Low Prep Flashcard Games

Build an almost endless potential of classroom activity by combining simple flashcards with imaginative games.

I highly recommend having a set of flashcards made for every main content area you are teaching - sight words, letters, sounds and numbers are just the beginning. 

I created a unique system called the 'Core Drawers' to  support your whole class teaching. The idea is to have  the core of what you teach at your fingertips. I have a box of sight word flashcards on top of the drawers and others sets throughout the drawers. I also always keep blank cards available and a Sharpie to make fast additions to my collection. 

Once you have your flashcard collection growing - use them. It is essential to always remember that your goal will mostly be to have students remember the content quickly - so for example if 'ch' is written on the card, you will be wanting the students to look at the letter c and h on the cards and say the sound 'ch' quickly. 

Of course, flashcards can be used for many other activities, but I'm exploring them in their most basic form today.

With that in mind, when you play exciting fun games with them do not hesitate to stop the class, pause the learning and refocus them on the content. Do a 30 second drill. Ask a few students to repeat the content. Remind them subtly that the content is king. 

As well as building your card collection, build your repertoire of easy to prep and implement games and activities. Here are 5 of my faves:

1. Buried Treasure
Five cards are lined up. The teacher places an 'x' under one of them while the students close their eyes (if no board available, use a post it note). The students open their eyes and guess - for example 'I think the treasure is buried under the word 'can'. The treasure is kept by the student who guesses correctly. 

2. Magic Basket
Place focus cards in a concealed container or basket. Teacher or student takes a card and reveals it to the class. The whole class says the word before another student has a turn. Simple but fast paced. 

3. Missing Card
Words are placed along the ledge of a board/easel - or on the floor. Read and review content by pointing to each card a few times. Students close their eyes and the teacher removes a card. Students open their eyes and guess which card has been removed. 

4. Pay Up
Teacher distributes all cards (money) to students. As the teacher calls the content, the cards are handed back as 'payment'. Teacher can hold up card and whole class repeat as they are handed back. 

5. Fried Egg
All cards (eggs) are scattered and spread out in the middle of a circle of standing students. They are around the pan and the eggs are cooking. Teacher calls out a card and students race to locate the card and 'lift it'. Establish rules for this one depending on the number of students you have in your class so it progresses in a safe way. 

Most teachers know that if you give a simple activity a fun name and it involves an element of imagination for students they will be more engaged from the outset. If you tell them a simple basket is a magic basket they will be delighted!

Take a peek in my TpT store if you need some help getting started with your flashcard collection: 

I have so many more flashcard games and activities and will pop back soon to share some with you.

Have a lovely day friends!

- Mel x