Letter Swap Game

by Gareth Brown on 2012/02/24

A letter recognition game for younger students to help them recognize the letters of the alphabet. It’s a great game to play with letter flash cards.


Learning outcomes:

  • Letter recognition
  • Teamwork
  • Communication


Required Material:

  • Multiple sets of letter flash cards, enough so there’s about 5 or so of each letter.
  • Class tables


Aim of the game:

For each group to collect a whole set of a specific letter.


How to Play:

  1. Divide the class up into groups. Four groups is a good number but it will depend on your class and how many letters you want to include.
  2. Each group needs to sit at a table.
  3. Have enough letters so there’s at least five different letters with about five of each letter (5 A’s, 5 B’s, 5 T’s etc….)
  4. Shuffle these cards and give each group 6 or 7 random letters, it doesn’t matter if one group has more than another as long as the letters are divided out as evenly as possible.
  5. Give each group a few minutes to look at the letters they’ve got and decide which letter there going to collect all five of.
  6. The students then need to walk around and swap their letters with the other groups with the aim of getting all five cards of one letter they have chosen to collect. If they discover another group is also collecting that letter they need to talk to each other and decide on another letter to collect.
  7. Finish the game when at least two groups have collected all their letters or when you think the students aren’t making any more progress.
  8. Congratulate the groups that have collected all of their letters.



The students need to have been introduced to the letters that are being used so they can recognize and use the language of the letter names when they are swapping with other groups. This game is also a good way of teaching students about communication and setting goals. The first time I played this game with my class the two groups that had successfully collected all of their letters had all agreed on the letter they would collect. The other groups that weren’t successful in the time given had not agreed on the letter they would collect, half were collecting ‘T’s’ and half were collecting ‘R’s’.

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