Games to play with teenagers in the English classroom.

Photo of students playing a card game. If too hard, photo of cards or of a card game.


The pairs version of this is quite well-known. Students have a number of cards in front of them upside down and they must take turns turning over two. If they get a word that matches the picture they keep the cards. The student with most pairs at the end is the winner.

This version is more challenging and I have had classes of teens thoroughly enjoying the challenge.

The version below is based on lexical sets, but you could choose the three parts of the verb (go, went gone, drink, drank, drunk etc).

Prepare cards like the ones below:

Table Desk Wardrobe
Kitchen Bathroom Toilet
Peach Orange Banana
Mexico Spain Australia
Red Green Pink


  • Cut up the cards, ensuring you cannot read the words when the card is upside down. Spread them on the floor upside down and mixed up.
  • Divide your class into up to five teams. Each team must nominate a secretary who will choose the cards.
  • One at a time each secretary will ask the teacher to turn over three cards (great for ‘on the right’, ‘that one near your foot’ etc).
  • The team only wins the cards if the words are all in the same lexical set.
  • Otherwise the teacher turns them over again in exactly the same place as they were.
  • The teams with most ‘threes’ at the end is the winner.

Students really focus on the position of the cards and think carefully about meaning of words and how they connect.