1. Show me
Display a number of cards. Say the name of an activity on one of the cards. Ask individual students to come to the front of the class and point to the appropriate card which has that named activity on it. You can vary the rhythm of the game to make it more fun. For example, if you speak very slowly, the students do the actions in slow motion, and vice-versa.
2. What do you do every day/ on weekends? / What are you doing now? / What did he do yesterday?
The students say the name of the activity in unison or individually as you show cards. You could ask them to change the words and phrases into full sentences and practise different tenses, such as “I make my bed every day.” or “I am not making my bed now.” or “He made his bed yesterday.”
3. Is she/he …?
Show cards. For each card, ask “Is she/he …?” Prompt the students to answer “Yes, she/he is ….” or “No, she/he isn’t. She/He is …(correct activity).” Deliberately give the wrong names so that the students need to correctly identify and name activities.
4. Name bee
Divide the class into two teams. Show a card and ask a member of a team to identify it. Alternate showing cards to teams and team members. A team gets one point for each correctly named activity. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
5. Naming by initial letter
Display a selection of cards, including a number of activities that begin with the same letter. Ask the students to name all the activities beginning with the same letter.
6. Naming by category
Display a selection of cards, including a number of activities that belong to the same category. Ask the students to name all the activities belonging to the same category.
Divide the classroom into two teams. Have one student from each team come to the front of the class. Show each one a card in secret and tell they have to draw it on the blackboard. Divide the blackboard down the middle by drawing a line, and have each student draw their picture in the space provided. The rest of their teams has to guess the word. The first team to guess wins. You can continue with a different students drawing different activities. Instead of drawing students can also mime an activity.
8. What’s missing?
Display 7 cards. Ask the students to name the displayed activities 3 times, going in order from left to right. Then pick up all the cards, mix them up and remove one card. Display the remaining cards. The class has to say the name of the activity on the missing card. With more advanced students add more cards.
Ask students to come to the front of the class and look at a card without the rest of the class being able to see it. Let the students mime or act out what is on the card, the rest of the class tries to guess the word being mimed. You can also put on some lively music and pass the cards around the class. When the music stops, get the students who are holding a card to stand up and mime or act out what is on the card.
The students have their cards laid out on their desks in front of them. They listen to your instructions and put the cards in the corresponding order.
The students draw Bingo boards. They should draw a table with 3 rows and 3 columns and write names of 9 different activities from a given category (one in each cell). Now play Bingo! As you show the cards the students cross out appropriate phrases if they have them in their tables. The first student to cross out three words across, down or diagonally calls out “bingo” and wins the game. For more advanced groups, get the students to make cards with more squares and use more cards.
12. Guessing game
Ask four or five students to line up in front of the class. Let each one pick a card illustrating what they like doing. Then tell the students to put their cards behind their backs so that the rest of the class cannot see them. The rest of the class has to guess the name of the hobby that each student is holding, by asking question “Do you like …?”.
13. Find something (you can do indoors)
Get the class into groups. Groups prepare tasks for other teams. The students show their cards and then say: Find something you can do indoors/ outdoors / in the winter / have to do every morning /after school etc. Teams receive 1 point for every correct answer.
Provide descriptions or definitions of the pictures, e.g. You need a ball and a basket to play this sport. The students try to guess which activity you are talking about.
15. True or false
Make statements about the activities on the cards. The students decide if they are true or false. Ask pupils to prepare their statements and to correct the false sentences.
16. Which doesn’t belong? / Odd one out
Place a number of cards on the chalk tray. All cards except one should fall into one category. Ask students to identify the card that doesn’t belong. With stronger classes you can have them prepare their own quizzes for each other.
17. Cloze sentences
Choose five to ten cards. Write a sentence for each card on the board but leave out the verb. Display the cards. Let the students complete the sentences with the correct verb form.
18. Personal sentences
Ask the students to write personal sentences related to a card.
19. Corner Solitaire
The students lay the cards in a square 6 x 6. In pairs they have to try to get from one corner to another by naming the cards correctly. The aim is to reach the other corner in the smallest number of moves.
20. Sensational sentences
Place the pack of cards on the desk. Players have to make up a sentence using the card on the top. One point for each word in the sentence – the longer the sentence, the more points.
