Thumb War

Students practice numbers 1-10 or 10-100 using Thumb War.

Archived from Englipedia.
Originally submitted by Raymond Corrigan on June 29, 2010.


Demonstrate, to students, how to have a thumb war:

  • Students make the thumbs up gesture with their right hands and grip the other players fingers tightly.
  • You can use the chant, "One, two, three, four. I declare Thumb War!!!!" or something similar to start each match.
  • After the chant is spoken, the students "wrestle" with their thumbs. The student who pins the other's thumb for 10 seconds is the winner. The student must count out loud from 1 to 10.

Students stand up and find a partner.

Thumb War is declared and students practice their numbers in English.

When the war is over, students find a new partner.


  • Have students count from 10-100 in sets of ten to practice larger numbers. (10, 20, 30, 40...)
  • Have students count a specific set of numbers. (20, 21, 22, 23, 24... / 70, 71, 72...)
  • Make a thumb war tournament chart and find the best "wrestler" in the class.


  • Make sure that students are not trying to hurt each other. Boys can get carried away. (Well, ok, girls can too, but its less common.)

Total 0

Estimated time: 15-30 min

Submitted by: Englipedia Archive

November 25, 2019


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