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The VIP Card Game

The VIP Card Game

Want to spice up your English lessons? Try the VIP card game! Let’s be real, the Card Exchange game/Getting Cards game is kind of boring as it can feel aimless, especially with the older kids. This variant adds both team play and a fun objective to help make the activity just a little more fun. Played similarly to the Lucky Card game, it’ll help make classes more exciting and engaging for your students. It can be used for any grade level, and works best in mid to late elementary, where it’s been used both in the old 3rd grade “What’s This?” and the 6th grade “What do you want to be?” units. Overall, it’s been very successful and brings a fun objective to work towards.

Here’s how to play:

Objective: Be the team with the most VIP cards at the end of the time limit.
Materials: 1-3 mini flashcards/karuta cards per student (we’ll use the What’s This? unit as an example)
Setup: 1. Give each student 1-3 cards and divide them into 2-3 teams. For larger classrooms, consider visually separating them, for example by having them wear different colored caps, or having many small teams so students have fewer teammates to keep track of.

2. Explain the rules and decide on 3-5 VIP cards (worth 1 point each.) The students should see the cards to know what they’re playing for, but optionally you can keep it secret and have it be a surprise.

3. Set a timer (Recommended 3-6 minutes.) The rules: COVID NOTE: As this requires common contact with cards, have the students wash and disinfect their hands before and after playing, and instruct them to avoid touching their faces or others. Future people living in a COVID-free world may disregard this message.

Gameplay: 1. Students wander about the classroom. When they meet someone from another team, they play Rock, Paper, Scissors.

2. The loser shows their hand to the winner and uses that lesson’s target sentence/expression, such as “What’s this?” or “what do you want to be?”

3. The winner takes a card of their choice from the loser’s hand and adds it to their own, saying the corresponding expression such as “it’s a gorilla” or “I want to be a chef.”

4. The winner chooses a card from their hand and gives it to the loser, again using the expression (what’s this?/what do you want to be?)

5. The loser takes the card and gives the appropriate response. The students then break to find other partners.

6. This happens over and over again until the timer runs out.

At the end of the game: Call out each VIP card and count how many each team has. The winner is the team with the most.

It may seem a little complex, but every class from grades 1-6 has been able to understand it, enjoy it, and learn key expressions and vocab while doing so. I highly recommend it! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me (Loïc) on the discord server or at [email protected]

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