Shape Uno

Teach children the very best English shapes

Here it is, Shape Uno. This is functionally normal Uno, but with numbers replaced by shapes.

The shapes are: line, triangle, square, diamond, pentagon, arrow, circle, heart, hexagon and star.

Here are Uno details you may not know right off the top of your head:

Uno has a total of 108 cards per deck. There are 10 types of regular (number) cards in four colors; red, blue, green and yellow. There are two cards each in each color for 9/10 of the card types, for example there are two blue "1" cards in a deck of Uno. The last card type has only one card each. In normal Uno, there is only one "0" card per color suit. In this game, there is only one "star" card per color suit.

In addition, there are the "draw two," "reverse" and "skip" cards. There are two each of these function cards per color suit. There are also four each of the black function cards, "draw four + color change" and "wild (color change)." Do this math, and you will have 108 cards. You'll believe me if you make a few decks!

Alright so, your kids will likely know how to play this game for the most part. They will probably all know it by name. All's you have to do is show them how to pronounce/read the shapes and they'll be off to the races. Be sure to check before you start that all the kids know how to play, and enlist helpful students to explain it if there's reason to doubt. Every time I've used Uno in class I've explained the rules on the board before starting.

I won't get into Uno rules, Wikipedia will help you out in fewer words.

As for time, I'm confident you can cover an entire lesson with this program, especially if your kids enjoy Uno. Teach the vocabulary and game in about 15 minutes, instruct the kids to announce the card they're playing in English, then enjoy the show. Have kids rotate when games finish. Uno specifies a maximum number of ten players per deck, so keep that in mind. Also, remember it'll take a long time to put together each deck, and that you need paper for the cards thick enough so that a printed side won't be visible from the opposite side.  Consider putting a blank layer of paper on the back of thicker than normal paper to print on. Absolutely laminate these. Plan building your Uno arsenal on a day without classes!

In the attachment, only the first 11 pages have cards. The last three pages are blank. Card design is largely thanks to MS Paint. Let me know what you think! Let's enjoy Shape Uno!


Probably best to include a rule requiring a card draw penalty for using Japanese during game play. Hover and stop Japanese speaking at all costs.

Content Editor's note: When I did this, I had the students in smaller groups of 5 (their lunch groups), which encouraged more speaking per student. 

Lesson Topics
About one deck per ten students, minimum of five or so kids per group