Index Card Match


Strategy:         Index Card Match

Time:               10-30 minutes

Intent:             This activity is used as an ice breaker or to teach concepts, classification characteristics, facts about objects, or review information.


  • Create index cards containing concepts, theories, terminology, problems, or questions regarding anything being taught in the class. You will need enough for half of the students in your class.
  • On separate cards, write the definition, answer, or information that corresponds to the item.
  • Combine the two sets of cards and shuffle thoroughly.
  • Give one card to each student. Explain that each card has a matching card.
  • Direct the students to find the student with the matching card and then to sit together without identifying to others what item they have.
  • Have the students quiz the rest of the group on the topic by reading aloud the definition, giving an example of the item, or walking students through the problem.


  • Index Card Match engages ALL students, and each individual is accountable to find the matching card. This is an active, fun way to review class material.
  • This strategy builds student confidence as it allows students to pair up and quiz the rest of the class by reading aloud their questions and challenging classmates to tell them the answers. 
  • The physical movement featured can help to energize a tired class.


  • You can develop cards that are missing one word out of a sentence while the corresponding card contains the missing word.
  • You can also create an example card with multiple solutions and have the students form groups instead of pairs (i.e. “What is an example of a way to give good customer service?”) and when they quiz the group, they can obtain multiple answers to the question.
  • In groups, you can provide a shuffled deck of words or phrases that outline the stages of a process and have the groups arrange the cards in sequence. Have a whole class discussion on the correct sequence and how students can remember the sequence.


Additional Information:



The Baker College System