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Vocabulary Help - Flashcard Tips and Tricks

Vocabulary Help - Flashcard Tips and Tricks

Tired of boring flashcards? As a teacher, I got tired of them, too. Until I discovered interactive games my students could play with their self-made cards. What's even better is that some of these games can be played individually, or with a partner. This is a great way to accommodate both the inter and intrapersonal learners in our classrooms.

Before we get to the games, here are a few tricks when making the flashcards themselves:

If you are a visual learner, DRAW a PICTURE of what the new vocabulary term means to you. This is great in a foreign language classroom such as Spanish, where we try to stay clear of as much English as possible. Writing the vocabulary word on one card and a picture to represent the word on another card sets you up for either of the two great games listed below.


1. Concentration/Memory - This game may be played individually, or with a partner. Using vocabulary cards similar to the ones outlined above, flip all cards face-down in rows (six rows and six columns usually works well, for a total of about 18 new vocabulary words. 18 cards will hold the new vocabulary words, and the other 18 will hold the matching visual representation). Each person will take turns turning over two cards at a time, with the goal being to obtain a match. Once a match is obtained, it is taken away from the game and held by that individual. At the end, the person with the most matches wins.

2. War - Good for two people. Divide the set of vocabulary cards into two equal parts. Each person will flip a card from their stack. If a match is flipped, the first person to smack the match gets to keep it. At the end of the game, the person with the most matches wins.

Feel free to contact me for further explanation about either of these games. Flashcards are only meaningful if they can be utilized in a fun and engaging way!