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May I/Could you card game 
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Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:30 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Kumamoto, Japan
Post May I/Could you card game
I'm always checking out this site and using some of the great things it has to offer so I figured it was time to give back.

I developed this game using the yes/no cards and a the verb cards that go along with the question "Could you...?" (for example clean the floor, wash the dishes, walk the dog, go to bed... etc.)

If anyone teaches in Japanese JHS, the grammar point is on p. 20, Speaking Plus 1 of the latest New Horizon textbook for 2nd grade.

What you will need:

-you will need a set of yes/no cards and a set of verb cards (that go with "could you...") for each group (groups (groups of 4-5 worked best). THe less Yes cards might make it a little more tense and exciting. I didnt have a lot of time to play the game, so the more yes cards the faster you'll have a winner.

-In each set of yes/no cards I had 5 yes cards and 5 no cards, and probably 8-10 verb cards is good ( I had 8).

-some form of small token to keep score (small coins work well, even small pieces of paper, however coins or objects tend to boost excitment)

There are 33 students in my class, so we made 7 groups of 4 and one group of 5. The prep work takes a while (laminating the cards), but after that like you all know they can be used for endless possibilities, and also this game would work with many other grammer points such as "can you..." or "do you want to...", basically practicing any question form that can have a yes or no answer.

The Game:

-make two stacks of cards. One stack with the yes/no cards (be sure to shuffle) and another stack of the verb cards, both stacks face down. put the tokens in the middle.

-One student (S1) starts by asking to the student on their right (or left) "May I ask you a favour" (we used this because it was part of the focus for that class; may I. You dont have to use this or can change it to "may I ask you something?")

-student two (S2) says yes. Then S1 picks up a verb card, and asks S2 the question according to the verb on that card. For example wash the wishes card - Could you wash the dishes? (or can you, do you want to, do you like to....etc.)

-S2 then picks up a yes/no card from the other pile and answers according to the card. Yes, I can. No, I can't... (depending on what your grammar focus is).

-Then the cards are put on the bottom of their piles, and S2 proceeds to ask to S3.

-The tokens are used when the answer is yes, the student who asked the question gets a token. I set the game rules to the person to first get 3 tokens is the winner.

This game takes about 20 minutes including explanation (depending on how long it takes them to catch on). There are also many ways this could be modified, since winning is based purely on chance, so I would love to hear anyone's opinions on changing it to include strategy. Hope this is clear. If not please email me ( or post and ask for clarification.

Thanks, hope it works for anyone who wants to give it a shot. worked great for me and the students had a lot of fun.

Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:22 pm

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:27 pm
Posts: 191
Location: South Korea
Looks good. I think I'll try it tomorrow.

I like the idea of tokens; I've seen it on other threads as well.

I used to just keep score on the board or have them do it on a sheet of paper, however I agree that something tangable in their hand is great.

I know when I play some of the other games they love showing me how many flashcards or get' em cards they have.

Dare to dream. Dance through life!

Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:40 am

Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:21 pm
Posts: 46
Location: Gunma, Japan
Great idea. I have one modification.

I turned this into a ordering food game. "May I have a hamburger?" With the yes or no answers being "Yes, that will be ~ yen." or "No, we are out."

The students each get a sheet of paper with about 6 or 8 pictures of food (randomly choosen from about 12-16 foods) on it. This is the food that the students have (i.e. the food the other students "may have"). You could also make food playing cards off of the MES-English flashcards, instead of sheets of paper.
Anyways, S1 asks S2 "May I have a salad?". S2 looks at their sheet/cards. They reply "Yes, that will be ~ yen." if there is a picture of salad in their hands, "No, we are out (We don't have that./I don't have that.)," if salad is not on their sheet.

This can certainly be done in groups of 2-5. Again, students can recieve tokens for each one they guess that is on the sheet. Once something has been guessed, it can't be guessed again.

Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:19 pm

Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:21 pm
Posts: 46
Location: Gunma, Japan
Just got another brainstorm.

To make the game competitive you can have students lose time from their day. If a student replies "Yes, I can clean your house", they lose 1/3rd of their day. If they reply "Yes" three times, they lose all of their day and can't play their playstation 2 before bed.

You can have it be like cutthroat. If it is a group of 4, and S1 (student 1) is asking the question, he/she may ask either S2, S3, or S4.

Thus, students can gang up on people with all of their day (lives) left. By making alliances, breaking alliances, and being political, they can up their chances of winning. It adds strategy to the randomness of pulling "yes" or "no" cards.

Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:35 pm

Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Tochigi
Post Speaking Plus 1 of the latest New Horizon 2 textbook
Your idea is very good and I am going to try it with a slight variation. I'm going to put my students into groups and have the students decide on their order within the group.

(The first student will go to a teacher and begin the conversation)

Student: May I ask you a favor?
Teacher: Sure, what is it?

(The student will choose a verb card from one of two stacks. One stack is the "May I" stack and the other is the "Could you" stack. ex. watch TV)

Student: May I watch TV?

(The teacher then chooses a card from the "All right / I'm sorry" stack. If the teacher chooses "All right" the student can take a point card. If the teacher chooses "I'm sorry" the student gets no points.)

Points determine the winning group.

*Seems like a lot of cards to make but I think it's worth a try.

Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:29 pm
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