Home » Archives by category » Blending a Hand

“Swotting Words” is a good title for this activity, though some of you won’t understand the word “swot”, which is British English for “to study assiduously”; assiduous is hardly the easiest of words in itself. Anyway, you need some flash cards with pictures on one side and words on the other. I have chosen to use the flash cards (CW3 Fash Cards Set 1) which go with the workbook Concepts Worksheets 3 and you can download them freely, as a PDF, from here. There are 64 cards supporting the graphemes /th/(voiced and unvoiced), /ph/ and /wh/, which covers all the related vocabulary in the workbook and some extra.


CW3 slam games (6) CW3 slam games (3)

Let me try and describe how to play the game with a small group of four students. Scatter all the cards which you want to use face down (word up) on your playing surface, give three children a flyswatter each (the child without cannot play). The teacher calls out the first word “whisk” and one of the children reads and swats the word and that card is turned over and remains in place. The child who hit the word now gives the flyswatter to the student without. Keep the pace up, so that your faster students are kept busy passing the flyswatter, so giving your slower students more time to slam. When you get near the end of the game, sometimes call out words which are not on the table and if their child makes a mistake you can have a penalty, such as the student must forfeit a card or pass the flyswatter to another student, you can even take a flyswatter out of the game at this stage.


CW3 slam games (7)

All the cards are now face up and we are ready for the second stage of the game, this stage will give you a clear indication of your group’s vocabulary knowledge. The child without a flyswatter calls out five cards one by one and the other children hit the cards and repeat the words, the student who does this first gets to keep the card, which is now turned face down in front of that student to take the card out of the game, but if two students swat the card at the same time then they can jan-ken for the game. I usually have them jan-ken using a short sentence or a phrase, something like “She’s my mother.”, “rainy weather” and so on. Eventually you will get to a stage where a student doesn’t recognise any more for items and that students can now “pass”. If all the students “pass”, then the teacher may decide to do some work with the vocabulary on the table by playing some other games with the remaining cards or we can just continue, as we will here.


CW3 slam games (9)

We are now going to do a spelling activity and either a student or the teacher can choose which set of cards to work with, here you can see that this student, by hitting the card with the sticky ball, has chosen the unvoiced /th/ cards. I will leave the “/th/ I’m thinking.” card on the board to assist the students. I have chosen to play Read Spell Do for this activity. The students will need a notebook and pencil and you will need a RSD playing board which you can download freely from here or you can purchase an XL board from ETJ Book Service. You can either use some of your own “Read” and “Do” cards or purchase them online. I’ve included the rules, which can be played around with, with the board so I won’t go into detail (another day perhaps), suffice to say that when a word is to be spelled all the children participate in the spelling, but the reading and the action are individual activities.


CW3 slam games (10)


CW3 slam games (5)

Swotting Words

“Swotting Words” is a good title for this activity, though some of you won’t understand the word “swot”, which is British English for “to study assiduously”; assiduous is hardly the easiest of words in itself. Anyway, you need some flash cards with pictures on one side and words on the other. I have chosen to […]

Read more

Get a Country is not a game I use so often, but every time I get to teach countries with my young students I get this game out as it is less complex than most other country card games and available in Japan. I just wish I could use it with my university students, for […]

Read more

In NFO 3 Teacher’s Book page 30/31, David Paul describes a spelling game which he calls “Hitting Words”. Basically, the teacher attaches several picture cards to the board, a child throws a ball, hits one of the pictures and writes the word in his notebook or on the board. It’s a very simple, yet interesting […]

Read more

How are you? Today I want to talk to you about the card game Mood Swings, which was published in 2013. The reason I created the game was because one teacher complained that some of her young students could not answer the question “How are you?” They probably could but some students just hate to be […]

Read more

To recap on this activity. Lay the cards as in the picture making sure that you have some zero article and adjective cards in there, give one child the swatter and call out the first card “A pig.” He slams the article and pig whilst saying “A pig.” He then passes the swatter to the […]

Read more

When do you actively begin teaching articles to children and how do you do so?   This short small group activity is for use with initial short vowel sounds vocabulary. In it I use the flash cards for Writing Worksheets, which are available for free download in the files section of the BAH Facebook group and the […]

Read more

Mike Guest said “I’m interested to see/hear how you might adapt intros in your own classroom…” Ha! Ha! I had never really given it any serious thought till now. We could of course practise introducing friends, guests and speakers and this would allow for much more freedom of content than you would generally have when […]

Read more

After reading Mike Guest’s interesting post on introductions, I had to reconsider about what to write in this introductory blog post, because I, like 99.9% of EFL teachers and textbooks in Japan have been teaching students to recite a list of information which is often totally out of context, yet it is information which the […]

Read more