Matching Cards 1 - Opposites


Beginner to advanced.

Skills Practised

Recognising opposites.


5 -10 minutes.


1. Print out the cards (beginner, intermediate or advanced) or make your own set of cards.

How it Works

1. Divide the class into pairs or groups of 3 to 4. Give each pair or group a complete set of 18 shuffled cards and have them place the cards face down in 3 rows of 6 in such a way that no-one sees what is written on any of the cards.

2. One player then begins by picking up any two cards and showing them to the group. If the player believes the cards are a match (i.e. one has a word and the other has its opposite), he or she says so and keeps the cards. If the player believes the two cards are not a match, he or she returns them face down to the same positions from where they were taken. Then the next player to the left takes any two cards, and so on.

3. The game continues until all the cards have been claimed as 'matches', with the player having the most cards at the end winning.

- If players believe a pair of cards claimed as a 'match' are not, in fact, a match, they may ask for the teacher to check. If they are a match, the player picking up the cards keeps them. If not, they are returned to the same positions face down from where they were taken.
- This game tests not only knowledge of opposites, but also short-term memory. Players must try to recall what is written on the cards they have already seen and their positions in order to choose 'matches'.

Variation for a smaller class: In order to keep a pair of matching cards, a player must correctly use each word in a sentence. If a small number of pairs or groups are playing, have each call you to come and check whether the sentences are correct or not when necessary.

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