Vocabulary BANG

Purpose:  to review vocabulary words that have already been introduced, generally after about 4 weeks of new words

Prep time:  30+ minutes (initial prep time is considerable, but materials can be used again)

Materials: index cards or rectangular cards; lists of vocabulary words and definitions


Write the vocabulary words on the cards.  Make sure the cards are all the same size.

Add about 10 BANG cards (the same size) to each set of vocabulary words.  Mix them in with the word cards.

Make enough sets so the game can be played in smaller groups.

Provide a list of the vocabulary words and definitions to go with each set of cards.

Create one small set of 3-4 cards and definitions (using vocabulary not included in the sets above) to use in modeling the activity.


  1. Model the activity with two students.  The tutor can play the role of the judge or ask one of the students to be the judge.
  2. Once the purpose and procedure are clear, divide the class into groups.
  3. Assign one student to be the judge in each group.  He/she will have a list of all the vocabulary words and definitions for him/her to refer to.
  4. Each student takes a turn picking a card.  If they get a card with a vocabulary word on it, they must use the word in a sentence or give the definition of the word.
  5. If the judge says it is correct, the student will keep the card and it is the next student’s turn.
  6. Continue picking cards, using the word in a sentence or giving a definition.  Each student keeps all the cards they answer correctly until a BANG card is drawn from the pile.  That student must then return all his/her cards to the pile.
  7. Play continues until a set time limit is up or the cards are all gone.  The objective of the game is to be the student with the most cards still at the end of the game.
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