Adjective Action: T writes on
the board an activity like "bush your teeth." S/He picks one student,
they come to the front of the class. The T then shows the S a card
with an adjective written on it, such as "slowly". The chosen student
then does the activity in the way of the adjective. The other Ss have
to guess the adjective. The one who guesses right gets a point and
mimes the next action which the teacher writes on the board. To help
them you can give them a list of options, if you think they need some
Alphabet Soup: Place plastic
letters in a bowl. Divide flashcards by their beginning letters. Each
student draws a letter from the bowl and then finds the flashcards
associated with that letter.
Alphabet Wave: Divide the a-z
flashcards among all your students. Put Ss in a line and play the ABC
song. As it plays each student must hold up their corresponding
Backs to the Board Game: This
one is good for higher level kids. Make two teams and stand one S
from each team in front of the board, facing away from it. Place a
flashcard picture on the board (e.g. "hamburger") and the Ss have to
explain that word to their team member (e.g. you can buy it in
McDonalds, it's got cheese and ketchup in it). The first S out of the
two standing in front of the board to guess the word wins a point for
Basketball: Ss take a shot at
the trashcan/box/etc. First show a flashcard to S1. If s/he answers
correctly then s/he can have a shot at the basket. If the S gets the
ball in the basket then s/he wins 2 points. If the S hits the basket
without going inside then s/he wins 1 point. The person who gets the
most points is the winner. This can also be played in teams.
Basketball Card Line-Up: This
game is like basketball game but more educational. Place 2 lines of
several cards. You need 2 players and a basket far away. To shoot
the basket from far away is hard so the players need to say the card
and make their way closer and closer to the basket. When they feel
that they can throw and hit the basket, they make their attempt.
Battleship: Age: 4+, Level:
All levels, Target: Vocabulary, Phrases, Listening and Conversation.
Make a grid. The size of the grid depends on the number of students
and the time limits of the class. Basically the students pick a grid
reference, as " A1" or “ B7”and then you reveal the card.
Catch me if you can: Have
students sit in a circle. After reviewing the chosen set of
flashcards, place them in a pile in the center of the circle. Take the
first card and show it to everybody. Have one student walk around the
outside of the circle saying words from the specific subject – like
fruits or days - while touching each student's of the circle on the
head. When the "magic" word is said, the student whose head is touched
at that time, must stand up and chase the student who touched them
around the circle. The first one to sit in that spot remains seated
and chooses the next "magic" word. The student standing begins again;
Charades: Have a S come to
the front of the class and show a FC or whisper a word to that S. The
S then acts out that word and the first S to guess can be the next
player. This works very well with action verbs. Variation:
divide the class up into teams - the first S to guess wins a point for
Concentration: You need 2
sets of flashcards for this game. Place both sets face down on the
floor. Ss take turns in turning over 2 cards (saying the cards
aloud). If the cards match then the S keeps the cards. If the cards
are different the cards are turned back over again in their original
places. The S with the most pairs at the end of the game is the
Concentration 2: Level:
requires basic reading. Make a set of cards. On half of them put a
picture of a theme related subject (for example body parts, food,
furniture etc) on the other half put the word relating to each picture
(ex. nose, mouth, lips, eye...). Laminate if possible. Place all
cards face down on the table. The first player turns two at a time
(or three for the very young) over to match the word to the picture.
If it matches the player can keep the pair if not, the cards are
returned and then next player goes. These cards can also be used so
that a child or team simply matches the words to the pictures.
Cross the River:
Place flashcards on floor in winding manner. Each represents a
stepping stone in the river, as students must say
word/phrase/question/etc in order to step on it and cross the river!
Darts: You need a magnetic
dartboard (you can get in cheap $1 stores). Place flashcards on the
board and number them. Divide class into 2 to 4 teams. Then ask,
"What's picture number 3?". If the student answers correctly then s/he
may throw a dart for points. You can also say the vocabulary word and
have students point instead of speak if their are younger or at a more
Easy Hard: You need at least
20 cards to play which you divide into 2 piles face down:
An Easy and a Hard pile. Give each team 50 points from beginning.
Pick a student and ask if they would like an easy or a hard card, also
ask how many points they would like to risk on knowing the answer:
Easy 1-5 and Hard 5-10.
Fast as rabbits: T puts some
flashcards on the board. Then a pair of students go to the board
facing the flashcards. T says words (from the flashcards) and the 2
children must touch the correct flashcard as fast as they can. The
winner is who touches more flashcards first.
Fish: Before this game you
need to have the students in pairs draw and cut out a picture of a
fish for each pair. While they are doing that put 2 parallel lines of
tape on the floor a few meters apart. Have Ss play in twos - each
student behind a different line. T shows S1 a flashcard and asks what
it is. If the S answers it correctly s/he can blow once to propel the
fish forward. Next, T asks S2. The S who blows the fish over the
tapped line is the winner.
