Phonics Yes/ No questions card games

Instructions for teachers

Cut up one pack of cards per group of two to four students, or just one per pack (probably of larger cards) if you divide the class into teams. Remove any cards which are too difficult for your students, e.g. “ph”.

There are several games which students can play with these cards. In all of them they make a Yes/ No question including a (content) word starting with or including the phonics on one of the cards, e.g. “Are you quick?”, “Do you like Queen Elizabeth?” or “Do you want to be queen?” if they pick the “qu” card. Yes/ No questions that can be practised in this way include, in approximate order of difficulty:

  • Do you like…?
  • Do you have…?
  • Do you want…?
  • Can you…?
  • Did you… (yesterday)?
  • Have you ever…?
  • Are you…?
  • Is there… (in your…)?
  • Are there any… (in your…)?
  • … your father/ mother/ brother/ sister/…?

All the games can be played by taking cards from a pack, dealing cards out and choosing from ones in your hand, or with cards spread across the table, either face up or face down.


Phonics make me say yes

Students take a card and try to get a “Yes” answer from their partner to a question about a word starting with that sound. If their partner does say “Yes”, they get one point. For example, if they pick the “sh” cards, they can ask “Did your father shave this morning?” or “Do you have sheets on your bed?” If they get a “No” answer (or another answer such as “I don’t know”), they don’t score a point and have to put their card back on the table, back in the pack or back in their hand.

The same game can then be played the other way round, trying to get “No” answers, and then perhaps trying to get “I don’t know” answers with questions like “Does your mother have blue tights?” for the “b” or “t” cards.


Phonics yes/ no questions coin game

Students take a phonics card and flip a coin. If they get heads, they should try to get a “Yes” answer as above, but if they get tails they should try to get a “No” answer.


Phonics yes/ no questions pelmanism

Students pick two cards and try to get the same answer, i.e. two Yes answers or two No answers, to questions about things beginning with each sound, e.g. hopefully getting “No” answers to both “Do you like spiders?” and “Do you have pink curtains in your bedroom?” if they picked “s” and “p”. If they get different answers, usually meaning one Yes answer and one No answer, they have to put the card back and don’t score a point.

Phonics cards to cut up and deal out or pick

a b c d e
f g h i j
k l m n o
p qu r s t
u v w y z
th sh ch ph ee
ea oo ou ai ei


PDF version for easy saving and printing: phonics yes no questions card games 27 March 2018