À moi: Practicing possessives

Possessives are such a funny thing. They’re extraordinarily simple in some languages, and horribly complex in others. If you find yourself in the latter case, here’s a game for you. And since we’re talking about possessives, the object of the game is possession!

What you need

This game works best with big cards. I use a full size sheet of cardstock per card. Each card has one form of a possessive adjective on it. In French, for example, I need fifteen different cards: mon, ma, mes; ton, ta, tes; son, sa, ses; notre, nos; votre, vos; leur, leurs. I add clipart to my cards (e.g. a picture of person pointing to himself) to reinforce meaning.


I think this game works well for 3-5 groups. Keep your teams as small as you can so each student has an opportunity to participate. Before the game begins, you need to have all your cards made, and you need to shuffle them into a randomized pile. Also, gameplay is a bit easier if teams are spread out so they have room to display all the cards they have.

Object of the game

The object of the game is for teams to get as many “complete sets” as they can during play. A complete set is all the forms of a possessive, e.g. all the forms of “my”, and so on. Gameplay can continue for as long as you want.

Playing the game

The game starts with you holding up a possessive card from your pile. Team #1 is going to take that card by using it in a phrase like mon livre “my book”. Next, you hold up a card for Team #2. They have the option to take this card by using it in a phrase, or they can steal the card from Team #1 by using a phrase with it instead. The game continues, with you offering cards and teams deciding whether to take it or steal one from another team.

Eventually your pile will run out. Now you get to jump into the game as your own team to keep things interesting and keep the game going as long as you want to. You can steal cards from other teams by using them in a phrase, and teams can steal back from you.

Reusing the game

This game isn’t limited to the lesson on possessives. If your students like the game, pull it back out as an ulterior motive for practicing vocabulary. When we get to clothes, for example, you can bring out the game and add a rule that all the phrases have to involve articles of clothing.

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