21. Desk-size game board
Prepare a sheet of paper with the words “Start” and “End” as shown. Put 31 cards into the configuration as shown. Have a dice ready. Ask the students to work in pairs and use coins or buttons as markers. The students take turns advancing their marker the number indicated on a dice. Students name the activity pictured for the square they land on. They get one point for each picture they correctly name. The student with the most points after arriving at “End” wins.
1. Story telling
Before the lesson choose a set of cards and write a story which is illustrated by the chosen cards. (The length of the story depends on the number of students you have in the group.) Divide your class into two teams. Give out a set of pre-chosen action cards to one team (one card to each member). Read out the story. The other team must decide about the correct order of the pictures by telling who should go first, second, etc. I think your students will like it. What’s interesting about this activity is the fact that you combine a few elements here (vocabulary practice, listening and action). Author: Iwona Szybowicz
The teacher stands in front of their students, holding a set of cards. The teacher presents a card as fast as it is possible. The students are supposed to say what activity was in the picture. More advanced students may be asked to use the activity in a sentence. Author: Magdalena Roćko-Paśnikowska
3. Whisper run
Two teams of students stand in a column back to the teacher, except for the first person – the captain of the team. The teacher shows a card to the captain, who whispers the activity to the person behind him/her. When the message gets to the last member of the team, he/she is supposed to shout it out or to act it out. More advanced students may be asked to use the activity in a sentence. The game is more fun when the distance between the team members is bigger and the students have to run. Author: Magdalena Roćko-Paśnikowska
4. 2 minutes charades
The students are divided into teams. Each team assigns a captain. He/She receives a set of cards and must present as many of them as possible within the set time limit (2 – 3 minutes). He/She acts out the activities one after another and can move on to the next one only when the team guesses the activity presented. If he/she does not know how to show the activity or the team has problems with guessing, they can move on losing a point. The winning group is the on which solves more charades. Author: Magdalena Roćko-Paśnikowska
The picture card is covered with a sheet of paper with a hole cut randomly. The students are supposed to guess the activity behind it. More advanced students may be asked to use the activity in a sentence. Author: Magdalena Roćko-Paśnikowska
It is an alternative to the keyhole. The card is covered with post-its. The teacher reveals the picture randomly. The student or the team that guesses the activity scores a point. More advanced students may be asked to use the activity in a sentence. Author: Magdalena Roćko-Paśnikowska
The students are divided into pairs or groups. They are given a set of cards (alternatively they can choose them from a face down pile or spread of cards). They are supposed to join them into a story which may be:
• given a specific beginning, ending, title etc.;
• told with a particular attention to a grammatical structure;
• given a specific purpose e.g. a crime story, a fairy tale, a proverb illustration etc.;
• later read out or mimed or both.
Author: Magdalena Roćko-Paśnikowska
8. Are you a good eye witness?
The students are divided into teams. Each team chooses a set of activities (one per each member) and acts them out for their opponents. The members of the team present their tasks at the same time for about 20 - 30 seconds. The other team is supposed to determine the activities and choose them from the cards. Each correct guess is awarded with a point. Author: Magdalena Roćko-Paśnikowska
9. Knock Knock
One of you is the Quiz show host/ess and the other two the costentants. If you are the host/ess, put a card on the table and cover it with your hand. Take your hand away quickly. The contestants must knock on the table if they think they can guess the card. If the first one to knock is right, s/he keeps the card. If wrong s/he loses a card or misses a go if no cards are held. The one with the most cards at the end wins. Author: Maria Prażak
Display a selection of cards on the board. Get the class into two teams and ask them to form two lines. Then choose one of the words and shout e.g. ”Painting!” Encourage students standing at the beginning of the lines to run to the board and touch the picture. The first student who touches the picture gets a point for his/her team. Author: Beata Cybulska
11. Guess the Picture
Teacher displays a selection of cards ( 10- 20 depending on the group level) in front of the class. The cards are numbered.Students are divided into groups of 4. The teacher says one sentence giving a small detail of the picture shown on the card, students are supposed to guess which card is it. The group that knows the answer should stand up, the students that are first to stand up have the opportunity to give the answer.If they do it correctly they get 5 points. If the students give a wrong answer or no answer at all, the teacher gives another sentence describing the picture but now only 4 points can be scored. The game continues until all the pictures are described or until the students lose the interest in the game.
