5 steps to make 3 types of ESL flashcards

The complete guide to making quick and cheap flashcards for ESL young learner classrooms.

Step by step guide with pictures and special hints on how to quickly make low cost flashcards – an easy alternative to laminating. If you’re looking for ideas on how to use flashcards in the ESL classroom in class click here.

How to make flashcards step 1: Search in google images

Look for COLOURING PAGES related to your theme. Save the images directly from the search engine in new folder. You could cheat by choosing to download from eslflashcards.com (they are free) but you need a colour printer – and ink!

colouring pages
Save all flashcard images together

How to make flashcards step 2: Make a Word document.

Insert all the images. Adjust them to the required size. (If you want these halloween flashcards you can find them here)

How to make flashcards step 3: Print.

Use draft (low) quality printing and colour with whatever pens or crayons you have lying around.

Colour your flashcards.

How to make flashcards step 4: Cut them out.

Save time and don’t be a perfectionist – remember your target audience can barely handle a pair of scissors without cutting their finger, hair or clothes – so they are not too fussed if your corners are not perfectly round or your right angles aren’t actually 90º.

How to make flashcards step 5: Now you have three options –

  1. Stick on coloured card  – good if you are going to use them for a few classes, but the kids are not going to be touching them. Hint: use glue on both the flashcard image and the card – this helps it stick better if you are not using plastic to finish.
  2. Stick on coloured card and cover in sticky back plastic (front and back) – the best option if you want more attractive flashcards that will stay in good condition for next year. Also you can be more relaxed about letting the children get their hands on them and using blu-tack etc. Hint: stick the image face down on the plastic first – this avoids getting ugly bubbles on the important side.
  3. No card, just cover the paper in sticky back plastic – works just fine and saves time too; although not quite as pretty. You can let children touch and play with them and they will probably last a good while. Hint: when you cut the flashcard out, make sure you leave a little bit of plastic around the edges – this will stop it coming un-stuck

Dont forget to checkout this blog post for ideas on how to use your flashcards in the classroom or click play for a halloween lesson plan which uses flashcards in some activities.



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