Teach English in Xinwei Zhen - Yongzhou Shi

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During the lessons teachers usually use a variety of materials and teaching aids. One of the most common is flashcards. They have so many benefits: a) they are cheap and easy to make b) they can be used in all kind of groups and ages c) there are a lot of ways you can use them d) they can be used in almost every topic Flashcards can be used both for learning new vocabulary and for revision. Here are some of the activities with flashcards that I use working with children starting from 3 to 9 years old, mostly beginners. These activities can be changed a little and transformed into activities for older children. 1. Hit the flashcard After the new flashcards were presented and drilled you may lay down the cards on the carpet or on the table so the children can easily reach them. Then you say the word out loud and the children try to hit the right flashcard as fast as they can. This activity is good for the word recognition and memorising. This activity is perfect for small groups of children. It can be transformed a little bit. You can add a hammer. This time each child gets a chance to hit the flashcard with the hammer. They can pass the hammer after each word or do all the new words and then go to the next one. 2. What's missing? This activity is good when the kids already know the words as otherwise they won't be able to play. So you lay out 4-5 flashcards ( can be more with older children) on the carpet, one the table or even on the whiteboard. Then children should close their eyes. The teacher hides one flashcard. When the children open their eyes they have to figure out what is missing. When children are used to this game you may give them a chance to be a teacher and to give instructions. 3. Pass the envelope A game used to revise the words that have already been learnt. You put flashcards (they can be from different topics or the one you learnt recently) in the envelope. Then you turn the music on and children should pass the envelope clockwise from one to another. After the music stops a child opens the envelope, takes the flashcard and names it. 4. Am I? This activity is good for revising. One child closes his/her eyes, all the other children choose a flashcard for him/her and put it on the forehead with the help of a headband a ribbon. When the child opens the eyes he/she should guess what he/she is. Playing with students of higher level, they can use any yes/no questions to guess the word. 5. Jump and name A good game for learning the new vocabulary. It can be used both in small and big groups. A teacher names the word. Children sit in a circle or in a line. The teacher puts the flashcard above the children's heads one by one and the students should jump to the card and name it. You may go few time making it faster. This way children will drill the word and at the same time have s lot of fun. Using flashcards in the class is both fun and effective. Meanwhile the children enjoy the games they learn or revise the words. Tranforming the games a bit you can adjust then to all kinds of classes.