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Top 5 Activities With Flashcards

Top 5 Activities With Flashcards | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Flashcard is an indispensable tool that every teacher needs during the studying process. Regardless of the age of the students, it can be used effective equal with young learners or adults. Usually, in the ESL classes, the teacher uses flashcards when they need to teach new or review the previous vocabulary. It’s also one of the easiest ways to add some games into your lesson, cause mostly it doesn’t need special preparations. Young learners especially like flashcard games because usually it’s active games and allow them to have fun during the lesson.

There are different types of flashcards, for instance, on one side could be a word or picture on another side – it's the English translation. Those types of flashcards are useful for memory games. It also could be a card with a picture or symbol on it.

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

Below I want to describe 5 of my student’s favorite games which we often play on the lessons.

1. Flashcards hunt

You will need: flashcardsThe goal of the game – to find objects in the room, which matches flashcards. The teacher places flashcards face down, in front of the students. Then the student chooses one flashcard and has to find an object in the room, which will match the flashcard. For example – the lesson’s topic is Shapes, the student picks up a triangle flashcard and has to find a triangle object in the room. With color flashcards, the students need to find as many things as they can and match them to the colors. With animal flashcards, the students search for animals for the ones on the cards. It could be animals from classroom toys.

two boys reading

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2. Flashcard Story Prompts

You will need: flashcards with different picturesFlashcards also are a great way to create stories and promote the use of a language. In this game, first, the teacher needs to put flashcards in a pile, and place a couple of cards from each pile down on the table. Then take turns in creating a story made up of the different cards. This game is suitable for intermediate level students and above.

3. Cups game

You will need: 3 large cups, flashcards that fit in the cupsPlace the 3 cups in a row in front of the students. Show 1 flashcard to the students, and say to watch carefully because you are going to hide one of the flashcards in a cup. Start shuffling the cups around, being careful not to let the card fall out. Encourage the students to keep track of the cup that they think the card is in. The teacher needs to adjust the speed at which he shuffles the cups depending on the age and ability of the students. After the teacher shuffled the cups a few times, give to the students a chance to suggest where the card is. If the students get it wrong show, where the card is and then try to shuffle the cups again. If the students find the card, have them tell you what is on the flashcard. Cup’s amount can be reduced or increased depends on the student's abilities.

children and the teacher

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4. Memory matching

You will need: matching flashcardsTo play memory matching with flashcards, the teacher needs to print two copies of each flashcard in advance. The cards should be printed on cardstock or construction paper so that students can’t see the word through the paper. Also before the lesson, the teacher should cut them out so that they’re all the same size and mix them up. During the activity, lay the cards face down in rows to begin the game. The students should take turns trying to find a match.

5. Active game

You will need: flashcardsAll the flashcards are face down, the students sit in the circle on the floor. The teacher turns on the music, preferably a song the teacher is going to use later or some students know already. While the "music" plays - the students pass the cards quickly to each other. When the music stops the students look at the flashcard they are holding and if they know the word on it - they jump up, spin round in a circle, call out the word and clap. Then they sit down again. If they don't know the word - they have to stay seated.

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In conclusion, I want to notice, that the games, I mentioned above are only a small part of the variety of flashcards games that ESL teachers can use in the lessons.

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