Thursday, March 3, 2016

Mandarin Adjective Match It

The big kids have started a new unit on adjectives. We're moving beyond dà (大, bigand xiǎo (小, small), to words like thick and thin (hòu, 厚; báo, ), short and tall (Ǎi, 矮; gāo, 高), heavy and light (zhòng, 重; qīng, 轻)

To help the girls learn this new vocab, I found a game called Adjective Match It on It's designed for the ESL classroom, but I thought it would be great for helping the girls become more familiar with our new set of Mandarin adjectives. 

A bit like Gin Rummy, the goal of Mandarin Adjective Match It is to collect four adjective cards that best describe the selected picture card.


These images are shared under a post about antonyms so not all are adjectives. They print out in pairs so I cut each card down the center to make smallish rectangular cards. I also made some adjective cards of my own to supplement. 
  • Cut out from magazines or print from internet 4-5 pictures that can be described using a variety of the adjective cards. You can use anything really. I looked for pictures that included more than one person, animal or object. 
  • Shuffle the adjective card deck and deal four cards to each player. Don't forget to count in Mandarin!
  • Place the remainder of the adjective card deck face down in the center of the table.
  • Choose a card from the image pile and place it face up on the table.

How to play:

  1. Player 1 discards one adjective card from her hand, the one that least describes the chosen image card, and draws a new adjective card from the deck. 
  2. Player 2 does the same. 
  3. Play continues until one of the players has four adjective cards that describe the image card and declares "Wǒ yíngle" (我赢了, I won!)
  4. Play 1 round or 20!

The Challenge:

Once your Mandarin students become familiar with the new adjective vocab, add another level of difficulty by requiring them to "make a case" for each of their winning adjectives.

For example, one of the girls won a round by using the adjectives "heavy" "wet" "tall" and "thick" to describe this picture    ----->

She said, "Shítou hěn yìng, yě hòu. Kōngqì hěn shī. Nánrén gāo." (石头很重,也厚。空气 很湿。 男人高." The rock is very hard and thick. The air is wet. The man is tall.) 

As long as they tried to explain their "win" (perfect grammar not necessary!), I let them keep the win: they held on to the picture card. 

How do you use games to practice new vocab?

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