Grade: Elementary
Subject: Language

#1945. Memory Game with a Smile

Language, level: Elementary
Posted Tue Sep 5 10:23:50 PDT 2000 by Joan M. Diez (

IES Ramon Berenguer IV, Amposta, Spain
Materials Required: Paper/Cardboard and crayons. Surprise prizes
Activity Time: About 1 hour
Concepts Taught: The Alphabet, Spelling, Vocabulary

Here is an activity I devised and tested on my birthday...I am helping my 8 year-old neighbours Joan Marc and Xavier with their English, and we decided to have a special lesson.

It worked out fine for us...See how you like it!

To revise spelling and vocabulary while at the same time having some fun.

Necessary materials:

A few sheets of white paper or thin cardboard, a pair of scissors, pencils and markers.


Cut out 26 cards, the size of ordinary playing cards (one for each of the letters in the alphabet.)

Decide on 2 small prizes (one slightly more attractive than the other) that you are ready to give the students. Your prizes WILL make the whole of a difference, just wait and see!) As the activity was almost part of my birthday party I chose a bar of chocolate for the second prize and a HUGE lollipop for the first.

What to do:

Quickly check that your students know their ABC and have them write the letters onto one side of the cards. Shuffle the cards, put
them on a desk with the letters facing the top of the desk and keep 2 for yourself. Make sure the kids do not see what letters there are on the other side of YOUR cards (or their cards, for that matter.)

Suggest some words (nouns work best ie dog, table) for the students to draw on the blank side of the cards, or let the kids choose their own words. Students draw each item twice (on different cards every time) and write the words below their pictures, so you eventually get 12 pairs of words and pics (two dogs, two tables etc.) Check the spelling!

Write "Star Prize" and "Second Prize" respectively on your own cards. Gather all the cards and shuffle them well. When you are done,put the cards on the desk (4 rows of 6 and 2 at the bottom will do) in such a way that the students can see the letters but NOT the pictures on the other side.

The kids take it in turns to say two letters and then they turn the corresponding cards around to see if the pictures/words on them match. If they do, the kid who has found the pair wins 1 point. In case the cards do not match, put them back on the desk, with the pictures facing the top of the desk again. The object is to match all 12 pairs of words and pictures.

When the prize cards are disclosed, you will no doubt see a big smile on your students' faces!

Joan M. Diez Cliville
IESI Ramon Berenguer IV
Amposta, Tarragona (Spain)