Before the digital era I had dedicated many days to preparing a large set of Happy Families cards based on vocabulary sets: cutting out pictures from magazines, writing in beautiful handwriting in different colours, covering the cards back and front with transparent sticky film - no laminating in those days. After much fun play in class, my bag of carefully homemade teaching resources was stolen from my car together with my old school uniform, I kept to show my students. So I lost all motivation to create a new set.
Recently, however, I felt the need for that very useful game and realized that in the digital age it would be much easier to recreate. I suddenly realized how well it would also work with verbs and am now in the process of making a pack of cards for verbs and another for vocabulary which I shall share in due course.
Not having any cards ready, I decided to involve my students of varying ages in creating sets of cards based on different VERBS and explaining the rules at the same time. THE GAME WAS A HUGE SUCCESS because, HAVING PARTICIPATED IN ITS CREATION, it was EASIER TO REMEMBER THE VOCABULARY and WORDS. As a result I have decided I will involve my students in lesson preparation more often in order to make learning more memorable for them.
The cards are very flexible: using VERBS allows for TENSE PRACTICE during the game. Depending on the level of the students you can ask:
Have you got “go swimming?”
Yes, I have.
Are you “going swimming?”
Yes, I am.
Do you “go swimming” everyday?
Yes, I do.
Did you “go swimming” yesterday?
Yes, I did.
Have you ever “gone swimming” in the ocean?
Yes, I have.
Will you “go swimming” with your friends?
Yes, I will.
Do you like “going swimming” in lakes?
Yes, I do.
… and so on…
- Deal out the cards face down to all the players (in groups of min 3-5)
- Look at the cards and put similar sets together according to their verbs.
- The object of the game is to collect a set, a family. The first word is your card so you have to ask for the other three.
- Ask your partner: Have you got “go swimming?”
- Yes, I have. – The player passes the card and the winning player asks another person.
- No, I haven’t. – The player who replied no asks another person.
You can download the game below in two versions:
- ready to use (just print and laminate)
- template with verbs (pictures to be drawn by your students)
Hope you have fun with it!