The fly swatter game is kids whacking the blackboard with (clean, I hope) fly swats. Every teacher knows this game and students love it. Good for reviewing vocab and just having a good time.

Basic Info

Time: 10 minutes
Level: Elementary grade 1 - 6
Works with: Vocabulary sets
Class size: Medium to large

You will need:

  • Fly swatters - enough for as many groups as you want. 2 is good, 3 ok, 4 maybe too busy *see warning below
  • Flashcards - one of each vocab word (this is what the students swat)
  • Magnets or something to put the flashcards up on the board

(If you don't have flashcards, you can just quickly draw something on the board.)

Lesson Description

  1. Introduce the new vocabulary. Put the flashcards on the blackboard.
  2. Make groups of up to 5 or 6 students. Assemble them into lines leading up to the blackboard.
  3. Give the first student in each line a swatter.
  4. When you call out the new vocabulary word, the students must run to the board and swat the correct flashcard.


  • Before you call out the next word, make the class ask you a simple question to elicit your response.
    ie. If you are doing fruit: "What fruit?"/ "What fruit do you like?"/ "What fruit is next?"
  • Alternatively, if you have a double set of cards, show the waiting students a flashcard and they all say the word for the swatters to hit.
  • If you are looking for fly swatters, try your local supermarket or the 100yen shop, or ask at your school as they may already have them, specifically for this game.


  • Rather than having the students swat the word you call out, try having them swat the word you don't call out. (Beware - this can get tricky if there are too many words on the board.)
  • This game is really just a very exciting, play as a class instead of a group, version of snap - a.k.a. karuta.


  • Elementary school students of all ages can get over-excited playing this game and can get a bit rough with the swatters. You may need to calm them down half way through the game.
  • If you have too many students/swatters at the blackboard, the violent action of energetically swatting the blackboard may result in inadvertent injury.

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