ESL Game: Grammar Go Fish!

Grammar Go Fish! is a fun twist on the classic card game that will make your students enjoy learning English grammar!

Make grammar cards with adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and nouns written on them and find the matches. Your child will learn to recognize the different parts of speech, practice reading, and writing.

If you do this right, this activity could take up an entire 45-minute class and can be used in a group or one-on-one.

What You Need:

  • Paper
  • Colored pencils
  • 50 index cards
  • One pencil for each participant

What You Do:

Prepare the cards:

1.On the whiteboard, draw a line down the center, and across the center, so it is divided into four rectangular sections.

2. At the top of one section write "Nouns". On another write "Verbs," and another "Adjectives," and finally "Adverbs."

3. Go over each grammatical term with your students.

4. Write down 6 words under each section. When you've finished, there should be a total of 24 words on the paper.

5. Take the index cards and write one word on two cards. Write the word in the upper-left corner and lower-right corner of both cards, leaving the middle blank.

6. Have your students use the colored pencils to draw a picture that represents each word in the middle of the card. (For example, if the word is "run" draw a picture of a person running.)

7. Continue until you've gone through every word of each section. You will end up with 2 duplicate decks of cards (48 cards altogether). This way, you can find a match for each card.

How To Play

1. Shuffle the cards, and then deal an equal number of cards to each player. Make sure they all receive an odd number and keep a few cards face down in a pile in the center. This is the "draw" stack.

2. Have students set aside any pairs of matching cards they have.

3. To start the game, player one picks out an unmatched card of her hand. She then states whether the card is an adverb, noun, adjective, or verb so the other player can find the card quickly.

4. Player One should then ask Player Two if she has the matching word card.

5. If she has the match, Player Two hands the card over to Player One who sets the match aside and takes another turn. If Player Two doesn't have the card, she says, "Go fish!" and Player One takes a new card from the deck. Then it's Player Two's turn.

6. Continue the game until all the cards have been matched. Then each player counts the number of pairs she has. Whichever player ends up with the most pairs is the winner!


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About Nate Drescher

Nate spent 10 years teaching overseas before returning home to Canada to start his own publishing business. In that time he taught in South Korea, Thailand, Russia, Ukraine and Poland!

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