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The Lesson Plan Archive

For more lesson plans visit the archive.


The Ask Thomas Archive

More questions and answers in the ATarchive.





 ESL Flashcards





By far the most popular resource downloaded from Lanternfish. These cards are ideal for teaching vocabulary. If you know what you want click on a link to the right.  If you are not sure what you want, check out the gallery for summaries of what is in each section. For ideas on how to use the cards, scroll down. I've also starting gather all of the large flashcard collections here.

 How to use these cards:

First print two copies of each set of cards and then paste them on a cardboard backing so that students can't see through them.  Cut out the individual cards and then you are ready to play various games. Laminating is also a good idea if you have the resources.

French Language Flashcards:

French teachers can now get selected flashcards in French. There are also other French language teaching materials. French Language Flashcards and Spanish Language Flashcards.


Can (Modal) Cards

Want Cards

Monkey Cards        

Gorilla Cards        

Bear Cards  

Classroom Cards   

Monster Cards       

ABC Cards           

Places Flashcards

Preposition Cards

Passive Voice Cards

Scientist Cards

Animal Body Parts

Health and Safety

Rooms in a House

Dolch Sight Words

Reptile Flashcards

Pirate Cards

Seasons and Days

Creature Cards

Spaceship Cards

Wizard Cards

Animal Habitat Cards

Forest Animals

Job Cards

Animal Behaviour

Space Explorers

Superhero Cards

Preposition movement

Insects/ Forest Floor





Fall Flashcards

Clothes Flashcards

Summer Flashcards

Five Senses Cards

Spring Flashcards

Sports Flashcards

Greek Myths

Knights and Castles



Fairytales and Fantasy


Animal Collective Nouns


Food Web/Food Chain


Simile Cards


Shapes, Numbers Colors


CVC Word Cards





Matching game: Spread all the cards on the floor or on a table.  Students take turns flipping two cards and calling out the cards that they flip.  If it's a pair then they keep it and get a point.  If they don't call out the card then they can't keep it (Don't enforce this rule too strictly or the students may rebel).

Go Fish: Deal four or five cards to each student.  Students take turns asking one other student if the other student has a card. 'Do you have a monkey hanging from a branch?' If the other student has it, he or she must give it to the asking student and the asking student gets one point.  If the other student doesn't have it, the asking student picks a card from the pile.  The student with the most pairs wins.

Alphabet Soup: In this memory activity, the teachers puts some cards on the board. And then removes one. Students guess which one is removed. - Sent in by Jeff Mclennan.

Bear Card Charades: Students act out cards in this charades activity. -Sent in by Jane Hauger.

Forest Animals Circle Dance: Students become an animal and do a dance when their card is called out in this circle activity. -Sent in by Jane Hauger.

Bring me: Place a selection of cards on a table at the far end of the class. Two students stand behind a line at the other end. Teacher shouts, 'Bring me a shirt!' The first student who hands in the shirt flashcard wins a point. -Sent in by Bob from Auto English.


Cautionary Note:With younger kids you should remove the difficult cards before playing card games because they will get bored and frustrated easily.  Introduce the more difficult cards after they have memorized the simpler ones.




Search Game: Hide the cards around the room, on things, under things, and in things.  Have the students look around the room for one or two minutes  All the students come back and sit in a circle and the class begins a chant with each student taking turns:


'I saw. I saw.  What did I see?'

'I saw a monkey eating a banana on the piano.'


'I saw. I saw.  What did I see?'

'I saw a gorilla picking his nose by the window.'


A variation of this chant has a student being eliminated if he or she can't remember or if he or she repeats a card that somebody else saw.


Handkerchief Race: Pass out all the cards to the students who are sitting in a group (or maybe in a circle). The teacher holds a handkerchief up and then calls out a card. The two students who have that card stand up and try to get the to get the handkerchief first. This good listening exercise was sent in by Antonella Beati Moioli


Matching Shoes: This is a variation of the matching game. Place a card in every students shoe and they try to match the card that is in their own shoe by looking in other students shoes. This activity was sent in by Yolands Coba Rodriguez.

Pattern Practice: You can practice different sentence patterns by changing the question. For example, to practice tag questions change the question to:

You do have a bear taking the bus, don't you?

To practice noun clauses:

What I want is a bear taking the bus. Do you have it?


 Have an idea for using cards? Email us