This morning I bought a small whiteboard with washable marker from the local chinese bazaar. As I was standing in the queue I was thinking about what I would use it for. Here are some of my ideas, sometimes requiring more than one board, but you can buy them very cheaply and they will last for a long time.
1) Secret Word - I write a word on the board and tell students what category it is e.g. clothes and they take turns at guessing the word. The student that guesses correctly then writes a word.
2) Pictionary - Instead of whispering the word or sentence to the drawer, I write it on the board.
3) Pictionary - Students draw on the whiteboard and play pictionary in small groups (several boards needed).
4) Sentence completion - I write a sentences with a missing word on the main board. Students in teams write on their board the missing word. (Suitable for PET and FCE exam prep)
5) Writing letters - Very Young Learners practise letter formation on small boards.
6) Picture Dictation - In pairs or small groups students draw a picture and describe for their companions to draw.
7) Giving praise - When a student does something very well, I draw a smiley face or a big tick on the board and show it to the individual.
8) Sentence writing - In a chain, students each write a word to form a sentence. If done in two teams, give points for the number of words.
9) Silent Way - Instead of speaking, write everything on the board, encouraging students to respond orally. This includes saying hello, showing your feelings e.g. big smiley face, a question mark if you don't understand.
10) Writing vocabulary - For young learners who find it hard to locate a specific word on the main board, write the word they want to use on the board.
11) Pass the board - Like pass the parcel but with vocabulary. Give a topic e.g animals and play music. Students pass the board around and when the music stops, the person who has the board writes a word.
12) Prompts - Ask students questions and prompt their answers using the board.
13) Instructions - Write an instruction on the board, show it to one student who does that action, then the others say what the instruction was. (Practice for Starters speaking exam)
14) Menu - For a café or restaurant roleplay, write the menu on the board and display.
15) Shopping List - For a shopping roleplay write the shopping list of items students need to buy.
16) Physical Sentences - With several boards, write a word on each that can form a sentence. Then give one to each student who have to stand in a line in to make a correct sentence.
If I think of any more I will add them to the list. I'm sure Alex Case would come up with a hundred! The possibilities are really quite endless. Most of these activties can be done on paper, but just think that this way you will be saving a tree or two! Please feel free to add any suggestions in the comments section.