5 Energizing Flashcard Games for EFL Classes
Flashcards are aids to learning with information on either both sides or on one side which a teacher holds up so that the students can see. Flashcards can have an English word on one side and have a translation in another language on the other side, or they can have pictures on one side and a word on the other side.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Eshita P. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Why do teachers use flashcards?
Teachers use flashcards for different reasons, such as playing games, sentence construction (grammar), or to make it easier for students to get a clear picture of what the teaching will be saying. These cards are usually used to perk up students’ memory. Flashcards are effective when learning new materials, doing reviews, and doing activities with the students. Activities are a way of making the lesson fun and more interesting because this can help shy or withdrawn students to open up. Flashcard activities reduce teacher talk time (TTT), and they energize the classroom atmosphere.
How are the activities done?
1. Pass the ball
Students sit in a circle, the teacher holds up a flashcard. Every student has to say out the word of the picture on the card, or they can spell out the word, one student one letter whilst passing the ball around.
Divide students into two teams, and make two straight lines, one student after the other. The teacher shows the card, one student has to pass the ball over his or her head and the next student passes the ball from in between the legs. This activity is played as over and under, the first team to finish spelling out the word immediately sits on the floor. The teacher has to monitor and control the students because they can get excited and make noise.
2. What’s missing?
The teacher shows all the flashcards, puts them on the board, and does a quick review. After doing the review, the teacher will ask the students to close their eyes and remove one or two cards from the board, then ask students to open their eyes and say out the missing card or cards. If the teacher has hidden the card, the students will then have to find it.
3. Jump and say
- This game is ideal for beginners. The teacher will draw circles with the cards outside the circles so that students do not step on them and fall. The student has to jump in each circle and say out the word.
- The teacher can draw lines on the floor according to the number of flashcards he has, and call out students. If the teacher shows a card the first student to get the answer correct moves one step forward.
4. Hammer game
All the cards are put on the floor in different positions randomly. Two students are given a hammer each when the teacher calls out the name of the flashcard the students then have to find the card and hit it with the hammer. This is a racing, and rewarding game the winner gets more points individually or as a team.
5. Writing relay race
This activity is ideal for older students who can recognize letters and can write. Students are put in groups, each group has a marker pen. The teacher shows a flashcard, one student from each group runs to the board and writes the full word or one letter of the word and gives the pen to the next student.
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