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Flip a Card

Level: Any Level

Rationale: Students develop vocabulary and, at higher levels, practise proper word order by forming sentences.

Materials: Standard deck of playing cards.

Method: For each card from ace to king, assign two letters of the alphabet, and write these on the board. Assigning letters can be done at random, but it is logical to have some sort of order, e.g.:

A    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    J    Q    K
A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J     K    L    M
N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W     X    Y    Z

For beginners: Flip a card. The student must think of a word beginning with one of the letters that card represents. If, for example, the card is a 3, the student must say a word beginning with C or P. Variation: The word must fit a category, e.g. animals, occupations, etc.

For higher beginners and intermediate: Flip a certain number of cards-say, seven. Each student must write down a sentence using words beginning with the given letters, in order. If the teacher so wishes, the students can work in small groups. Students then read their sentences aloud.

For advanced: Taking turns with each card flipped, students orally form grammatically and syntactically correct sentences. For example:
      Cards: A, Q, K, Q, K, 6, 8, 7, 5, 4, 4, 10, 2, K, 2, 2, 8, 9, A, 7.
      Sample sentence: A lovely monkey laughed merrily, for his green
      elephant drank quickly while orange zebras brought over hungry,
      intelligent, naughty giraffes.

Submitted by Stephen MacDonald

Copyright (C) 1998 by The Internet TESL Journal