by Shawn Halwas
Go Fish is not just a card game. It is a collection of 86 pairs of brightly colored vocabulary cards showing pictures of things you would find in a home, from knife, fork, and spoon to wastebasket, desk, and computer. The playing cards come bound into a teacher's book, two to a page, to be cut out and used in many different ways.
Of course, you can have your students play Go Fish. (They ask each other for a card in order to make a pair. If they get it, they get a point. If they don't, they "go fish.") But with the same cards, you can also play the memory game Match It, and Bingo, and a variety of flash card games.
The cards do not have the words on them, so they can be used to play in any language, in English or Spanish, Japanese or Mongolian, Czech or Arabic, Portuguese or German, or . . .
Word lists (126 words for things around the house) will soon be available in many languages on this site.
The point is not simply learning and using 86 words, useful though they are. The basic value of these games is that students engage each other in discourse as they ask for cards, search for a match, chatter about a bingo game, or compete to identify, pronounce, and spell a word on a flash card. The book contains lots of suggestions on how to maximize the use of the cards.
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