Task cards. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I had absolutely no clue what those two words meant, and now everyone seems to be using them. And it’s no wonder why – task cards are low prep, easy to use, and so versatile!
At first, I thought they were basically just flash cards. Wow, was I wrong! Of course, they can be used that way, but there are so many other ways to use task cards in the classroom as well!
Over the last year, I’ve discovered numerous uses for task cards, and most of them are extremely low prep! If you’re looking for ways to engage your students in a simple way, look no further! Here are 7 of my favorite ways to use task cards in the classroom.
1. Write the Room
This is super simple and a great way to get kids moving! Simply grab a set of task cards plus an answer sheet. (If the task cards didn’t come with an answer sheet, just give students a blank sheet of paper to record their answers on – just make sure the task cards are numbered.) Tape the cards up all over the room, give students an answer sheet, then give them some time to walk around and answer each question. All they are doing is answering a bunch of questions, but they find it a lot more fun than sitting and working on a worksheet. You can either have students turn it in or go over the answers as a class when you are done. Super easy!
Similar to Write the Room, but one task card is placed at each student’s desk instead of on the walls. Students are given a certain amount of time to complete the task card at their desk. When time is up, the teacher says “SCOOT!” and students scoot to the next desk over and do the same. Repeat until students return to their original desk. Again, super easy, but it gets students moving and they think it’s fun to sit at other desks for a little while.
Alternatively, you could do a “musical chairs” twist where students walk around the room while music plays, then find a new desk to sit at when it stops. Give them a few minutes to answer the question then repeat until all students have answered all questions.
For this game, divide students into pairs. Each student should have a whiteboard. The teacher reads a question from a task card and each student writes the answer on their whiteboard. When it is time to reveal, students will show their partner their answer as the teacher announces the correct answer. If both students in a pair get the answer right, the pair gets two points. If only one got the correct answer, they get one point. If neither found the answer, they get no points. Students can keep a tally of their score on their whiteboard. Repeat until all questions have been answered. The pair with the highest score at the end wins.
This game is best played in small groups, or as a center. Students are given a Jenga set and a set of task cards. Students take turn answering questions on the task cards while another student checks his or her answer. If it is correct, they get to take a turn and remove a Jenga piece. Repeat as long as desired.
A fun twist on this game is to use a painted Jenga set and assign each task card a color. Students MUST pull a Jenga piece that matches the color on the card. Or, they can pull the piece first and then must answer a question from that color pile.
This way of using task cards can really be used with any board game; students must answer the question correctly in order to take their turn. Try playing with Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Life, or other games!
This is a fun game that has several variations and can be used many ways in the classroom! To use with task cards, split your class into teams. Give teams a question to answer from a task card. The first team to get the question right (or all teams who find the right answer – your choice) will select one member to shoot a “basketball” (small ball or crumpled up paper) in to the “goal” (a trashcan). Points are awarded only if they make the basket. If desired, put two pieces of tape on the floor at different distances and give two points for the closer one, and three for the farther one. Students can choose which line to shoot from.
6. Connect Four
Divide students into teams and give each team one set of task cards with each set printed on a different color of paper. On your whiteboard or on a powerpoint projected on the wall, create a simple table to act as a Connect Four board. Students work in their teams to answer the task card questions. When they think they have a correct answer, the teacher will check their work. If it is correct, the team will send one member to the game board to attach their task card to a spot (using tape or magnets). The first team to get four (or another amount) in a row wins!
This one requires a little more prep but is so fun! Print off task cards and assign each a point value on the back. If applicable, divide the cards by category as well. Attach to the wall, whiteboard, or poster board to make a Jeopardy game board. Divide students into teams and take turns letting them choose the point value of the card they want. The first team to answer the question correctly gets to pick the next card. The team with the most points when there are no questions left, wins.
These are just SOME of the ways to use task cards in the classroom. There are SO many more! As a gift to my readers, I created this printable with several ideas for task cards that you can print off and keep on hand in your classroom for easy reference (you know, in case you need a last minute activity). You can download this resource below.
Need some task cards? I have task cards for EVERY season available in my store! They are perfect for 2nd grade math and come with 10 different themes. You can find them available for ANY math topic – or for a discounted price, you can get all 8 sets for 20% off. Click here to view the task cards.