Antonym and Opposites vocabulary card game

Teaching English Vocabulary through Games

Using games is the best way to teach, review and practice vocabulary with ESL learners. I’ve found that playing simple games with my students provides amazing vocabulary retention. The best part is that your students will have a great time while playing! Any teacher can tell you that worksheets and monotonous repetitions of vocabulary in an English language classroom are not very productive. This method has proven to work for all ages. In this blog post, I’d like to talk about some of the various games and activities that can be played in different age groups and some appropriate materials for each of these groups. Let’s start here with a great game for practicing antonym vocabulary.

  1.  A1-A2 learners (CEFR) 
  2. Common Core Standard L.K.5b / L.4.5c: Demonstrate understanding of frequently  occurring verbs and adjectives by relating them to their opposites (antonyms).

Teaching Vocabulary with Card Games


I’m a strong believer that students in ESL/EFL classrooms love things that are familiar or that they can relate to. That’s precisely why this OPPOSITES CARD GAME is UNO inspired. Come on! Who doesn’t love playing UNO? This card game contains 40 different antonym sets {80 cards total}

with some of the most widely used adjectives in young learners classrooms. The game is played much like a traditional UNO game, however in order to play a card – you must knows the opposite!
Directions are included in the download. The great thing about all of my VOCABULARY and GRAMMAR question card sets is that they are so portable for teachers on the go! A whole set literally fits in your pocket. Once you’ve taken the initial time to print, laminate and cut them out – you can use them forever! Throw them in your bag for an extra activity or supplement the unit you are working on.

Teaching Vocabulary with Flashcards

1. Leave your flashcards scattered around the room and your students must alphabetize them.

2. Place them on the floor and say the word! Your students must toss a ball, beanbag or soft object on the flashcard.
3. Arrange the flashcards in a big circle. Play some music or count to 20 while the students walk around the circle . Call out “STOP” then call out a vocabulary word. The student standing nearest to that flashcard wins a point.
This flashcard bundle gives you all of the basic vocabulary flashcards you need to teach A1-B1 vocabulary in your classroom.

This comprehensive flashcard set covers basic vocabulary categories taught in most beginning English curriculums. Each of the 16 flashcard sets come in two different versions: image only and image+text.

Use them for/as:

  • vocabulary building, drilling
  • memory games
  • task cards with the NO TEXT version and included answer sheet
  • Easy to read font for emerging readers or learners that are new to the English language.
  • Included no text version that can be used in any language classroom
  • Put them on a key ring for easy storage and to keep the set together
  • 40 printable flashcards (8 to a page) -generally there are 40 card however some sets have 28, 35, or 48 depending on the topic).

Vocabulary Flashcard Sets included: 

Only need a few sets? Each set can be purchased individually HERE

  1. Alphabet, Number & Ordinal Numbers
  2. School and Classroom Vocabulary
  3. People: Family & Jobs
  4. Clothes
  5. Fruit & Vegetables
  6. Food Groups
  7. Home & Furniture
  8. Action Verbs 1
  9. Action Verbs 2
  10. Animals
  11. Telling Time
  12. Homophones
  13. Weather, Seasons, Holidays
  14. Places in a town, buildings, rooms in the house
  15. Daily routine
  16. Color & Shapes

Teaching Vocabulary by Category

 Name Three Things -Vocabulary Jar

This Name 3 Things Game is one of my absolute favorites! It can be played in large or small groups and really helps build vocabulary. With a total of 100 different cards, the possibilities of new language acquisition are endless. There are 25 different cards for each season, making seasonal vocabulary a big focus! It’s a game that can be used over and over again throughout the year as the language level in your classroom improves. It can also be turned into an individual written activity by assigning each student a few cards at the beginning of the lesson and having them write their answers. Alternatively choose a few cards at the beginning of the lesson. Write down each word on the board for students to transfer to their notebooks as “words of the day”. 
I hope you are able to use some of these ideas in your classroom to help build vocabulary in a fun way. These games automatically grab a students interest and are easy to use with very clear objectives. They also help engage students because in each of the games, students receive immediate feedback. This is so important when dealing with English as a second or foreign language students.
Happy Teaching!