By Julianne Crawford, Guest Contributor from Mie Prefecture
Edited by Ivonne Diaz
I’ve used these cards mostly just with 1st through 3rd graders (elementary), since even most of the younger kids are fairly familiar w/ colors. I made these cards with the idea that I wanted to introduce a card game that I used to enjoy back home as a child. With this in mind, I made a memory card matching game. The goal of the game is to collect as many pairs as possible, taking turns to flip over two face-down cards at a time. I made two sets, a Patrick version and a Spongebob version. Included in the deck is 12 pairs of colors (I taught them “dark” and “light” so I could make variations of the blue and green cards), a Spongebob or Patrick card (these are the “chance cards”, allowing for the kid who picked them to take a 2nd turn. These cards only get used once, and are kept by the person who drew them), and two “mix” cards (all the kids work together to shuffle the cards until I call out “Stop!” They go nuts whenever this card is drawn. However, drawing two “mix” cards eliminates them from the deck and are kept by whoever drew them). The key thing to remember is to constantly make sure the kids say the colors out loud in English as each card is flipped over.
I chose to use Patrick and Spongebob in my card game because 1) They are easy for me to draw…. 2) I wanted to stick w/ American cartoon characters to introduce a piece of culture that the kids would surely enjoy. 3) I’m definitely a fan of the show and was curious to see how many of the kids would recognize these characters. As it turns out, pretty much all the kids knew of at least Spongebob and most recognize Patrick. However, most kids have not actually seen the cartoon.
The kids got crazy excited as soon as they saw me pull out my Spongebob and Patrick sets. Their enthusiasm remained through the duration of the game, many of the kids chanting “もう一回” (one more time) once they finished their first round. In one class, the third graders ask me from time to time if I brought my Butter-kun and Ketchup-kun game cards, and squeal whenever I bring it back for a quick review practice. Also, after classes kids often seek me out and request me to draw little Spongebob’s and Patrick’s in their notebooks.
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