Teaching English through games 2: GO FISH!

Apart from 'Guess Who?' I also use this simple card game called 'Go Fish' that can be played by a small group of children (from 3 up to 10 players).

You need a deck of matching cards (like the ones we use for a memory game). So for example I have a deck of cards representing animals in which there are 2 elephants, 2 mice, 2 penguins etc.

Deal 5 or 6 cards to each player, depending on how much time you want to spend playing, and leave the rest of the deck, faced down, in the middle of the table.

The aim of the game is to get pairs of cards. 

One kid, Antonio, starts asking to his classmate, Luis: "Luis, Have you got a TURTLE?"

If Luis has indeed a turtle (yes, I have), then he will give it to Antonio, who gets a point for the pair of TURTLES.

If Luis hasn't got any card showing a TURTLE (No, I haven't), then he will tell Antonio to 'Go Fish'
In this case Antonio picks a card and the game passes to the next player.

The next guy will ask another about an animal he needs to match cards, and so on, until someone ends up with no cards left in his hands. 

Afterwards the children have to count their cards. 
The winner is the one who collects the higher number pairs.

The best part of this game is the attention that your students will pay to the other players, even if it's not their turn to play, because they need to discover and remember who has got which card.


1 - You can use any set of matching cards you want. It depends on what vocabulary you need to reinforce or teach.

2 - I usually have two winners: the first, who ends up with no cards left, and the one with the higher number of couples. That way I can keep playing longer.

3 - Arranging your students into teams allows them to use the pronoun WE: Yes, we have or No, we haven't.


1 - Because you'll be able to study and review any vocabulary you want.

2 - Because students can practice the interrogative form of the structure 'have got' and its affirmative and negative short answers.

3 - Because it is a fun way to teach English!!!

Teaching English through picture books: ERIC CARLE


I design series of activities based on a communicative method that will help children to practice the grammar they're learning at school.

Many ESL activities, I see, are nothing more than 'fill in the blank' exercises that only teach kids how to fill in blanks and miss the whole point of learning to speak and understand a new language.

It's much easier and more fun to learn by doing, and you'll be surprised at how quickly you'll see valuable results. 

You can get my activities on my online store: