Students sometimes got confused how to use article a or an. They sometimes pick the wrong article either in writing or speaking, especially for several consonant letters that are pronounced in vowel, and conversely. It, therefore, needs a fun way that enables them to remind them and finally use these article correctly.
Type of activity
Pair-work: matching and guessing games
a and an
- we can use a or an before singular nouns
- we use a before a singular noun beginning with a consonant: a banana
- we use an before a noun beginning with a vowel: an apple
Is there … ?
an: egg, ice lolly, apple, onion, avocado, orange, artichoke, oyster
a: lemon, yoghurt, tomato, lettuce, carrot, pear, chicken, cucumber, banana, sausage
(These words are provided with pictures on the cards.)
Materials and preparation
- Copy and cut up one set of Article Cards for each pair of students in the class.
- Copy and cut up one set of Food Cards for each pair of students in the class. If your students are familiar with the vocabulary, white out the labels on a master copy of the page before making multiple copies. (Don’t cut the labels off- the cards must remain the same size as the Article Cards.) If your students are not familiar with the vocabulary, leave the words on the cards and practice them before you play the game.
- Make one copy of the Fridge Cards for each student in the class.
How to use the game
- Check that your students are familiar with the grammar in the Grammar point and Other structures and with the words listed under Vocabulary, above.
- Divide the class into pairs.
- Give each pair a set of Article Cards and a set of Food Cards.
- They should shuffle the cards together and spread them out face down on the table.
- The players should take it in turns to turn up two cards.
- If they turn up an Article Cards and a Food Cards that go together (e.g. a and lemon, or an and orange) they may collect and keep the cards. If the two cards do not go together, they should leave them lying face up.
- If any cards are turned up later that go with those already face up, the first player to say the correct article and noun together, e.g. ‘A pear!’ or ‘An apple!’, can collect the two cards and keep them.
- The object of this part of the game is to match all articles and food names correctly.
- The player with most cards at the end is the winner.
- Ask each pair to discard the Article Cards and spread the Food Cards out on the table.
- Give each student a copy of the Fridge Picture.
- Students should select five foods from the Food Cards and draw them in the fridge. They should not tell their partner which they have chosen.
- Students should then try to guess what is in their partner’s fridge, e.g. ‘Is there a/an ……………. in the fridge?’
- The object of this part of the game is to guess the foods in their partner’s fridge.
We hope that this game will help teachers attractively teach the grammar materials especially for article a or an, and the most thing that the students will love it and fully understand the use of article a or an.