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ELT Game Corner

Welcome to my Game Corner. Here I introduce a game for you to use in your classes to help make English come alive.

December 01, 2003

Giant Action Verb Flash Cards

flashcards.jpg Giant Action Verb Flash Cards is an ideal game for pair practice, verb gesturing and team competitions. Since they are big, the teacher can hold one card up in the front of a large class, and every student will be able to see it.

There are many ways to play with the cards, but for simplicity's sake, let's focus on four major techniques:

Method #1
The teacher divides the class into two teams. The teacher shows one card at a time. The first team to guess it gets a point.

Method #2
The teacher divides the class into two teams. The teacher selects one student as an assistant and shows that student the card; the student gestures the verb action. The teacher then asks the class, "What is he/she doing?" And the students guess. The first team to guess the verb correctly wins the card and a point. The team with the most points is the winning team.

Method #3
The teacher asks the class the questions on the back of the card; the class answers.

For example, the questions on the back of the SING verb card are:

  1. What is he doing? (He is singing.)
  2. Can you sing? (Yes, I can. No, I can't. Yes, a little.)
  3. Can your father sing? (Yes, he can. No, he can't. Yes, a little.)
  4. Can your mother sing? (Yes, she can. No, she can't. Yes, a little.)
  5. Do you like singing? (Yes, I do. No, I don't. Yes, a little.)
  6. What does he do today? (He sings.)
  7. What did he do yesterday? (He sang.)
  8. What will he do tomorrow? (He will sing.)
  9. Please spell SING. (S-I-N-G)
  10. Do you want to sing tomorrow? (Yes, I do. No, I don't.)
  11. Use SING in a sentence.

Method #4
Divide the class into pairs for higher level students. Give each student one card. One student asks his/her partner all the questions on the card, and then the other student does the same with his/her card. (One interesting thing is that the student holding the card has all the answers printed on the back, so this student often corrects the other student.) Then have all pairs pass the two cards forward and receive two new cards and repeat the procedure.

Helpful Hint
Lower level students should just ask the first three or four questions. After mastering those grammatical constructions, they can advance toward the more difficult questions. Higher level students can try the variations. (For example, the variations for SING are HUM or HARMONIZE.)

The verbs introduced in this packet are: sing, sew, read, write, jump, paint, cook, listen to, stand, run, dance, sit, shake (hands), skate, type, eat, play (tennis), play (the flute), swim, draw, drink, walk, ride a bicycle and kiss. (This last verb always guarantees lots of laughs.)

Giant Action Verb Flash Cards trigger real English interaction between the students in an enjoyable and educational way. The teacher eventually becomes "unnecessary" as the pupils chatter with each other in the structured target language. They can do it!

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