Opposites Attract

Opposites Attract is an activity you can use to practice opposites (or antonyms) in class.


Prepare a set of flashcards, each of which forms half of a pair of words.

  • big – small
  • always – never
  • cheap – expensive

and so on. The words you use should be of the right level for your class of course!

Running the Activity

In the classroom go over a few common antonyms to make sure the class understand what the activity will be about and they remind themselves of the vocabulary.

The next step is to shuffle and deal out one card to each student. They must then go around the other members of the class trying to find their opposite number. Once the class are all paired up, the activity finishes.

Note that sometimes there can be more than one opposite in the class when one of the pair can be used in different ways, e.g. FAT – THIN – THICK. In these cases it does not matter as long as the pairs are matched. You can use the confusion to explain the meanings of the words.

Variations on a Theme

You can add scoring to the activity to turn it into a game. The first pair to your desk gets a point and you give them each a new card to go off with; as other pairs arrive they get points and a new card. This makes the game last longer as well.

Useful Links

Antonyms‏‎ or Opposites in English – a look at the vocabulary of opposites

Flashcards‏‎ and English Language Teaching– the best way to make and prepare them

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Posted in Lesson Plans & Activities.

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