Teach English in Shuidong Zhen - Huaihua Shi

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Flashcards are a proven way to learn new information. Their use however, does not need to be monotonous or boring. Make your own, play a game, show the card and combine it with art, put them in sequence, or create and fill in sentences. These ideas will stimulate both sides of the brain by combining thinking and doing. This will also keep the students attentive. Make your own- The students will get twice as much exposure to the words if they create the flashcards themselves. They learn while creating and also later when using them. One way to use this idea would be teaching young learners color and food vocabulary. Hand out primary colored crayons and index cards to each student. The wonderful thing about crayons is that the color is written on the paper of each crayon, so this part of the activity can be completed independently. Instruct the students to write the color name on one side in that color. When they are finished, ask aloud for a food in that color. If the students says apple for the color red for example, the teacher would write the word apple on the board. The students can now write the word correctly on the other side of their red card with their red crayon. A picture can also be added. Giant flash card game- This is a fun activity and easily prepared using sheets of construction paper or small pieces of poster board for a sturdier option. A spinner with numbers or dice may be used. One way to use this game would be to teach animal vocabulary. Put a picture of an animal on one side and the animal word on the other. As the children land on a square they must read the animal word or if picture side up, say or spell the word. For fun add in a few go forward or backward two space cards. An optional idea would be to have some plastic animals or animal stickers as prizes for the first finishers. The board can be set up in a fun pattern around the room. For larger classes, put the students in pairs and have them work together. Show the word and draw- This activity keeps all the students engaged. It is good to pick a group of items that are easy to draw and that can be easily recognized if not drawn well. A good example would be clothing. The teacher will make sure there the amount of flash cards matches the amount of students. The flash card is shown with the word of the clothing item to be drawn. The class says the word aloud together. Someone raises their hand to draw it on the board to see if they are correct. If not someone else tries. Leave the drawings on the board as the activity continues. After you have gone through all the cards, hand one out to each student. Have the students place their word card next to the correct drawing. Sequence- This can be used for any student level. A beginner level might start with two cards to put in order. For example, I picked an apple card goes before the I ate an apple card. The cards can start with a picture and the sentence on one side and sentences only on the other. An intermediate level might put together steps in cooking a recipe. An expert level might sequence an entire daily schedule. Use in a sentence- In this activity a student is shown a word and they need to use aloud it in a sentence. Shorter sentences can be used for beginners and longer more well thought out sentences can be used more advanced students. For variety, you could add a theme such as outdoors, and all sentences created must be about the theme. For extra practice students can then use the flash card words to fill in the blanks on the board or on a worksheet. As you can see there are a variety of activities to make the use of flashcards more exciting. These five activities can be adapted in many different ways to fit what you are teaching while engaging the class.