New Card, Please! – ESL Game Idea

Flashcards to Teach Kids English

Target Vocabulary: Any flash cards that have four of a kind.

Materials: Any flash cards that have four of a kind.

Game Play:

Deal roughly half the cards to the students. The teacher holds the remaining cards face up and places one card on the table. If the student to the left has the same card, he/she can place it on top of the teacher’s card, while producing the target language eg. “It’s an apple.” If not, they ask “May I have a new card, please” and the teacher hands them a card from the pile. “Here you are” etc. That student must then place a card that is not already on the table, and produce the target language.. And the turn passes to the next student. If he can match either of the two cards on the table, he places a card on that pile, if not he asks for a new card…and so on. The game continues until every kid has laid down all their cards. This game can be used for any kind of target – picture vocabulary, phrases practicing tenses (He is running.), prepositions, phonics, reading etc.
Note 1: When a student asks for a new card, they are not be allowed to place that card on an existing pile. Instead, they select a card to start a new pile.
Note 2: The teacher holds the cards face-up so that students can see which card is coming next. Older, more tactically-minded children will use this to their advantage.
Note 3: For very young or inexperienced students, the expression can shortened to “New card, please!”
Note 4: In a strict version, where students are reviewing vocabulary they should know, they should not be allowed to place a card if they incorrectly produce the target language. For new material, simply correct mistakes and allow them to place the card.