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Sen-Tense Card Game

Sen-Tense Card Game

Looking for a fun and physical way to celebrate Read Across America Day?

Try this chaotic balloon game inspired by The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss. Kids practice the alphabet while trying to keep 1, 2, 3, or even 26 balloons up in the air!

What You Do:

Prepare the Cards

Use a color printer to print out the downloadable Sen-Tense PDF on A4 paper.

Cut out the four rectangular cards on each page. You will end up with 60 cards: 30 Sentence cards with images and sentences, and 30 Tense cards with just tenses.

Playing the Game

Round One

Have players sit in a circle. Shuffle the cards and distribute seven cards to each player. Place the remaining cards face-down in a pile.
Moving in a clockwise direction, have each player take a turn to check their cards for as many Sentence and Tense matches possible. Proceed as follows:

No Matches: Move to the next player.
Correct Matches: Set matching pairs aside.
Incorrect Matches: For each incorrect pair, draw one card from the Reserve pile.

Round Two+

Round Two (and subsequent rounds) is similar to Round One, but with a twist. Now, players may draw from not only the face-down Discard pile but also from a face-up Reserve pile. (Note: The Discard pile is formed the first time a player discards a card. Don’t start it yourself!)

Have each player take a turn picking a card from the reserve pile and comparing it to their remaining cards for a Sentence-Tense match. Proceed as follows
No Matches: Player may draw from either the top card on the Discard pile or the top card on the Reserve pile.
Correct Match: Set matching pair aside. Note that players may not discard a card when they have a match.
Incorrect Matches: For each incorrect pair, draw one card from the top of the Reserve pile or one card from the top of the Discard pile.

The winner is the first player to correctly match all of their cards.


Use Sen-Tense as a model to design and play your own grammar review game.

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About the Author: Ethan Miller is an online ESL tutor with with a degree in creative writing. When he isn’t teaching or working on his book, you can find him posting about educational technology on Twitter and WordPress.

Source: Sen-Tense Card Game

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