I love using French vocabulary games as a way to break up a long class or review new words in a fun and engaging way! While I do have a lot of French games that I’ve played over the years, my students’ all-time favorite French vocabulary games are my vocabulary slap games.
It’s such a fun and engaging way to practice French listening comprehension and vocabulary recognition, but you can use it for English to French translation practice, too! Disclaimer: It’s such a fun game and students get VERY competitive, so don’t play this on a day when you need a quiet classroom. 😉
Here’s how you play these French vocabulary games:
1.Print the cards on cardstock. I’ve been in a hurry and used regular paper and they got destroyed after one day! If you have time, you can laminate them and they’ll be good for years! I usually have students play in groups of three or four, so you’ll need to print enough copies for each group to have a set. I like to print the words on colored paper so I can quickly divide them out for different activities, but you don’t have to.
2. Decide if you will be practicing French listening comprehension and recognition or English to French translation.
Each set of vocabulary slap games that I create has an option to use French words or cards with images. I use the image cards to practice listening recognition and the word cards if we are practicing English to French translation.
Here’s what one of my French vocabulary games for body parts looks like:
3. Using either the French word or image cards, have the students place the cards face-up on their desks, separating all the cards so that each card is fully visible. All students should be able to reach every card, so sometimes we play on the floor if the desks or tables aren’t big enough.
4. You’ll call out the word (in French or English depending on your goal) and students will race to find the card first. When they do, they’ll slap their hand on it and then keep their hand on the card. The first student to slap the card gets to keep it. In cases of a tie, I have them just put the card to the side and no one gets to keep it.
5. Play continues until all the cards are gone. The student with the most cards wins the game.
Note: to make this fair, I have students decide as a group to either start with their hands on their heads or behind their backs. This gives everyone an equal chance to get to the card. Some students will like to play with their hands just over the cards.
This is one of my favorite French vocabulary games, because it is fast-paced and students always beg to play it! Anything my students love to do this much is a win in my book! I use it for a quick vocabulary review before a quiz or as a fun Friday activity.
You don’t have to use these cards just for French vocabulary games, either. Many of my sets like this French numbers set can be printed back to back to make French flashcards. You can also print off the words and images and use them to play a game of concentration. Want to group students quickly? Pass out matching words and images and have students find their partners that way for an easy way to randomly group!