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The EFL Playhouse: A Resource for ESL/EFL Teachers of Young Learners


Objectives: Matching English words with corresponding pictures; practicing a basic question and answer structure
Group Size: 4 to 12
Prep Time: 30-60 minutes
Playing Time: 5-20 minutes
Interest Level: ages 3 to adult
Ability Level: beginning

Materials Neededed: Teacher-made coordinated picture and word cards

Preparation: List 24 or more words that you want students should be able to recognize. Print each word on one card. On separate cards, draw or paste an illustration of each word. Laminate cards, if possible, for prolonged life.

Game: Distribute all cards among students. Students first remove any word/picture matches they have and place these cards on the desk or table. Choose a student to begin. From among his or her cards, this student picks a card for which he or she has no match.  If the chosen card is a word card, the student asks a classmate, "[Classmate,] do you have a picture of (a/an) [word featured on word card]?" If the chosen card is a picture card, the student asks a classmate, "[Classmate,] do you have the word [item pictured'?"

The student who is called on then reviews his or her cards. If he or she has a match, he or she responds, "Here you are!" and supplies the player with the requested card. The player places the set on the desk or table and asks about another card. If the student who is called upon does not have a match, he or she responds, "I'm sorry, I don't." The player's turn is then over and the next student tries to find a match.

Play continues until all players have laid down all cards.


Alphabet Sorry: Place uppercase and lowercase letters on separate cards. Players must match corresponding upper and lowercase letters.

Number Sorry: One one card write a numeral. On the next write a number word or draw the same number of objects.

Rhyme Sorry: Write rhyming words on cards. Students may then ask, "Do you have a word that rhymes with bat?" or "Do you have a word that rhymes with cake?"

Same Sound Sorry: Paste on separate cards two pictures that start with the same initial consonant sound. Students would ask "Do you have a picture that starts with /t/?"

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