I’m always a fan of resources that can be easily modified to fit different proficiency levels. I love it when I find an activity or resource that I can pull out at any proficiency level and just get students speaking or writing by simply changing the output prompt.
I have been creating these Zut and Caramba cards for several years. Sometimes I used index cards and a marker, sometimes I just printed out a bunch of pictures. While students were able to produce language rather well with this on-the-fly type resources I wanted to up my game a little with this activity. So, I got to work on a template and used it to create Zut and Caramba cards on lots of vocabulary and language structure topics. As I said above I like resources that can be used at any proficiency level. These Zut and Caramaba cards a perfect fit.
They can be used in 4 ways:
Zut (French) and Caramba (Spanish):
- This activity can be done in small groups of 4-5 or with the entire class playing in teams.
- Students (or teams) take turns choosing a card out of a bag.
- Once chosen, the player (or team) can do various things to keep the card depending on the proficiency level of the students. They can the picture, use it in a sentence or even ask a question about it.
- If they choose a Zut or Caramba card they must put all their cards back in the bag, including the Zut or Caramba card.
- Play continues between the players or teams and the cards/points change often because of the Zut or Caramba cards.
- If a player (or team) doesn’t know a form or meaning it goes back in the bag. Play continues with the next student.
- After a certain number of turns or a specified amount of time, the player (or team) with the most cards wins.
- Place cards (#1-40) in various places around the classroom or another space. Pair students up and give them 5 numbers (between 1-40) and the pairs set out to find the cards with their numbers.
- When they find the cards that respond to a pre-determined prompt based on their proficiency level. Students can the picture in writing or use it in a sentence. There are question words to help inspire a sentence. They can do this on a slip of paper or a small white board.
- When they have all five they return to teacher for verification and get another set of numbers and repeat the process.
- Each pair gets a point for each set of 5 that they complete. You may want to make it 3 if this moves things along better in your class.
- After a specified amount of time the pair with the most points is the winner
- When they enter the room, students choose 2 or 3 cards and complete a prompt based on the card. Depending on the proficiency level of the students the teacher can have students identify the word in writing or use it in a sentence.
- Just before the end of class hand out a card to each student and they respond to the prompt and hand it to the teacher (who verifies the answer) as they leave the room. Depending on the proficiency level of the students the teacher can have students identify the word in writing or use it in a sentence.
These activities can also be done with language structures such verb tenses, demonstrative and possessive adjectives, direct and indirect object pronouns, adjectives and even comparisons. Rather than identify images the prompts require uses these various language structures.