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David Lisgo’s new card games

I am a big fan of David Lisgo‘s work, especially the Switchit card game.

Recently he has made a new set of card games based on verbs. Unlike Switchit, which is similar to UNO, these are more like a combination of Go Fish and Happy Families or Rummy.

There are nine sets of cards:
-three sets of irregular past simple verbs
-three sets of regular past simple verbs
-three sets of present continuous verb

Play is simple: players are dealt a number of cards and they try to collect sets of four by asking other players: if the other player has the cards, they hand them over; if not, the asking player takes a card from the middle (like Go Fish). Play continues until all the cards are gone or the time is up.

One caveat is that the game if played in full can take a long time: I have found setting a time limit or removing cards or sets from the deck helps speed things up.

Our students enjoyed the new game and I liked it very much as well. Students are talking a lot more, using full sentences, and getting a lot of practice with verb forms. These cards are a great addition to a teacher’s toolbox.

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AGO: the best 900 yen you’ll spend this week

AGO is a card game, similar to UNO or Switchit, that practices simple question and answer patterns. It is ideal for upper elementary or junior high school and above. Students play to get rid of all their cards: the first person to do so is the winner. The game mechanics are easy, and almost all students already know them from playing UNO.

There are eventually going to be three levels: aqua, green, and orange (hence AGO, but I suspect that the pun with eigo was also a factor in naming this product). The first level, aqua, contains very easy questions like ‘do you like…?’ and ‘what season is it now?’. There is some scope for personalization.

The green level just came out at the end of last month, and includes more complex questions, more scope for students to make their own questions, and more ‘game cards’ (‘pick up’, ‘jump’, and so on).

The orange level is due to be released next year.

The production values are pretty good and the cards look and feel great. Well worth the 900 yen, especially if you teach junior high school and up.