The group with the largest number of points is the winner. Author: Anna Twardzik
12. How often do you...?
The cards selected by topic ( chores or free time) are displayed in front of the class. Students task is to make sentences about themselves using adverbs of frequency. The sentences can be either written or said by the students. Author: Anna Twardzik
13. Revise the tenses
The cards can be used as quick revision tool. The teacher shows a card - students have to make a positive, a negative or a question with the verb shown in the picture. Depending on the topic of the lesson the sentence may be in different tenses. Author: Anna Twardzik
14. Describing my day
You can use action cards to practise verbs in present simple and past simple tenses. Firstly, revise with students names of activities on a set of pre-chosen action cards (you can show the cards one-by-one and students guess names of activities). Then put them on a board (you can use magnets or blue tack). To provide variety of the exercise use at least twenty cards. In order to practice present simple write on the board „This is my usual day.”, to practice past simple write „Yesterday I did some interesting things.”, then write the beginning of several sentences (for instance: “Firstly ...”, “Secondly ...”, “Then ...”, “Next ...”, “After this ...” and “Finally ...”). Students write sentences using those expressions and activities from action cards in a proper tense, more advanced learners can also add more information to the sentences. Author: Agnieszka Żbikowska
15. Find verb category!
Divide class into 4 category groups. First group must find action cards with do....we do homework, do the washing and so on. Second with go....go to the party, go to an opera, Third group with play....play basketball, play ping pong. Fourth with have and get....have a shower, get dressed.
Then every group must write personal sentences (one sentence for one action card in their category groups) using the adverbs of frequency, which are characteristic for present simple. At the end of the lesson each group presents their sentences. Author: Jolanta Pestka
16. Action Crossword
Divide the classroom into two teams. Each tims recives 12 -15 cards and a sheet of paper. Teams pick 10 out of 12-15 given cards and use them to prepare a crossword with text hints in Polish. After about 10 minutes have teams exchange their crosswords with one another. The team that solves the crossword first wins. Author: Aleksandra Glonkowska
17. Fortune Teller
A teacher (or one pupil) is a Fortune Teller. She/He's got Action Cards (Free Time, Hobbies and Sport) and tells about other students' future holidays. There are as many cards as students.
Choose one card for each student, show it and say: „You wil …..”. Children have to remember the action.
Next mix the cards and give one card to each student. Now they have to find the owner of the card – they go around the classroom and ask: „Will you.......?”. They answer: „No I won't.” or „Yes, I will” - then children take and hold the card with his/her own action (told by a Fortune Teller).
Finally children stand in a circle with cards and tell about his predictions: „I will .....”. They can make longer sentences e.g. „I will go to the Zoo with my sister next month.”. Author: Olga Jagieła
18. Running dictation with Action Cards
This activity can provide an exciting revision of verbs taught in previous lessons. The Teacher divides the class into two teams. Each team prepares a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. The Students in both teams stand in a line opposite the T. The T holds an Action Card so that the Ss can’t see it. Next, the T calls the first S from each team to run to him/her and shows them the Action Card. After having a look at the card, both Ss rush to their piece of paper and write the name of the verb. The game continues until all Ss have taken part in it. Then, the T collects the pieces of paper, discusses the mistakes with the Ss (they can write more problematic words on the blackboard). The group that has made fewer mistakes is the winner. Author: Magdalena Leśniak
19. Go Fish
The activity is based on the popular card game Go Fish. The Teacher shows the Students all the Action Cards to be used during the lesson. The Ss name the verbs (a good opportunity to revise the pronunciation). The T divides the Ss into groups (teams). There have to be minimum 3 of them. Each team receives the same number of Action Cards and a list of verbs. The verbs on the list mean the Action Cards that the group is supposed to collect from other teams. It is important that a group’s Action Cards and verbs on the list are not the same (the T should prepare the sets before the lesson). When the groups have had a good look at their sets (that is their Action Cards and the verbs), the T picks a group that begins the game (if time allows the groups can draw lots to decide which team starts).
