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5 Engaging Activities With a Set of Flashcards

5 Engaging Activities With a Set of Flashcards | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Flashcards are considered to be an effective means to introduce new vocabulary in the ESL classroom. They are vivid, easy-to-use and they are considered to stimulate active recall method which helps us to retain the vocabulary for long periods. Some teachers consider that flashcards can to be used for young learners only. In my opinion, even adults will benefit from using flashcards. They can help to reduce TTT while introducing new vocabulary, can be used as a revision activity, and when adapted, can even be applied to practice vocabulary in complex grammar structures.

Flashcards are easy to find. You can buy ready-made flashcards, use cutouts from old magazines or draw your flashcards. You can even ask your students to illustrate new vocabulary which you are going to introduce and practice or draw together with your students which will lead to much more excitement.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Alina S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

1. Disappearing flashcards

The teacher places flashcards on the blackboard in a row. The students are asked to close their eyes, while the teacher takes off one of the flashcards. When students open their eyes they are asked what picture is missing. A variation of this game is when the teacher draws a dash instead of a missing card. The students name the cards from the beginning till the end including the one which is missing. Second round another card is taken off and replaced with a dash. The children start naming the cards in a row. The game goes on till all the cards are replaced with dashes and the student have to name them from their memory.

Disappearing flashcards

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2. The game is called "Darts"

The teacher places flashcards on the board and writes numbers under each of them. Students are divided into teams. The teacher asks, "What's picture number 3?". The representatives of each team answer in turns. If the student answers correctly, then he or she is allowed to throw a toy or paper ball at a dart drawn on the board next to the cards If the student hits the dark he/she gets the points that are added to the team score. The team with the greatest number of points wins the game. As a variation of the game, you may ask students to make sentences or questions with the words from the flashcards instead of naming them.

3. Pictionary

It is a game for vocabulary revision. The teacher chooses a student and shows him/her a flashcard. The student draws the picture on the board. The first student who names the drawing correctly gets a point. The student with the highest number of points gets an excellent mark. This game can also be played in teams.

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4. TPR and flashcards or miming game

One student is shown a card which year he or she has to my mime for the rest of the class or group. This kind of game is good when the students practice action verbs. Although the teacher should be aware of the fact that some students may be too shy to demonstrate something in front of their classmates. This game can only be practiced when the teacher and the students know each other quite well.

5. Tic Tac Toe

The teacher draws a 3×3 large enough to place flashcards inside each square. The students are divided into 2 groups and are assigned naught or crosses. Each group, in turn, chooses a square and names a word in it. If the answer is correct the student can draw the sign of his/her group (naught or cross) instead of the picture in the grid. The winner is the group who has three correct words in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal row.

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To sum it up flashcards are essential and amusing part of an ESL lesson as they form a strong neuron connection in the brain which makes the process of vocabulary retaining easy and enjoyable. Don’t neglect the idea of using flashcards with the students of different ages and levels as they are a tried-and-true study tool.

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