4 Great FREE ESL Pokemon Activities & Card Games
Having been thrown into a variety of ESL teaching environments involving various ages and levels, I've often found myself searching for a theme that would satisfy the entire spectrum of my ESL students. In the EFL/ESL teaching world, most of us have been there. I'm writing this blog to feature one of the most successful and long-lasting themes I've worked with - Pokemon. I'm gonna provide some of the most successful Pokemon ESL card games below free of charge followed by instructions, quick tips, and lastly, some other excellent resources. I've also included a blank template in every Pokemon set for any teachers out there like myself that like to tickle their student's creative bones and allow them to make up or design their own Pokemon.
In the first Pokemon ESL card game set, I've left the Pokemon stats open so that your students can make their own stats for each pokemon as long as they stay within their 25 point limit for each Pokemon card. This ESL game to learn requires your students to create sentences as they play the game by providing them with a cue card template on the back of each pokemon card. The front of the card features a popular Pokemon character along with Pokemon stats which really help ESL teachers to keep their students engaged! Click on the image below to download this ESL card game for free.
In this second Pokemon ESL card game set, I've premade HP, attack, speed, and special attack stats which relate to the actual Pokemon! As with the first set, the goal of this game is to win the most or all of the Pokemon cards by having the highest values when comparing the data/target language. This set features the same comparatives of speed, IQ, strength, and age. Click on the image below to download this ESL card game for free.
The third ESL card game set features stats involving appearance which include cuteness, height, weight, and size. For example, students are required to make sentences like 'Pikachu is cuter than Squirtle' or 'Pikachu is the cutest'. Click on the image below to download this ESL card game for free.
The fourth ESL card game set features vocabulary involving foods the Pokemon like including spaghetti, chicken, waffles, and pizza. For example, students are required to make sentences like 'Pikachu likes chicken more than Squirtle' or 'Pikachu like chicken the most'. Click on the image below to download this ESL card game for free.
You can find directions and cue cards to guide the students in the download but I've also included them here! Take a look at the directions below to get a feel for how this EFL activity will go.
Goal: The goal of this ESL card game is to win the most or all of the Pokemon cards by having the highest values when comparing the data/target language e.g. the pokemon strength, age, or speed.
Step # 1: (prep) Print out and laminate the pokemon cards front to back and cut them out into individual cards. You may prepare one set for each student or split up one set of 20 cards between students in smaller size classes. You may also print the guides and provide them as reference points for the students.
Step # 2: (starting the game) Shuffle the cards and deal them all out face down. Each player should hold their cards so that they can see the top card only.
Step # 3: The player to the dealer’s left starts by reading out a category from the top card (e.g. 'speed, value 7' or 'my pokemon speed is 7') The other players then read out the same category from their cards. The one with the best or highest value wins, and that player collects all the top cards, including their own, and moves them to the bottom of their pile. It is then their turn again to choose a category from the next card and repeat the process. However, if two or more of those cards share the top value then all of those cards are placed in the middle and the same player chooses again from the next card. The winner of the following hand takes the cards in the middle as well.
Quick tip # 1: As always, when playing EFL card games or EFL activities like this never let students use their native language when they are doing the activity. Make your activities English only!
Quick tip # 2: Make use of Youtube and find a quick and entertaining clip to introduce Pokemon for the students that may be unfamiliar or disinterested. Make sure to tell the students you will ask them comprehension questions at the conclusion of the video clip. You can also let them know that the student or team that answers the most questions will get to go first once you start the game!
Quick tip # 3 When playing with EFL game sets 1,3, and 4 you might want to use an entire class to let the students design Pokemon and or make up their own stats. Don't rush through this part - it's half the fun!
And just in case you missed it... Our ESL UNO master set! Just click on the image below!