My number one best-loved activity is so simple it defies reason, but it never fails to work with any students no matter what age. In decreasing order of popularity, here are my favorites:
1. Slowly reveal. After I've introduced the vocabulary through flashcards or powerpoints, I cover the picture and just show a tiny part of it; and depending on the target language, I ask them to tell me what the picture is. For example, I'll show a tiny part of a picture of a man drinking a pop. If we are using "going to" as the TL, the students will have to answer like this: He's going to drink. If they get it right the team that answered correctly gets 10 points. If they add to the answer and say, He's going to drink a pop, they get additional points. If the students don't know what the picture is initially, I keep showing a little bit more of the picture. I also throw in a new vocabulary word just to keep them on their toes.
Variations on slowly reveal are endless. One very popular one is through drawing. They've seen the vocabulary flashcards and I start to draw one of the flashcards on the whiteboard. They answer in full sentences using the requested TL.
2. Tic Tac Toe. I put up 16 or 25 flashcards in a grid on the board. Using the TL and the vocabulary, students call out a number and answer. For example, they might call out number 3 and say, They ate a hamburger yesterday. Each team tries to get as many flashcards in one line. So, for a 16 grid game, that would be a maximum of 4 in a row, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. I tell them that 1 card = 10 points, 2 cards (next to each other) =50 points, 3 cards = 100 points, and 4 cards = 200 points.
3. Snap! I put a bunch of flashcards on the board. One student from each team stands in front of the board. Another student in the class reaches into a bag, takes out a vocabulary card and reads it. Students at the board have to touch the flashcard first. The student who touches the card first must make a sentence using the vocabulary and the TL. If it is a tie, we use rock, scissors, paper for the winner. Have different students pick vocabulary from the bag as well each time.