The Cycle

The cycle is a self-working trick which is designed to practice vocabulary from two different categories or for matching sentence halves such as the 1st, 2nd or 3rd conditionals.

      • Your students seem to be able to magically find the pairs of several cards
      • Great for practicing conditional sentences, or just for doing matching sentence halves.
      • Skills: Listening & speaking (interaction)
      • For practicing: Matching (vocabulary), but especially for matching sentence halves such as the 1st, 2nd or 3rd conditionals.

Demonstration & Explanation

Note: You might have noticed that the students’ reaction to this trick was lukewarm at best. Do not let this distract you; you are not always going to get a great reaction to your magic tricks, but that does not mean that your students are not going to think how you did it on the way home after school!


Think-a-bit tip: You don’t have to use just five pairs of cards. If you want you can use as many as you want. HOWEVER, the number of cards that you push from the top to the bottom will depend on how many pairs there are; in this case, with five pairs of cards we moved five cards, if you use nine pairs of cards then you have to move nine cards from top to bottom from either pile. This is interesting because the more options the student has when it comes to choosing how many cards from the left-hand side pile and how many cards from the right-hand side pile to push to the bottom, the more spectacular the trick is going to look.


Next trick: “21 Cards” >>