#NoPrep – Flashcards everywhere! – ENG

After posting the picture below on my Facebook page,
I got requests from you to write more about the game.

Here it is then. No prep and yet so much is happening! If you have / use flashcards, this lesson is for you.

Read this post in Polish – HERE



  • Random name picker (if we wich to use technology), or post-it notes  (for traditionalists)
  • Flshcards – my set was phrasal verbs 
    This is what I mean by flashcard: an double-sided index card – one in one language (PL in this case) and the other in the target language – with a sample example (<- this is key!)

  • one Dye (dice?)
  • Coins / tokens –  the number depends on the players

I played with one student, but this game will work with small groups as well (3-4 people)


  1. Choose the number of flashcards you wish to use in the class, In my case I opted for some more complicated phrasals e.g. look forward to, get into, take up, call back etc.
  2. Form a circle (see pic above), each square consists of two cards.
  3. Time for a little bit of brainstorming: let’s decide on some topics of conversations – I write each one in the Random Name Picker or on a different post-it note. In this particular lesson our topic were: travelling, future plans, meetings, small talk in the kitchen, complaining, the Royal Wedding, communication, family. Remember if you have no access to technology, just go for post-it notes – it will work as well!!!
  4. The students roll the dice. They Start from wherever they want (there is no beginning square).  They land on a square and pick up a random flashcard from the set of two. Now the other student rolls the dice and picks up another card.
  5. The teacher spins the wheel (random name picker)  or each group picks a post-it note with a topic on them.
  6. All students in a group look at their flashcard. If they do not understand the context and / or some words it’s very easy for them to check  – just look at the other side of the card to read the explanation and sample sentence in their native language. The goal of the round is to hold a conversation (based on the topic on the post-it or Random Name Picker and casually include the sample sentence from the flashcard into the talk.

    Example: Student Aget into – I got into an argument with my mother,
    Student B: call back – I need to call Bob back!
    Topic: meetings

A: Hello Daria! How was your weekend?!
B: It was great thanks, though I spent all Sunday preparing for this meeting. Are you ready with all the reports?
A: I really struggled to compile all the data. To be honest my situation at home is a bit fragile…
B: Oh! what’s wrong?
A: I got into an argument with my mother… It was so intense I couldn’t finish one of the columns in excel!
B: Oh dear! Well, let’s talk to Bob, you know Bob, right?
A: uhm… not really…
B: Bob – my manager’s manager. He’ll know how to help you! Which reminds me!
I need to call Bob back!!! He actually rang me this morning… Ok I gotta run, please start the meeting without me!

7. After the conversation is finished, the students need to guess which sentences in their opinion were the “target” ones.

8.  After a flashcard is used, it disappears from the “board”. If both flashcards disappear from one square, the board simply becomes smaller. Repeat points 3-7.

9. The aim of the exercise is to practice the lexis on the flashcards. The goal of the game is play until all squares are gone ( = all flashcards are used). If you play, like me, with an individual student, it will be a long game. If there are 3-4 students in one group, it’ll be much more dynamic annd the board will desappear faster.

You can use a variety of different flashcards, even simple pictures! As long as the students use the lexis in context, there is learning taking place.

Did you like this idea? Do you enjoy travelling? I organize Teacher trainings in various cities around Poland 🙂 Check where I will be next  HERE!

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