Memory Matching Vocabulary Game

Memory Matching Vocabulary Game

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Remember playing the Memory card game as a child? This game works great to help students memorize academic vocabulary. You play by matching vocabulary words to their definitions. By trying to remember where the words and definitions are it forces students to think about the vocabulary more than they might normally.

You’ll need:

Set Up:

Write each vocabulary word on a card and its definition on another card. (You can have your students do this.)

How to play:

  • 2 or more students can play with one set of cards
  • Partners mix up the cards and place them face down.
  • The youngest player goes first. Players take turns turning over two cards at a time. They must turn them completely over so that all players can see them. A player makes a match if the vocabulary word and the definition match. When a “match” is made the player puts the pair of cards beside them. The player’s turn continues until they do not make a “match”. If the 2 cards turned over aren’t identical, cards are turned back over in the same place, and the player’s turn ends. Players try to remember all of the cards that have been turned over.


When all of the pairs have been found, the player with the most pairs of vocabulary words and definitions wins.

To make this game even more powerful for my students I put the vocabulary into a fun trading card template. In include a picture along with the word, which is especially helpful for my low-level learners and ELL students. On the definition cards I include other information about the vocabulary, like how to use it in a sentence, or other interesting facts. These trading cards are ready to go and I’ve made them for almost every subject. You can take a look at the in my TPT store.

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