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Formative Assessment: Red Card/Green Card

By Lisa Wakefield, U.S.A.

5 minutes

Lesson Plan

Formative assessments help teachers understand what the students know while they are still in the learning process. Based on the results, teachers can decide if students need to review the material again or move on. Here are two fast ways to do formative assessments in your class. 

Red Card/Green Card


  1. Give each student a red card and a green card. Since students will use these throughout the year, it is best to make durable cards on ice cream sticks (as pictured above). Or, ask students to make their own cards. 

  2. Give students a statement. Ask them to raise the green card if the statement is correct and the red card if the statement is not correct. 

  3. Scan the room to get a quick understanding of what your students know and do not know. You should also note down if specific students are struggling.  

  4. Based on the results, review the material as necessary or move on.


  • If you do not have ice cream sticks or colored paper, no problem! Just write red and green on regular paper. 

  • Always give students time to think. For example, “It is sunny today. 1, 2, 3, cards up!” 

  • What do you do if many of your students show you the wrong colored card during the assessment? This means you should not move on. Go back and review the material as needed. 

Teacher: Lisa Wakefield, U.S.A.

Lisa Wakefield has her Masters in TESOL from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. She has taught high school ESL for more than 30 years. Lisa has traveled to Kazakhstan, Peru, Chile and Uzbekistan to train teachers. She has been a facilitator for Mangrove’s Teachers’ Co-op and Future Teachers’ Co-op. 

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