Bug Slap! (1).jpg

Flashcard Game for Small Classes: Bug Slap!

Many TEFL teachers teach very small classes. Teaching English to just a handful of children is good for getting your children to speak more. However, it can be difficult to find good flashcard games that work when there are just a few kids in your classroom. This is an ESL flashcard game for small classes.

Preparing your pair-work flashcards

For this pair-work flashcard game for small classes, you’ll need to get a pack of standard playing cards. Whatever vocabulary you’re teaching in your ESL classes, print out 40 small pictures and stick them onto the front of the playing cards. You needn’t have 52 different pictures; multiples are OK. For example, if you’re teaching ‘items of clothing’, you can have five hats, five T-shirts, five dresses, etc. Stick one small picture on each card. Print out 12 “bug card” pictures and stick each one on the remaining 12 cards.

You can use the bug image below for your “bug” flashcard.


You should now have 40 mini-flashcards of the vocabulary you are teaching and 12 “bug cards”. Shuffle the deck and head to class!

How to Play

  1. Have your students in a small group of two or three kids. Deal out your mini-flashcards. Don’t let your students see what cards they have.

  2. The first student deals a flashcard face up from the top of their pile, then the other student plays the flashcard on top of their pile. They continue until a 'bug' card is dealt.

  3. When a ‘bug’ card is dealt, the first student to slap the top of the pile of flashcards and shout 'BUG!', has to name all the cards underneath the 'bug' card. Any card they can name, they can keep, and put these card on their 'keep' pile. As soon as they get to a card they can't name or another 'bug' card, they stop. It's now the other player's turn again.

  4. Keep playing until both players have no more mini-flashcards. The player with the most flashcards on their 'keep' pile is the winner!

    This is a strong ESL flashcard game for small classes, pair work or one-to-one classes (student versus the teacher). Using flashcards in small classes is definitely possible!

Want to find other ESL flashcard games for kids?

Hula-Hoop Steal

Make a Copy

The Balancing Act

Island Hopping