Formal vs Informal Game

Hi guys! Here I come with a new activity to play with your students. You can focus this game on whatever you like but today, I will show you how to teach formal vocabulary and its informal equivalent in a fun and easy way.

What you need:

  • white paper
  • coloured cardboard (1 colour only)
  • staples
  • coloured markers/pens

How to make it:

Cut 20 white paper rectangles. It’s essential that they are the same size. Then cut 20 cardboard rectangles. Make sure that they are slightly bigger than the white paper ones.

Staple the write papers onto the cardboard so the cardboard forms a border around the paper (you can use glue if you like, I just think that it’s quicker this way).

Now you have to choose what words you want to teach your students. Here are some of the words I chose: meet vs get together, discuss vs talk about, inform someone vs let someone know, ask for vs request, and receive vs get.

Write each of the words you want to teach on a different card you have created. The words that mean the same should be written in the same colour. The materials are ready.

How to play:

This game is more appropriate for small groups of 2 to 4 students max.

Place all the cards face down. In turns, have your students flip 2 cards only. If they flip 2 cards of the same colour writing, they keep the cards and remove them from the table. The other cards should not move at all though. If the two cards are not the same colour, the student has to flip them back and the next students repeat the process until all the pairs have been found.

Extension activity:

I usually play this very quick extension at the end of the game. Rather than telling my students which of the words are formal and which ones are not I tell them to separate the words in two columns.

Now to spice it up I don’t tell my students what mistakes they made but how many there are. That way, they move the cards around until I tell them everything is correct. Don’t worry if it takes them a while…the longer they play with he cards the better they will memorise the vocabulary.

How to make it more difficult:

If you want to make this activity more difficult, make more cards. It’s more difficult to play this game if there are many cards.

You could also remove the colour coding. Write all the words in the same colour that way your students can only rely on they knowledge to play the game and they don’t get to use the colours as a “cheat sheet”.


That’s it for today guys…Keep on learning! Xoxo

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