The Ss are going to practise the Past Simple questions (Did you...yesterday / two days ago / last week?) and short answers (Yes, we did / No, we didn’t). Group A picks group B and asks a question with a verb from their list. For example, if there is a verb ride a bike on group A’s list, one of A’s students makes a question: Did you ride a bike yesterday? (the Ss can choose the time expression they want to use) If group B has the Action Card with the mentioned verb, one of B’s students answers: Yes, we did and they pass the card to the group A. Group A put this card aside and they have the right to pick a team again and ask another question. The T makes sure that everyone takes part in the activity (i.e. everyone has a chance to ask a question or give an answer). If a group doesn’t have an Action Card that they were asked for, they answer No, we didn’t and now it’s their turn to ask a question. The group that collects most Action Cards is the winner (the T can set the time limit at the beginning of the activity). Author: Magdalena Leśniak
20. Expressing Obligation
The aim of the activity is to practice “have to/ don’t have to” (to express obligation).
First, teacher divides the board into two columns with the following headings: “I have to…” and “I don’t have to..” Then, Students are divided into two teams. This is a variation on the classic Chinese Whispers game. Each team stands in a line. Teacher whispers a sentence (eg. “I have to tidy my room.” or “I don’t have to clean the car.”) to the first person in the line, who whispers it to the next person and so on. When it gets to the last person to have the sentence whispered to them, they have to pick up the correct Action Card displayed on the desk/floor etc., run up to the board and place the card in the correct column. The winner gets one point. Author: Monika Bartosińska
As a follow up activity, students write sentences about themselves using the activities presented on the Action Cards.
21. I need ...
I need... - a student chooses an action card, then says what he/she needs to do what is shown on the card, the rest of the students try to guess the verb (you can play it with having three guesses or one minute; a point for the correct answer). Examples: I need a toothbrush and a toothpaste (brush my teeth). I need a pen, a notebook and a student's book (do homework). Author: Iwona Kwiatkowska
Ss are divided into groups of 3 or 4 (pairwork also possible). Each group gets 2 cards and looks for similiar things.( blond hair, glasses, books, etc.)
Ss get 1 point for each correct answer. To make the activity more difficult, the teacher can give them more cards at the same time.Ss can be also asked to create sentences: People in both pictures are doing homework. Author: Katarzyna Rowińska
23. Chinese whisper
Divide the classroom into two teams with the same number of children . Ask students to sit in two rows . Have one student from each team come to the front of a row. Show a card in secret to the last student in a row and tell he or she has to whisper a sentence to the next player. Each player successively whispers what that player believes he or she heard to the next. The first player in a row has to mime the activity and the student in front of the row has to announce the statement to the entire group. If they do it correctly they get one point. The first student in a row comes to the front of a row. Then show a card to a student from the other team. Author: Katarzyna Sosin
24. Whisper and run
Divide the classroom into two teams with the same number of children . Ask students to form two rows . Display cards on the floor as far from the children as possible. Show a card to the last student in a row from both teams at the same time and tell they have to whisper a sentence to the next player in their teams. When the message gets to the first player in a row he/she runs and picks up an appropriate card from the floor. A student
who first picks up a proper card, wins. Then he or she goes to the end of a row. Author: Katarzyna Sosin
25. An Active Story
Nauczyciel rozdaje uczniom po jednej karcie, po czym opowiada np. co robił wczoraj, w weekend lub na wakacjach lub inną historię, w której występują czynności z rozdanych kart. Uczeń, który usłyszy, że wymieniana jest czynność, którą on ma na karcie, musi jak najszybciej naśladować wykonywanie jej przez krótki moment. Nauczyciel czeka aż dany uczeń to zrobi i kontynuuje opowiadanie.Inna możliwa wersja jest taka, że uczeń, który posiada kartę z czynnością właśnie wymienioną przez nauczyciela wstaje i pokazuje wszystkim kartę. Author: Jadwiga Kustra
