Memory game for English Class

I teach english to elementary school students in Korea and I’ve been wanting to write some games for use in the classroom.

Here’s the first one, it’s a simple memory game to learn fruits and vegetables vocabulary.
I’ve made the game in such a way that by changing just one texture I can teach other vocabulary such as transportation, food, animals or whatever. It should be a useful and fun tool in the classroom.

Here’s a link to the download:
Card Matching Game

I hope you can give it a try and tell me if it works for you.
Just press space to go through the introduction of the various new vocabulary and then when the cards are displayed you can click on one with the mouse to tun it over (Students should ask for two cards to be turned over by saying two letters out loud, for example “F” and “E”). Click it again to turn it back. You should only tun over two cards at a time (I may hard code that in future). If the cards displayed match, they will be removed.

The best way to play the game is in two or three teams. Give the children points each time they match the image and vocabulary. The one with the most matches wins.

Here are some preview images:

And here’s a video of the game:

John Teaches [??] English

i am not sure about the letters on the back of the cards. will they not create a confusion of phonetics in students?
the cards turn too slowly i think. i am likely to turn off because i am not getting anywhere - or i am getting nowhere
slowly :slight_smile:
since i can turn over more than 2 cards i probably will - which is not the mechanic you want - well, it subverts the learning.
i like the design, colours. a background which changes from time to time would create questions and interest


Thanks for taking a look. The title is kind of a joke, here in Korea every student adds “teacher” to the end of your name, it’s a kind of honorific. At first I hated it but after being here for five years I now insist on it because it’s a part of the culture and if the children leave it off, it means they are being deliberatly disrespectful. Actually I’m just a humble English Instructor. :slight_smile:

I recently remade the game to only allow the turning of two cards and to automatically remove matches. I also removed the music.
It was originally made in a single day for a deadline so I wasn’t able to add everything I wanted.

The game is designed to be used in front of the class by the teacher, with students calling out the letters of the cards they want turned over. The target age is from 5-7 years old, students who are learning phonics. The game lasts around 10-15 minutes and can easily be modified to use other vocabulary just by changing the 1024x1024 texture that is applied to the cards. The slow pace of the cards helps to keep the pace of the lesson and allows the teacher time to ask the students what they see, it also builds anticipation.

I’ve played similar games in class before but they almost always have the problem of having no markings on the back of the cards and not randomizing the cards before play.

With this game I found several problems which I fixed for the current version:
Adding too many stars causes a crash on low spec machines (like the ones we have in the classroom, which still run windows XP).
Some of the sensors can have their logic ticks reduced without affecting the game, but redcuing processing drain.
The music was removed, though the sound effects were retained.
I added a randomizer at the beginning. This is just a smalls script that generates a random seed every logic tick during the time before you press space the first time. Without this, older computers will always generate the same random number when randomizing the cards, resulting in no randomization.

You can find an updated file here:
Memory Game

This includes a version about sports, designed to match a lesson about sports which use Go-Play-Do verbs, such as “go bowling”, “play badminton” and “do yoga” and an animals one which is for a more advanced level and is designed to go with a lesson about superlatives as it includes some of the biggest, cutest, fastest and oldest animals on earth.

I really want to make educational games for the classroom, and in the long term my aim is to make education-by-stealth games for the home, which help children to learn by playing. I think there is a huge demand for this, with a healthy market for anyone who can get the right kind of game. And from my own experience I found that some students actually learn better using interactive games than from tradtional types of teaching.

yes, i understand the context including the teacher lead situation

the new version 2-cards only mechanic with sounds cleans up the turning mechanic very well

i understand your reason for the slowish turning though i would still like to see it faster

the issue of games which teach is always subverted by the discourse between hierarchy and establishment and
parents and the history of comics and games as media
we only have to listen to daily news to realize what an emotive and political issue ‘school’ is
[the Harry Potter books are another example of this discourse]

and of course the truth is that we do not need a computer to learn and this can always be
turned into ‘we don’t need them at all’
but then, as in Australia, ‘a laptop for every child’ and ‘we must have higher speed broadband’
are used as political wedges rather than teaching and learning resources

parents generally follow the establishment line of forced schooling and like the homework debate
and the phonics question, computers move in and out of fashion

even the word ‘game’ works against their general acceptance of worth in learning
and there is still the question of how much learning can be happening without the
direction of a teacher

game making is a precarious activity


When I was a kid, all we learned was “listen and repeat”, then do “bookwork”.
Luckily for today’s kids educators are noticing that different people learn in different ways.
You might class them as; audio, visual, physical and competitive learners, althought there are other kinds, such as the co-operative learner. Boys tend to be more competitive, while girls tend to be co-operative, but this isn’t always the case.

This kind of game is great for competitive learners and also good for group learners too. Yesterday I had a class where the boys would follow the opinion of one strong character in the group, trusting him to choose the right card until he made a mistake, and then another boy would take over. While with the girls they tended to spend a lot of time discussing what they wanted to do. In both cases they quickly absorbed the key words through sharing and repetition and in most cases they were able to identify and even spell the words from the activity during the review. Which is as much as you can expect from first grade Language students.