Simple Flashcard Activities to Have Fun During the Class
Throughout this course, my favorite units have been the ones that teach us how to lead an effective lesson and have a fun classroom environment. I love all the suggestions and teaching ideas they give, and it excites me to think about using those for my future lessons. For that reason, I chose the topic of five activities with flashcards. This essay will be a perfect opportunity for me to delve further into my favorite part of this class and plan some fun things to do. When I move abroad I plan on teaching young children, mainly kindergarten-aged, so my five activities will be geared towards young learners. They need way more energy, fun, and excitement in their lessons than teenage or adult learners because their attention spans are so short, so I tried to keep that in mind when picking these.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Nicole M. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Touch That Color
I would have all the kids stand up in front of me while I have a stack of color flashcards ready in my hands. I would hold one card up (for example, “red”) and say the color. The kids would then have to run around the classroom and all go touch something of that color. As they land upon their chosen items, I walk around and check each child’s item to make sure it’s the correct color, as well as having them individually repeat the name of the color back to me. This would get the kids very active, allow them to burn off some energy, and be a fun way to remember which colors are which and how to say them.
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Before we begin the game, I separate the whiteboard into 2 sections. On the left, I tape up a bunch of flashcards with words we learned in the last class. For example, the cards would be animal words like “bird”, “dog”, “snake” etc. On the right side of the board, I tape up pictures of animals that correspond with the vocabulary words on the left. I then would randomly call on one student at a time, and they would come up to the board, pick a vocab word, and read it out loud while showing the class. After correct pronunciation, they get to try to match the correct picture with the word. We go around the class like this until everyone has had a chance and all the vocab has been reviewed.
Spell It Out
I would pass out a flashcard with a vocabulary word on it to each student in the class. I would then stand at the front and spell out a word letter by letter. The students follow along on their cards and whoever has the word that I spelled out must stand up, say the word, and bring the card to me. This is a good activity to keep the students alert and on their toes because they do not know which letters will come out of my mouth next. It can also turn into a fun little bingo game, like whoever correctly identifies and pronounces their words gets a little piece of candy as a reward. It will also get the students thinking about letters and their shapes, which is a very fundamental part of learning English.
This would be a perfect engage phase activity for these young learners and will allow them to have fun and burn energy before settling into a lesson. Before the class began I would take flashcards with vocab on them and roll them up to put inside little easter eggs. When the students came in for class, I would alert them that there are vocab eggs loose all over the class and everybody has to find two eggs! The kids would be able to search high and low for the colorful eggs and report back to the center. The last one back is a rotten egg! Then, each child will get to read out the two words that are inside their eggs and be rewarded with a small prize or treat for doing so correctly. As the kids say their words I would also write them on the board for everyone to see.
I also recently learned that a lot of foreign students adopt new English names when learning the language. I would give each of my kids a flashcard and set out some markers, crayons, pencils, etc. Then I would allow them to spell out their new American names on the paper, as well as decorate it any way they want. Color it, draw on it, do bubble letters, anything! Once everyone is done, each student stands up, says their name, and shows the class their work of art. Each day of class this name tag goes on the desk so students can be proud of their work.
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