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ESL Flashcard Game for Kindergarten: Memory of an Elephant

Playing ESL flashcard games in kindergarten, or just any general language games with kindergarten-age kids can be tricky. Kindergarten children have lower attention spans and often don’t understand what to do when you want to play ESL games in your kindergarten classes. Kindergarten games must be easy to follow, fun and quick.

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This is an ESL flashcard game for kindergarten children which I have personally played many times in kindergarten English classes. It works very well and your kindergarten children should be able to produce the language at the end of the flashcard activity.

What to Do in Your Kindergarten Class

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Stick six flashcards up on your kindergarten whiteboard or wall in a line. Space them out evenly and neatly. Choral drill with the kindergarten kids, pointing to each flashcard in order. For the example animal flashcards above:

Tiger, monkey, zebra, crocodile, octopus, cat....

Tiger, monkey, zebra, crocodile, octopus, cat....

Tiger, monkey, zebra, crocodile, octopus, cat.

Get your kindergarten children chanting the names over and over. You needn’t do just these animals of course, you can use any six flashcards you like!

Go around three or four times and have the kindergarten class chant along with you together.

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Now what?

Now turn the first flashcard around to face the board (in this example, the tiger). However, keep the chant going and the pointing going. You will find your kindergarten students keep chanting 'tiger' when you point to it, even though the flashcard has been turned around and the kindergarten kids can’t see the flashcard.

Now turn around the second flashcard, so that the monkey is facing the board and the students can only see fo

ur flashcards. Keep the full chanting going. Tiger, monkey, zebra, crocodile, octopus, cat. Keep the pointing going.

Turn around a third flashcard. Keep the chanting going, keep the pointing going.

Tiger, monkey, zebra, crocodile, octopus, cat.

You can also do animal actions as you all chant together; kindergarten kids respond well to play and TPR.

Eventually, all six will be facing away but the kindergarten kids will still be chanting the words in order.


Ask the kids, what is the first flashcard. They'll all say tiger, even though your kindergarten children can’t see the picture. Turn it around and gives lots of praise.

Move on to the 2nd, then the 3rd, etc. Keep going until you've revealed the last flashcard. This is a brilliant way to teach vocabulary to kindergarten children through a flashcard game.

Like this ESL Flashcard Game and would like to get more? Try these ESL flashcard games for size!

Make a Copy - Your kids are put into two team and are facing the board. There is a duplicate set of flashcards on the board and through Chinese whispers, both teams have to make an exact copy of the list in the teacher’s hand! Lots of listening, speaking and identifying of correct ESL flashcards.

Ready, Aim, Fire! Place up vocab flashcards around your classroom, on the wall, on a chair, from the light, etc. Now have one student sat in a chair with a toy sucker-dart gun. The teacher calls out a word and the child must shoot the correct flashcard. Double points if they can then use the word in a full sentence.

Welcome to the Danger Zone - divide the classroom floor into four sections. In each section put 2-3 ESL flashcards on the floor. The teacher turns their back and the kids have to choose one of the four zones to stand in. The teacher calls out a word and any kids standing in that zone are out! The game resumes and the teacher turns around again. The kids left in can move around and stand near a new flashcard. The last students in the middle win this flashcard game for kids!