Flip prompts

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Flip prompts are a collection of tabs which have words and/or pictures on them and which, on being flipped over, prompt a student to produce a certain response. Flip prompt activities can be used to practice grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation, and they are most suited to controlled practice. Creation of the tabs can be done by cutting a controlled practise exercise from a textbook into tabs, or by getting students to create the tabs themselves. An example of a flip prompt activity is as follows:

Example flip prompt activity: past simple[edit]


Controlled practise of the past simple tense with associated time phrases.


  • Copy and cut up the following table so that there is one set of tabs for each pair of students:
yesterday when your alarm clock went off this morning
the day before yesterday on your last birthday
on your last holiday yesterday evening
on your last day off school/work on Christmas day last year
last Saturday last new year`s eve
last Sunday last Wednesday
the last time you went to a restaurant the last time you went to the cinema


  • Put students into pairs and give each a set of the prompts above, cut into tabs.
  • Students place the stack of tabs in a pile face-down in front of them.
  • Taking turns, each student picks up a tab and asks their partner a question using the time phrase on it e.g. closed questions such as "Did you go to school yesterday?" or "Did you travel on your last holiday?" for lower levels, and open/WH questions like "What did you do last Saturday night?", or "Where did you go on your last holiday?" for stronger levels.
  • The teacher monitors, eliciting and drilling corrections.
  • If a strong pair finish early, they can shuffle the tabs and start again, only this time giving a true/false sentence while their partner calls their bluff.

More flip prompt activities[edit]