Flashcard Fun: Hold up a
flashcard and elicit the answer from a S. Ss can win the flashcard if
they answer correctly. The S with the most flashcards at the end is
Give Me Game: You can use
with flashcards or objects. Elicit the different flashcards you
have. Then place all the flashcards around the classroom. Once the
Ss have collected the flashcards (they'll probably do their best to
hide them in their pockets, etc.) T says "Give me a (bus)". The S
with the (bus) flashcard should approach the T and hand it to him/her:
"Here you are". Avoid having the flashcards thrown back to you as
they can go anywhere and takes a long time to finish this game.
Hint Animal Game: I tried
this activity once and the children really loved it, so I kept doing
it. As a review on animals cards, hold some cards without showing
any. Then tell the kids that they are going to receive 3 hints, so
they need to listen carefully.
For example: 1. I am yellow. 2. I have long hair. 3. I am strong. Who
am I? Well, a lion of course! You can make it in deferent levels
depending on how much English you use or which vocab you use.
Jump On It: Spread out
flashcards on the floor and have Ss stand at one end of the room.
Shout out a card and the Ss have to find the card and jump on it. The
first S to do this wins a point. Variation: Make 2 teams for a
relay race. The first 2 Ss try and jump on the flashcard first to win
a point for their team.
Karuta: Lay flashcards on a
table or the floor, picture side up. Teacher calls out the
word/phrase/etc. and students compete to be the first person to grab
or touch the card. If they touch it, they keep it. Game continues
until all cards have been picked up.
Keep the in Order: Each
student has a set of cards (pictures with names) similar to the
teacher. The teacher places his/her cards in a particular order in two
or three rows, and so do the students following instructions. T starts
calling the cards in pairs so that the two cards named change
positions. Make a few changes in this way (don´t let students see the
changes, they must follow them only by listening carefully).
Afterwards, T. calls a student to say the cards in order. If all the
cards are well placed the student can lead a new game. Students love
the game and learn a lot of vocabulary.
Lightning Flashcards: T
stands at front of class with flashcards. Ss form two teams standing
in a line. Two Ss go first and face away from the T, T says 1.2.3.
what is it? and Ss quickly turn around and the first S to call out the
correct answer wins a point for their team (good for review of vocab).
Line True or False: Put a
line of tape on the floor and designate one side "True" and the other
"False". Hold up a flashcard or object and say its word. If Ss think
the you have said the correct word they jump on the True side, if not
they jump on the False side. Incorrect Ss sit out until the next
Musical Flashcards: Ss walk
around some flashcards in a circle as some music is playing. When the
music stops T shouts out a flashcard and the Ss must race to step on
that card. The first S to step on it keeps the card (1 point) and the
Musical Chair Alphabet: Place
chairs in the form of musical chairs with alphabet flashcards placed
on them. Start the music when the music stops the students pick up
their flashcards and have to read the sound on the flashcard. The
child who is unable to read is out of the game.
This game is really good fun. You need some clothes
pegs. Pair up Ss and peg a card onto each S's back. Both Ss face
each other with hands behind backs waiting for T to shout "Go!". At
this point they must try to discover his/her partner's hidden
flashcard without letting their partner see theirs. When the S
finally sees his/her partner's card s/he has to shout it out to become
the winner. The Ss look like ostriches when playing this game.
Over-under: Line up the kids
in two teams. Give the two kids at the front each a flash card. When
you say go, the first in line says the word and passes the f/c over
their head, the next kid says the word and passes the card under
between their legs, the next kid over, then under, etc. The last kid
in line races to the front to hand the f/c to the teacher and says the
word. The first team to do so gets a point.
Pass: Sit the Ss with you in
a circle. T holds up a flashcard or object and says its name (e.g.
"Pen"). T passes it on to the next S who also says its name and
passes it on to the next S. Variations: change directions,
speed rounds, have many objects going round at the same time.
Pictionary: Good for
reviewing vocab. Pick a S and show him/her a flashcard picture or
whisper a word into his/her ear. The S draws the picture on the board
and the first S to guess the picture gets to draw the next picture.
This can also be played in teams with a point system.
Picture Recognition Game:
Have all the Ss stand at one end of the room and the T in the middle.
Hold up one picture flashcard and Ss come forward and whisper the word
in the T's ear. If correct they can go over to the other side of the
room. Ss can have as many guesses as they like.
Quick Peek: T holds a
flashcard with the picture facing towards him/her. T quickly shows it
to the Ss for a quick peek. The S who guesses the card wins a point.
Race Track: Lay out the
flashcards like a race track with a start and finish line. Ss play in
pairs or teams. S1 rolls a dice and moves a counter along the track.
The S must say the flashcard landed on and if wrong must move back to
the original position. Variation: put in some 'throw again'
cards (e.g. brightly colored cards) and a nominate a 'crash' number on
the die (e.g. if Ss throws a 6 they crash and must stay where they are
and miss a turn).
Roll that Dice: Split class
into 2 to 4 teams. Place flashcards on board and number them. Younger
Students: T says: Point to the ______. S should point to that card. If
correct then S rolls dice for points. If incorrect S gets help from
team. Older Students: T says: What's picture number 4? S says the
vocabulary word. If correct then S rolls dice for points. If incorrect
S gets help from team.
