Ordinal Numbers- Flashcard Memory Games

Level: Beginner

Topic: Numbers

Grammar Topic: Vocabulary

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Type: Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan Text

Ordinal Numbers- Flashcard Memory Games
Instructions for teachers
This game can be played with any set of 8 to 12 flashcards, but the flashcards below are 
designed to go with (fairly) realistic questions like 
“What do you do first/ second/ third/ …th 
at work?”, “When do you… (in the morning)?”, “Is… the first/ second/ third/ …th (thing)…?”
and “Do you … first/ second/ third/ ...th (at school)?” It is also possible with past and future
questions like
 “When did…?” and “Are you going to… on…?” 

Choose one set of cards below or make or find cards with the vocabulary that you want to 
revise or introduce. If students might have problems reading the words or knowing what 
the words on the cards mean, add pictures or replace the word cards with picture cards. 
When you photocopy, make sure that the words/ pictures can’t be seen through the back 
of the cards by using thick paper, making paler photocopies and/ or playing the game on a
dark surface such as a dark brown table. Cut up one set of flashcards per class (or one 
set per group of two to four students if you want students to play the game in groups). 

The first time that you play, play with just the vocabulary cards (so without the ordinal 
number cards). Drill the vocabulary on the cards as you lay them on the table one by one 
face up. Drill the ordinal numbers as you point at the cards in the same order. Then drill 
the vocabulary and ordinal numbers as you turn the cards face down one by one, perhaps 
with a whole sentence such as 
“First I get up”, “Second, I brush my teeth”, etc. The 
teacher or students then test each other with questions like 
“What do you do third?”, 
“When did the monkeys enter the ark?” and “Were the elephants fourth?” Turn the card 
over to check and leave it face up if the answer was correct. Continue until all the cards 
are face up (because they have been guessed correctly).
 

When students have got the hang of the basic ordinal numbers, you can play the same 
game with higher numbers by putting one of the ordinal numbers cards below before the 
first flashcard and starting from the following number, e.g. putting the 
“ninth” card on the 
table and then saying that the cards on the table are 
“tenth”, “eleventh”, etc. Note that this 
makes the questions and answers less realistic. This can be quite amusing if you talk 
about the 
“The million and first” thing you do in the morning, but you might want to switch 
to just pairing them up with simple exchanges like 
“Apple?” “Thirteenth!”“Nineteenth?” 
“Banana” and “Is fifteenth pineapple?” “No, it isn’t”. 

Before or after the games above, a more quick fire possibility is to quickly drill students on 
a pack of cards as you flash them up one by one (putting them back in the pack in order 
this time) and then testing students with just one questions about what they say such as 
“What was the seventh card?”“What cards was aubergine?” and “Was cucumber 
second?”

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

1

Vocabulary cards
Morning action vocabulary cards
Suggested questions
“What do you do first/ second/ third/ …th (in the morning)?”
“When do you… (in the morning)?”
“Is… the first/ second/ third/ …th thing that you do (in the morning)?”/ “Do you … first/ 
second/ third/ …th (in the morning)?”

get dressed

make my bed

eat breakfast

brush my hair

brush my teeth

pack my bag

wash my face

do some exercise

put on my hat and coat

pick up my bag

say goodbye

feed my dog

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

2

water the plants

Evening actions vocabulary cards
Suggested questions
“What do you do first/ second/ third/ …th (in the evening)?”
“When do you… (in the evening)?”
“Is… the first/ second/ third/ …th thing that you do (in the evening)?”/ “Do you … first/ 
second/ third/ …th (in the evening)?”

get into bed

read a book

do my homework

brush my teeth

have a bath

put my pyjamas on

watch television

say goodnight

eat dinner

do housework

get home

take off my shoes

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

3

put on my dressing gown

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

4

School subject vocabulary cards
Suggested questions
“What do you study first/ second/ third/ …th?”
“When do you study …?”
“Is… first/ second/ third/ …th?”/ “Is… the first/ second/ third/ …th thing that you study?”/ 
“Do you study … first/ second/ third/ …th?”

maths

English

science

French

art

music

PE

ethics

history

social studies

calligraphy

flower arranging

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

5

Morning work routine vocabulary cards
Suggested questions
“What do you do first/ second/ third/ …th (in the morning)?”
“When do you… (in the morning)?”
“Is…ing… your first/ second/ third/…th action (in the morning)?”/ “Do you … first/ second/ 
third/ …th (in the morning)?”

check my email

check my answerphone

meet my boss

make coffee

eat something

go to my locker

go to the toilet

chat

smoke

write emails

phone people

have a teleconference

take a break

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

6

Animal vocabulary cards
Suggested questions
“When did the monkeys enter the Ark?”
“Which animals entered the Ark second?”
“Were the giraffes seventh?”/ “Were the giraffes the seventh animals?”

lions

giraffes

squirrels

rhinos

hippos

cheetahs

alligators

rabbits

pigs

cows

sheep

snakes

eagles

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

7

Technology vocabulary cards
Suggested questions
“Which was invented first?”
“When were computers invented?”
“Were smartphone the twelfth invention?”

computers
televisions

telephones

mobile phones

smartphones

trains

aeroplanes

cars

bicycles

street lamps

steam engines

cans

glass windows

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

8

Food vocabulary cards (with countable and uncountable nouns)
Suggested questions
“What was the first/ second/ third/ …th ingredient?”
“When did you add…?”
“Was… the first/ second/ third/ …th ingredient?”
Sweet food version

flour

sugar

salt

butter

milk

raisins

nuts

chocolate

chocolate chips

blueberries

orange peel

peanut butter

margarine

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

9

Savoury food version

green peas

pasta

cheese

salt

black pepper

green beans

French fries

mashed potato

flour

chilli powder

soy sauce

ketchup

cloves of garlic

corn

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

10

Toys cards
Suggested questions
“What was your ____________________ present?”
“Was _________________________ your ________________ present?”
“When did you open _______________________________?”

radio controlled car

toy train

doll

beach ball

marbles

kite

teddy bear

computer game

whistle

bouncy ball

baseball bat

bicycle

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

11

unicycle

Country cards
Suggested questions
“What was the _________ country that you went to?”/ “Where are you going ______?”
“Was _______ the ______ country that you went to?”/ “Are you going to ____ _______?”
“When did you go to _________________?”/ “When are you going to _______________?”

Germany

Belgium

France

the UK

China

South Korea

Mongolia

Vietnam

India

The Czech Republic

Thailand

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

12

Kazakhstan

Ukraine

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

13

Ordinal numbers cards

fifth

sixth

seventh

eighth

nineteenth

twenty-fifth

thirty-eighth

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

15

forty-ninth

ninety-eighth

a hundredth

a thousandth

a millionth

a billionth

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

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