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.

Hi, Ben!
As you may know I am a big fan of DL’s materials. If my memory serves me correctly, you once mentioned somewhere – maybe on FB? – that you take these cards more as ‘flashcards,’ and do various activities with them. Can I ask you what sort of activities you have invented with them?

Hi Mari

Thanks for stopping by!

I use Switchit and recently the verb and country card games mostly as ‘class ending’ games, played in the last two or three minutes of class. I think they provide a bit of levity, as well as reading and vocabulary practice.

A couple of variations we have tried include using Switchit decks as phonic reading practice (because each pack has only a few phonics patterns) in pairs or individually, as well as having students try to make a sentence using the vocabulary on the card when they play it.

Mostly though, we just play the regular game 🙂

Thank you, Ben, for your input. (I just noticed your post…) I finally ordered three sets of Switchit, and am anxiously waiting for them to arrive. I have a set of Read! Do! Spell, and I use the cards for phonics reading practice, too.
Great games, really!

Great! Switchit is definitely my favourite of DL’s games, mainly due to its simplicity and versatility. Enjoy 🙂

Interesting reading about your post here on David’s yahoo groups page, I missed your post Ben. Another big fan here as well, students don’t realize that they are willingly making full sentences, sneaky isn’t it? They actually ask to play the games rather than do worksheets which is fine for me as they’ll do a ton of writing in JHS, let them have fun I say.

As far as I’m concerned, David Lisgo is a master craftsman of educational material production 🙂


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