There are so many vocabulary activities that involve finding, pointing to, or matching vocabulary words on flash cards, and they’re great, but why not turn the whole process into a bit of an adventure for the children? This past week I dug out a personal classic for my preschool classes called the camera game. As the name implies, it’s all about getting the children to take pictures of the words they are learning. This is great for getting them up off their bums, inspiring their imagination, and getting lots of speaking practice.
As for materials, if you happen to have twenty or so toy cameras, great, or you could just make them. Don’t worry, it’s simple. Copy and paste some camera clip art from Google Images onto a word document, print off a bunch, cut them out, and laminate for durability.
To set up, I go around the class putting up pre-taught A4 sized flash cards in places that the children can clearly see (although realia would obviously be great, too). In this case the flash cards depict the fruit from Genki English’s Fruit Market song: apple, orange, pineapple, banana, lemon, cherry, strawberry, watermelon, peach, grapes, pear, and kiwi fruit.
Now for the game! After first demonstrating and giving a safety lesson, I pass out the “cameras”. Boy you should see how excited the children get! I then start calling out the vocabulary one by one, and the children go off and take pictures of them. As I call them out I show a picture of each word using the Genki English mini flashcards. Now you might think that this activity doesn’t involve any actual speaking on the part of the children, but you’d be wrong. They constantly repeat the words in their search and keep asking each other where they are, even bellowing out the names when they find them.
Anyway, it is a huge hit for my students. I hope it works for you.