One of our favourite games with flashcards is the “Everybody touch..” and then every child has to run and touch the right flashcard which is hung on the wall. During the Xmas Happy Camp, during our very first day when we read Stickman, we came up with a great variation of this game.. where the Flashcards, at some point.. totally disappeared!
*MATERIAL YOU NEED:
- Flashcards (not more than ten) or cheap paper copy of the flashcards (don’t be disappointed if they get a little ruined during the game; it’s very likely to happen!)
- Tape – to stick the FC on the wall around the classroom, house, outside.
- Introduce the words to the children and pratice them a little before starting the game.
- Once you hang the FC, gather everybody around you and say aloud: “Everybody touch.. the swan (word that you like)!” – and everybody should first recognize where that word is and then run, touch it and say it loudly.
- After a couple of those, you can let the children lead the game, saying themselves “Everybody touch..” – here the effort is double because they try to remember the words that they like and then they produce it.
- Now that the children are already used to the words and their positions, it’s time to spice things up a little: everytime they touch a flashcard.. it suddenly disappears! Take it off from the wall and put it on the floor where you stand. Say to the kids that you are going to take the FC off and they should remember where they were.
- Proceed in this way until all the flashcards are on the floor and none is remained on the wall.
- At this point some children will be more than happy if we spice things up even more! You will feel it if they are ready and confident enough for this step, just knowing your children and seeing how they respond. (We’re always assessing and evaluating our children, in each activity, always during the daily life)
- If you feel that they’re ready, say that you’re going to challange them a little bit more! Say: “Now let’s play without flashcards!”. Gather everybody in the middle around you and ask: “Everybody touch.. the swan (word that you like)!” and everybody should go and touch the place where that word was before being taken off. Here, children are engaged in understanding first, and then remembering where that specific word was.
- Children will astoundingly surprise you, they have such a great memory! Very soon you will realize that your children are playing the same game with imaginary flashcards. The scene seen from outside..looks a little crazy, but the game is so powerful.
The children were engaged, fully involved and even though it could have just been a TPR game (Total Physcal Response), where learners just responds to commands; they were active and producing language because at the end they felt super confident.
Have you ever tried a similar game with your children? Do you know any variation? Let us know if you decide to try it out and how it goes!