns round and must identify who replied by the sound of their voice. If the wolf does this successfully that person becomes the next wolf. Or you swap the wolf over each time.

VARIANT FIVE - Classroom variant with flashcards.  5 to 30

This variant is a little more lively,but still very manageable.  Basic set up as above. The class hold up their flashcards (see variant 4) to the wolf. The wolf mentally picks one of the times he sees and turns away from the class. The class ask in unison, "What time is it Mr Wolf?" Mr Wolf says "It's five o'clock", and then counts to four at a steady pace. The class members holding "five o'clock" may, if they choose to, quickly swap their card, or give it to a neighbour before the wolf turns around. Every one freezes. On the count of 4 the wolf turns round and tries to catch someone moving. The wolf then names the person he believes to be holding the 5 o'clock card.


If you like these ideas, why not add more great teaching ideas to your repertoire now? I have 161 games now in my eBook "161 English language games for children". Most of them can be played in class with no or limited materials.

Just go to
to find out more.

2. Language ideas to use with this game

The most obvious, easy adaptation is to use the time theme, but with different tenses. E.g. "What time did the wolf come in?"  The wolf replies, "It came in at 5 o'clock". Or, "When will the wolf come in?"  "It'll come in at 5 o'clock". Or, "When is the wolf coming in?"  "'It's coming in at 5 o'clock".

You can modify this game to practise other questions and answers you would like to practise. Here is one example to give you the idea.  Use with variants two to five, using flashcards.

Let's say you want to practise, "Where are you going on Saturday?" The wolf replies, "I'm going to the beach."

3. Materials for you to try this game

Telling the time flashcards are provided free at:

4. Tell a friend

If you know someone who would like this game, please feel free to let them know about the free games.

I hope you enjoy using this game in class.

.::Related Posts:


Anonymous said... Reply


Anonymous said... Reply

I got this idea from a kid's TV program, and I did this game (variant 1) in my classes. My students always enjoyed it and asked me to play it again and again. Glad to know other variants and surely I will try them! Thanks!

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