Jun 15, 2011

Memory Game

Memory games; I've come to realize; are particularly exciting for younger kids. Also, teens can respond pretty well to them if we motivate them properly. So I would suggest this idea for all ages and levels.
Sometimes, we work too hard to create a completely language centered activity from scratch, and we forget to use the tools we already have to make our class interesting. For my class, I decided to use this very nice set of memory cards I had and add my "language touch" to the game. Let me tell you how.

Level: All
Materials: A set of match cards
Target Vocabulary/Grammar: Any.
Prep time: None.

Select some cards from the set (like 10 pairs), so that the game wouldn't last forever - it's always better to add a couple of pairs than not being able to finish the game. Set the cards on the table or floor, wherever you are more comfortable playing and have students gather around them. 
Students will take turns to pick a pair of cards to find a match. Every time they do, even when there is not a match, they are requested to perform a task. For example,  I tried this with 7-9 year olds and the topic of review was spelling. I had numbers match cards, which in my case was perfect since they had worked with numbers the month before. So, if they didn't find a match, they were still requested to pick one of the numbers and spell it out. The rest of the class also had a task. They were the "Spelling Judges", so in that way I managed to keep them focused on the activity. 
When a student does get a match, then he'll be asked to perform a task that involves a greater effort in order to keep the cards. In my case, I would make them spell the number in the card and the one after and before. There are plenty of options as long as you use your imagination.
In this way, you can turn a simple matching/memory game, into a successful language activity.

Some options I suggest:

  • For colors: Use color matching cards and have students say the colors and provide 3 or 4 objects that are that color if they find a match.
  • For tenses: Using verbs matching cards you can ask students to provide their meaning. In case of a match, have students make a sentence in a certain tense using the verb in the cards.
  • For reviewing the past tense of irregular verbs: Prepare matching cards with the infinitive form of the verb and have students provide the past when they pick the card. In case of a match you can ask them to also make a sentence with the verb.
  • For phrasal verbs: Use matching cards containing phrasal verbs and have students explain the meaning of each and provide correct sentences in case of a match.
  • For vocabulary: Use matching pictures or words and have students say words related to the topic (word or picture). Eg: To review food: Breakfast, Dinner, Dessert, Lunch, Fruit, Vegetables, Candy, Drinks, Snacks, etc.
You can create your own memory cards and print them for free here.
I hope you try this and if you come up with a creative idea, please share!

Enjoy, XO

No comments:

Post a Comment