26. Practise spelling (beginners)
Having learnt chosen action words children are shown the spelling on separate pieces of paper, they practice global reading. Next, they are shown the spelling and picture together, reading and miming the action. The teacher puts the action cards in various places in the classroom (or some kids can do it). The best idea is to place a card among objects in the classroom somehow associated with the action itself (like wash up - next to a bucket with water, etc). Then the pupils choose a phrase, read it and look for its visual representation. Finally, there's the checking - the kids show their card and read the phrase. Author: Janina Tomaszek
27. Sing a song
The most pleasant but challenging exercise. Pupils get a set of action cards and a grammar structure to use. They are obliged to make a song with them, based on a known piece of music, or a poem. Children love this type of activity. They can build lyrics in Present or Past Tenses, using words: like, dislike, hate, love, can. Author: Janina Tomaszek
28. Find your partner
From a box/bag students one by one take out a piece of paper eg. I like dancing. (The verbs are taken from the verb cards, which are placed on the blackboard). Two students get the same idea. Then they walk around the classroom to find their partner. They ask the question Do you like…? And give answers Yes, I do or No, I don’t. When they find each other they sit together. Author: Anna Czerwik
In pairs they make 2 categories of verbs (in their notebooks)– free-time activities that are good for the body and that aren’t good for the body(without the verbs already on the blackboard). The time limit is set eg. 3 minutes (depends on the level of students’ English). Winners are those who have the biggest number of activities from the action cards on their list – the action cards are put on the blackboard. As winners they can get a plus or any other prize. Author: Anna Czerwik
30. Propozycje pracy z Action Cards
I. Rozgrzewka językowa i/ lub powtorzenie, sprawdzenie/ podsumowanie zajęć.
Uczniowie odgaduja nazwy czynności przedstawine na action cards następnie zawieszam je na tablicy. Dla ćwiczenia pamięci uczniowie powtarzają po kolei nazwy czynności przedstawione na kartach. Po każdym powtórzeniu odwracam kartę jednak uczniowie muszą nazwać czynność, która jest na niej przedstawiona.
II. Przygotowałam worek z napisem: Who knows...? Wkładam do worka karty o odpowiedniej do lekcji tematyce i poszczególni liderzy grup wyciągają kartę. Członkowie grupy mają za zadanie przedstawić za pomocą ruchu ( drama) czynności pokazane na karcie.
III. Dzielę uczniów na dwie grupy ( moje klasy liczą po ok. 26 uczniow). Ćwiczenie to robię w sali gimnastycznej lub dużym holu ( proszę wierzyć,że wprawieni uczniowie są świetnie zorganizowani i nie ma zamieszania). Zespoły stoją na przeciw siebie( każdy uczeń musi mieć parę). Pokazuję kartę z czynnością jednemu z zespołów i ten ma za zadanie dobiec do ucznia z pary, stojącego naprzeciwko i na ucho powiedzieć mu nazwę czynności. Kiedy wszyscy uczniowie wrócą na miejsce grupa, która czekała na informację o nazwie czynności mówi ją głośno. Zabawy i dopingu jest w nadmiarze i wszyscy bardzo się starają a nie stresują bo sprawdzenie nazwy jest grupowe. Uważam, że nie ma nic lepszego niż kilka, kilkanaście minut nauki powiązanej z ruchem bo lekcja powinna być jak sinisoida. Nie może być nudy.
IV. Dzielę uczniów na pary. Karty wcześniej przylepiam masą mocującą na ścianie oraz przygotowuję do nich podpisy jeśli takich nie posiadają. Jeden z uczniów w parze wyposarzony jest w kartkę z podkładką i długopis/ ołówek. Uczniowie stoją naprzeciw siebie w dwóch szeregach ( to ćwiczenie również dobrze jest zrobić w większym pomieszczeniu aby odległość między uczniami z pary była znaczna( powinni się trochę zmęczyć). Jeden z uczniow czyta nazwę czynności i dobiega do swego partnera aby mu ją przedyktować. Jęśli zapomni o poprawnej pisowni musi wrócić. Para, która pierwsza poprawnie zapisze nazwy czynności wygrywa. Wspaniała nauka przez zabawę, nadaje się w każdym wieku bo młodzież też to uwielbia. Ilustracje z kart dla wzrokowców, których jest w klasach najwięcej jest bardzo cenna. Często wygrywają uczniowie dobrzy w bieganiu, niekoniecznie w angielskim i jest to dodatkowa motywacja do nauki języka. Author: Dorota Kaczmarek