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Extra Flashcard Fun
By Rynette R. Kjesbo, M.S., CCC-SLP
A box of flashcards is an essential part of every clinician’s and parent’s bag of tricks. But there’s only so much you can do with a deck of cards, right? Wrong! And if you’ve already checked out Handy Handouts #455 – Flashcard Fun!, #462 – More Flashcard Fun!, and #544 – Further Flashcard Fun!, you’ve probably read every idea there is about how to make flashcards more fun, right? Wrong again! But it’s impossible to use flashcards with groups of students, right? Guess what…!? Take a look at the following suggestions to make flashcard therapy with GROUPS of students EXTRA fun!
  1. Over-under – Have students stand in a line. (Divide students into two or more lines if you have a lot of students.) Give the line leader(s) a small stack of flashcards (at least one for each person in line). The first person looks at the flashcard on the top of the stack and gives the answer for the card. That person then moves the top card to the bottom of the stack and passes the stack of cards over his/her head to the next person in line. The second person gives the answer for the next card on the stack, moves the card to the bottom of the stack, and passes the stack of cards under his/her legs to the third person in line. Students continue to give answers for the flashcards and pass the stack of cards (alternating between passing them over their heads and under their legs) until the stack of cards reaches the end of the line. If playing with one line of students, encourage students to try to set a new time record. If playing with more than one line of students, students can race to see which line can finish first.
  2. Hot Card-tato! – For this game, you will need one flashcard for every three students. Have students sit in a circle. Randomly distribute the flashcards to different students. Start playing some music and have the students start passing the flashcard around in a clockwise direction. Stop the music. Each student who is still holding a flashcard when the music stops must give the answer for that card. Keep playing until everyone has had a chance to answer a card.
  3. Teacher May I? – Have students stand in a line, side by side. Place a chair or object at least 15 feet from the line of students. This is the finish line. Students take turns asking if they can move closer to the finish line. For example, the first student might ask, “Teacher may I take three hops forward?” or “Teacher may I take two giant steps forward?” After a student makes a request, show him/her a flashcard. After the student responds, you can approve the student’s request, deny the student’s request, or modify the student’s request. For example, “You may not take two giant steps forward, but you can take three baby steps forward.”
  4. Musical Chairs – For this game, you will need one less chair than you have students. Arrange the chairs in a circle with the seats facing out. Place a flashcard on each chair. Start some music and have the students walk around the outside of the chairs. Stop the music. When the music stops, students must rush to sit in an empty chair. Have each student sitting in a chair provide a response for his/her flashcard. If a student cannot provide an appropriate response, he/she must give up his/her chair to the student who is left standing. Whoever is left without a chair is out of the game. Remove a chair from the circle and start again. Continue until only one student is left.
  5. Hop to It! – Use paired flashcards for this activity. Place one card from each flashcard pair around the room. Divide students into two teams. Have one player from each team face off against each other. Read a flashcard and have the students try to find the matching flashcard that has been placed around the room. There’s one catch though… students must hop to find it! Award a point to the team that finds the flashcard first.
  6. Faceoff! – Divide students into two teams. Have one student from each team step forward to face off against each other. Count to three, then reveal a flashcard. The first student to respond correctly wins a point for his/her team. Continue with another player from each team. Play until everyone has had an equal opportunity to respond. The team with the most points wins.
  7. Blind Mice – Use paired flashcards for this activity. Divide students into two teams. Give one flashcard from each pair to each member of the first team, and the matching flashcards to each member of the other team. Have one team memorize their cards or determine their answers, then blindfold the members of that team. This team is now the “blind mice.” The other team spreads out around the room and calls out their flashcards. The “blind mice” must try to find the match to their cards by calling out their memorized response. The first pair to match their flashcards is the winner.
  8. Flashcard Bee – In this game, students take turns responding to flashcards in a round-robin format. If a player responds correctly, he/she stays in the game and waits for his/her next turn. If the player does not respond correctly, he/she is out of the game and the next player is given the same flashcard to respond to. Continue playing until there is one player left. To provide all students with more practice, award points for correct responses and allow all players to stay in the game (even if they provide incorrect responses). The player with the most points at the end is declared the winner.

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