Ten creative ways to use flashcards!

It has always been my tendency to think of additional uses for worksheets, flashcards, posters, or any teaching tool. Although materials can certainly be used just once, I’ve found that the best way to get the most mileage from these “teaching extras” is to brainstorm alternative uses. Through brainstorming, I could always come up with something, and my class or my own kids (at home) would try it out. The resulting variety was fun for the children, and the parents also had positive feedback. My fellow teachers also enjoyed these variations.

Flashcards are a great example of a teaching tool that can be adapted to many uses. Besides their normal drill and practice value, flashcards can be used in a variety ways. Here are some ideas.

1. Print two copies of a set of flashcards and make a matching game.
2. Use the flashcards to make a bingo game. Use the flashcards as call cards.
3. Use flashcards for a thematic word wall.
4. Label the room. This works with picture/word cards and plain word cards: just tape the flashcard to the item.
5. Have students put flashcards (words or picture) in alphabetical order.
6. Pick four to six flashcards and have students write a story using those words. This works with picture cards and word cards.
7. Divide students into small groups and have each group create a game using a set of flashcards.
8. Play charades with word or picture flashcards.
9. As a class or in small groups, pick a word flashcard and write or say words that rhyme with that word.
10. Pass out all the flashcards to your students. Play, “I have/ Who has?” For example, a game with a set of fruit flashcards would work like this:

First child: I have an apple, who has an orange?
Second child: I have an orange [hands the orange card to the first child]. Who has a banana?

Another variation would be a spelling game:
I have an apple, who has an o-r-a-n-g-e?

Flashcards and other teaching tools are great for drills, but being creative with them will add variety to their usage.

Posted by Sandy Kemsley, Founder

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