Getting the Most Out of MEMORY GAME (and your students)

Hi there,

Today I would like to share some ideas with you on how to get the most out of Memory Game in the English classroom....   For those who don't know this this game, here's a link to Memory Game.

How can you use Memory Game effectively in an EFL / ESL classroom? 

Well, think about it for a moment ....

Each player flips over at least  two cards per turn, which lends itself to lots of possibilities:

Learning/Reinforcing a single pattern (using the same structure two times in a row)


Learning/Reinforcing Question and Answer patterns (using both positive and negative answers)


Learning/Reinforcing Statement and Response patterns (giving positive and negative "opinions")

And if that's not enough.... You can change either the subject or the verb tense (or both) to teach your students what happens to a verb when the subject and/or verb tense changes....

On top of that... it's a fun game to play and by changing the target language as your students improve, Memory Game will never become boring...

Here are some versions of Memory Game which I successfully use with my students: 


Both cards use the same Target Language (TL). What TL is used, is decided by you, the teacher.  Here are some different statement samples using the "watch TV" card.  

= a match   = not a match.

Card1: "Watching TV"                       

Card2: "Watching TV"

Card2: "Reading books"

Card1: "I (don't) like watching TV"               

Card2: "I (don't) like watching TV"

Card2: "I l(don't) ike reading books"  

Card1: "Tom likes watching TV"        

Card2: "Tom likes watching TV"

Card2: "Tom likes reading books"


Card1: "I watched TV yesterday"      

Card2: "I watched TV yesterday"

Card2: "I read a book yesterday"

Statements Advanced

Game play is exactly the same as "Statements", but this time the students have to add some information. How much information is added, depends on the level of the students or on what you want them to practice ....

Card2: "I like watching TV.  I watch TV every day. My favorite show is Tetsuwan Dash." 

Card2: "I don't like watching TV. I never watch TV. I like reading books." 

Questions & Answers

You probably guessed it already: The target language for the first card is a question and the second card (if it's a match) an affirmative answer. If the second card is not a match, a negative answer....

Here are some samples:

Card1: "Do you like watching TV?"       

Card2: "Yes, I do."

Card2: "No, I don't."

Card1: "Does Mary like watching TV"   

Card2: "Yes, she does."

Card2: "No, she doesn't."


Card1: "Did you watch TV yesterday"   

Card2: "Yes, I did."

Card2: "No, I didn't."

Questions & Answers Advanced

Game play is exactly the same as "Questions & Answers", but this time the students have to add some information. Again, how much information is added, depends on the level of the students or on what you want them to practice ....

Card2: "Yes, I did. I watched Doraemon yesterday. I love watching Doraemon."


Card2: "No, I didn't. I didn't watch TV yesterday. I watched a DVD yesterday. I watched TV this morning"

Adding Additional Information doesn't only make the game more interesting and challenging... It's also a good chance to check the students' grammar.

Personally I prefer it if the students use various forms of the same verb in their answers. I believe it helps them to get a better and deeper understanding of how verbs work.  But that's just me...

But wait.. there is more...

That's right...  Things really start to take off when you start using the Color Coded cards...

The Color Codes are the real power behind "Let's Make Questions!". They allow you to assign Pronouns, Verb Tenses, Adjectives, Questions Patterns, Statements and more ...

A PICTURE TELLS A THOUSAND WORDS  And so does a video...

In the video below all blue cards use Tom as the subject and all pink cards use Mary as the subject.   We also use "yesterday" with each question, practicing the Past Tense....

Well, that's it for today...  In a future post I will be discussing the Color Codes in more detail, but for now I hope that I have given you some new ideas or at least something to think about.

If you have any comments or ideas you would like to share, feel free to contact us.

Thanks for staying until the end and till next time!