Rope Jump: you need a rope
for this one! Have Ss stand behind each other in a line. Hold a rope
(have a S hold the other end) at a height that the Ss should be able
to jump over. On the other side of the rope spread out some
flashcards or objects and a box. Call out the name of one of the
flashcards/objects to the first S. S/he has to jump over the rope,
pick up the correct flashcard and put it in the box. For other rounds
you can hold the rope down low, so Ss have to crawl/roll under.
Shopping: This can be used
with a wide range of flashcards (food pictures work well). Gather all
the Ss and show them all the flashcards you have. Ask a S "What do
you want?" (or maybe "What would you like?" to higher levels). The S
should reply (e.g. "a hamburger, please"). T then says "Here you are"
and the S finishes with "Thank you". At the end collect the objects
by playing the 'Give Me' game.
Slam: Sit the Ss in a circle
and place some flashcards in the middle of the circle. Tell Ss to put
their hands on their heads. T shouts out the word of one of the
flashcards and the Ss race to touch it. The S who touches it first
get to keep the object. The S who has the most flashcards at the end
of the game is the winner.
Slow motion: T holds a pack
of flashcards with the pictures facing towards him/her. The last card
should be turned around so it is facing the Ss but is hidden as it is
behind the pack. Slowly pull the flashcard up inch by inch so the Ss
can only see part of the flashcard. As the picture is slowly revealed
Ss try and guess what it is. The first S to guess correctly keeps the
card (for 1 point). Variation: To make it a little more
difficult turn the flashcard upside down.
Snap: You need 2 sets of
flashcards all shuffled together. Sit the Ss in a circle and deal out
all the cards to the Ss. S1 places down a card in the middle of the
circle and says the word aloud, followed by S2 placing his/her card
down to form a pile. At some point 2 identical cards may be placed on
top of each other and the Ss race to slam the pile and shout "Snap!".
The S who slams last takes the pile. Ss should try and lose all their
cards. The last S left with all the cards is the loser.
Speed lines: Have the
students in two lines facing the teacher. The first students in each
line are the players. Show a flashcard and the first student to
correctly name it is the winner. These two students then go to the
back of their respective lines and you repeat the process with the
next two students. If both students say the name of the card together
let them quickly Janken to decide the winner. A very important
ingredient is the speed. Have lines of unequal number so that on
progressive rounds the students are playing with different people.
This way you don't have to worry about pairing slower students with
Spin the Bottle: Sit Ss in a
circle with a bottle in the middle. T Spins the bottle. When it
stops spinning the S it is pointing to is shown a flashcard and asked
to say what it is. If the answer is correct then that S can spin the
bottle. This is a good vocab review activity.
Tic Tac Toe: Place 9
flashcards (representing words, phrases, questions, etc) face down and
numbered (or letters of alphabet) on a large taped grid on the floor.
Students call out number or letter to see flashcard. S or team with
correct response claims that space with an X or O.
Touch: Place flashcards
around the room and have Ss run around the classroom touching the
flashcards that T orders them to do (e.g. "Touch the car" "Touch the
bicycle" "Touch the bus").
Tornado: Supplies: flashcards
(pictures or questions on one side, numbers on the other), 'Tornado
Cards' (flashcards with numbers on one side and a tornado picture on
the other). Stick the numbered cards on the board with either
pictures or questions on the back (depending on the age group) facing
the board. Also include 6 Tornado cards and mix them in with the
picture cards. Students then choose a number card. If they answer the
question correctly then their team can draw a line to draw a house. If
they choose a tornado card then they blow down their opposing teams
part drawing of a house. The first team to draw a house wins.
Up and Down: You need 2 sets
of flashcards for this game. Give each of your Ss a flashcard from
one set. T keeps the other set. Arrange the Ss so that they are all
sitting down. T holds up one flashcard and the S with the same
flashcard stands up and says the word and then sits down again. Play
the game at a fast pace so that Ss are standing up and sitting down
rapidly. Variation: Give each S 2 or 3 flashcards.
Uncover: After the
vocabulary has been thoroughly taught sit and slowly expose a
flashcard until someone can guess what it is. Reward everyone as they
will tend to guess at the same time.
Vanishing Flashcards Game:
place a number of flashcards in front of the Ss. Give them a few
moments to memorize the pictures and then tell them to close their
eyes. Take away one of the flashcards and then tell the Ss to open
their eyes again. The first S to guess the missing flashcard can win
that flashcard (for 1 point) and take away a flashcard in the next
Vocabulary Tunnel: Make a
tunnel for Ss to crawl through. T stands at one end and holds up a
flashcard for the first S to say. After the S says the correct word,
s/he can go through the tunnel. Then hold up a flashcard for the next
Window Game: You can only do
this if your classroom has a window that you can stand outside of and
look into the classroom (don't try this on the 10th floor!). Model
first: stand the Ss in front of the window and go out of the room.
Wave to them through the window and silently mouth some words (so it
seems like they can't hear you through the glass). Look at a
flashcard and then mouth the word a few times. Go back in and the S
who first tells you the word you were saying can have a turn.