Let's Playing Cards!

Use playing cards more effectively in class.

Bingo (ES 1-3) (Numbers/suits)

Pass out cards and place them in front. 3x3, 4x4, or 5x5

Call 1-13 or Ace-King and include suits.

Have students read the card instead for speaking practice.

Go Fish! (ES3-JHS3) (Do you have ~? Yes, I do. No, I don’t.) (May I have a ~? Sure. I'm sorry, I don't have a ~)

4-5 people per group is best. Pass out 5 cards per person. Place any already completed pairs in front of you. Each pair or each card counts as 1 point. More points = win.

1 person ask any one person about a card they themselves have in their hand and try to make as many pairs. Any completed pairs are placed in front of them. If (yes, I do), then that person continues to ask one more until a (No, I don’t) Then they will draw a card from the deck and then next players turn. If the drawn card completes a pair, doesn’t matter, it is still the next person's turn. If at any time someone runs out of cards, they draw 1 card from the deck. The game continues until all the cards are drawn and used.

Reverse Go Fish (ES3-JHS3) (Do you want a(n) ~? Yes I do. No I don’t) (Would you like a(n) ~?)

4-5 people per group. Pass out all the cards equally. Place any already completed pairs in front of you. 1 person ask any one person and try to lose all their cards. You are trying to force people to make pairs. Less pairs = win. Regardless of yes or no, each person can only ask once and then its next persons turn.

War/Battle (ES3-JHS3) (Numbers, addition, multiplication) 

2-3 people per group is best. Pass out all the cards. They hold their own stack of cards face-down. They do not need to look at their own cards.

They say 321 and immediately flip the top card of their respective decks. Add all the numbers together. Fastest person to say it keeps all the cards. If “tie”, janken . All cards = win. If 3+ people per group and someone runs out of cards, they can still play even without cards, grabbing the cards if they are faster.

Var. use multiplication. Var. use dice instead of cards.

Doubt/BS (ES3-JHS3) (I have ~. Doubt/No, you don’t.) (I have 1 Ace. I have 2 threes.)

4-5 people per group is best. Pass out all the cards. Starting with the person with Ace of spades.

First person places any amount of “aces” facedown. Next person places 2s. Then 3s. and so on. They cannot break the order. If someone doubts the cards, they can say doubt and flip those cards. If it is not the correct cards, the person that played those cards collect all of the cards previously played. If it is correct, the person that said doubt collects all the cards. No cards = win. After a doubt is call, regardless of correct or incorrect, continue with the sequence rather than starting from Ace again. The game ends when there is 1 winner.

Slapjack (ES3-6) (Numbers)

4-5 people per group is best. Pass out all the cards and keep them facedown. They do not need to look at the cards. Decide who goes first.

First person flips their first card and starts with Ace. Next person flips and says 2. Next says 3. and so on. If the number/card stated is the card that is flipped, first person to slap the card collects all cards in the middle. And then from that person, start with Ace again. If it is not, just continue. If a JACK is flipped, regardless of what number it is, slap.

Var. Joker can be used instead of JACK

Var. Take out the slaps and just give the cards to the person that flips the correct card. In this variation, take out the slap on jack rule. This is good for classes that get too into the game and starts hurting people. Especially students that don’t cut their nails.

Var. No slaps. Use a different gesture. For example, stand up or raise your hand.

Kings (JHS1-3) (Any grammar point)

8-10 per group is probably best. Lay out all the cards facedown in a circle or however you like. Decide who goes first. Flip 1 card and follow the rules that has been set. A point/prize system would help motivate them. Designate a point keeper for each team. This is only a reference and doesn't include specific grammar points.

Example rules.

Ace. No laughing. Continue playing without laughing. First person that laughs -1 point.

2. You. Choose 1 person  +2 points.

3. Me. Gain 2 points.

4. Shiritori. Play shiritori in English. Last person -1 point.

5. Guys. All boys +2 points

6. Girls. All girls +2 points

7. Raise your hand. Last person -1 point.

8. Stand up. Last person to stand -1 point

9. Alphabet. Person who draws chooses a letter. Go around saying words starting with that letter. Person who cant say or makes a mistake -1point

10. Categories. Give an example list of categories to help them out. Person who cant say a word -1 point.

J. Janken +2 points to winner 

Q. Question train. Ask a question to next person. They answer and then ask a question to the next person and so on. Person who makes a mistake -1 point.

K. Sing for 13 seconds (English/Japanese up to you) +3 points (They can choose to not sing and not get any points. Var. if they don't sing, everyone else gets 1 point.)

Junior High