Go Fishing: Learning Through Games

Going fishing is a common spring time activity and “go fish” is a common card game many of us are familiar with playing. Why not make a personalized “Go Fish” card game for your learner?

This version of the game, created by a tutor to help her ESOL student, gives learners practice speaking English and uses labels to identify common items. You could also make other versions of “Go Fish” game, using math problems and answers or vocabulary words and definitions. Each game can be tailored to your student and will help him or her learn while having fun.


  • Index cards
  • Some glue
  • Common pictures from newspapers, magazines, or catalogs
  • Make four cards for each item, such as dogs, children, fruit, etc.
  • Total number of cards: 48

How to Play

  • Each player starts out with five cards and the rest are placed in a draw pile. The first player would ask the second, “do you have any apples?” The second player could respond, “Yes, I have one apple.” or “no, I do not have any apples.”
  • If the second player’s response is positive the first player would ask, “Please give my the apple.” If the second player’s response is negative the first player would draw a card from the draw pile.
  • The game would continue back and forth until the cards are gone. The player with the most matches at the end of the game wins.

Source: Adapted from LitScape, Summer 2004