2 – Creating your own tricks, part I: magic based on existing card tricks

In units two and three of this course, we are going to see a number of effects which I have adapted to the English classroom. We will compare the “classroom” versions of the tricks to the originals, and at the end of unit three we will finish with a mini-challenge in which you have to find an existing magic trick online- or take one of the tricks from this course- and adapt it to your classroom.

Since the simplest way to adapt magic effects to the classroom is basically by converting playing cards into flashcards, the tricks in this second unit have been adapted from card tricks.

      • Five-Card Mentalism
        • In this first adaptation, in which we basically just substitute playing cards with flashcards, you will seem to be able to read the minds of five of your students.
      • Accidental Mentalist
        • Normally I don’t use conventional card tricks in the classroom, I prefer to adapt a magic trick to the contents of my syllabus. But this particular card trick is perfect to present and practice the names of the cards and their suits, as well as to practice numbers and the pronunciation of letters (spelling). This trick also introduces the principle of equivocation, which we will see in the video about forcing.
      • The Odd Card Out
        • This is another versatile trick which I have made to practice expressions for giving advice, although it can be used for practically anything you can think of!
      • The Odd Card Out (alternative version)
        • In this alternative version of the previous odd card out trick… although you are still predicting what card your student is going to select, it has a different working. Also, in the demonstration video of this version of the trick, instead of practicing expressions to give advice, this time I’m practicing expressions of possibility as a way of showing yet again how the versatility of these magic tricks is limited only by your own creativity.
      • Odd Pairs
        • You predict how many odd pairs there will be in a deck of cards with words from different categories written on them by your own students. An advantage of this trick is that it gets your students writing!
      • 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.
      • 21 Cards
        • There are hundreds of magic tricks that use playing cards, but many of them are not appropriate for the classroom. This is a trick that I used to perform in my English classes to revise vocabulary, but I stopped using it because it uses a gimmicked deck of cards so it doesn’t really give the teacher a lot of opportunities to engage with the students. Still, since it’s one of my more spectacular tricks, and since it uses a completely different concept from those that we have seen in this course, I’ve decided to include it… who knows, maybe YOU can think of a way to make it more appropriate from a didactic point of view..


Next chapter, “Creating your own tricks, part 2: magic based on other principles” >>