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Get Rid of It!

Subject: Interdisciplinary, Language Arts
Grade: K-2, 3-5

LuAnn Lawhon, who teaches at Most Pure Heart of Mary School in Topeka, Kansas, submitted this week's lesson, a phonics matching game to adapt and use in many subject areas.

Brief Description

Get Rid of It! is a matching game the entire class can play. The sample game provides drill in phonics, but the game format can be used in any subject area. Students can match math problems and answers, science vocabulary words and definitions, base words and prefixes or suffixes, words and parts of speech, guide words and entry words, and so on.


Students practice vocabulary skills while playing a quick and easy matching game.


games, matching, phonics

Materials Needed

3 x 5 note cards in two colors -- white and blue, a paper bag

Lesson Plan

The following activity is an example of a phonics game that second graders might play at the beginning of the year. Once students learn how to play Get Rid of It!, however, teachers can adapt the game and use it in any subject area.


  • Use the white note cards to make a set of word cards. Write one word on each card. Some words for this game might be field, pie, by, night, cry, copy, nice, piece, tree, bee, reply, decide, recite, wide, heater, cider, sea, see, space, crazy, place, happen, sudden, happy, hope, rode, funny, silly, over, candy, baby, babies, lady, bitter, climb, find, wind, center, circus, ape, ate, make, cake, fight, flying, tiger, bacon, ice, cane, baseball, playground, witness, stripes, camp, need, circle, square, enter, desire, scout.
  • Use blue note cards to make a set of questions. The sample questions below will help get you started.
    1. Which word contains a long i sound?
    2. Which word contains a long e sound?
    3. In which word does the letter c sound like s?
    4. Which word contains two syllables?
    5. In which word does the letter c sound like k?
    6. Which word contains a silent e?
  • Place the question cards in a large bag.
Play the Game
  • Distribute an equal number of word cards to each student. Three works well for the first game.
  • Have students spread the cards out on their desks so that they can read them easily.
  • Shake the bag of question cards, draw a card, and read the question.
  • Students who have a word card that fits the description hold up the card. The card should be right side up and facing the teacher.
  • The first student who holds up a correct card gets rid of the card by giving it to the teacher. If the first student's answer is incorrect, the student receives an extra card as a penalty.
  • The first student to get rid of all cards is the winner. Play can continue until several students have won.
Game Tips

There are two basic systems for matching:

  • exact one-to-one matches. In this system, when an answer has been given, the answer card and the description card are both discarded.
  • a limited number of question cards and a wide variety of answer cards. Only the answer card is discarded; the question cards go back in the bag and are used repeatedly.
  • Make the game last longer by adding more cards. Duplicate answer cards work fine.
  • Arrange students in teams of three or four. This works especially well if students have a wide range of abilities.
  • Let the student who gets rid of all cards first take the teacher's place as the caller. When another student wins, the caller can become a judge and help determine who raises a hand first and whether the answer is correct.
  • Distribute a larger number of answer cards, and accept all correct answers instead of just the first correct answer. This also helps speed up the game.
  • Use the Get Rid of It! format to match cards in other subject areas: math problems and answers, science vocabulary words and definitions, base words and prefixes or suffixes, words and parts of speech, guide words and entry words, and so on.


Evaluate students based on their participation in the game and the correctness of their responses.

Lesson Plan Source

LuAnn Lawhon, ([email protected]) Most Pure Heart of Mary School, Topeka, Kansas


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