What's the Word?

question mark made out of multi-colored post-it notes

Purpose:  This fun and high-energy game helps learners develop their ability to describe words that they don’t remember or haven’t learned yet.

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  blank slips of paper

Procedure:

  1. Have the class generate a list of 10-20 words that all of the learners understand. These can be based on a topic, or can be general.
  2. Break the class into groups of three learners.
  3. Give each group a set of blank cards. Have the group write down the list of words on the cards, one word per card.
  4. Have the groups put the cards face down on the table and mix them up.
  5. Ask the groups to choose a learner who will go first. Explain that the first learner will pick a card, and then explain the word on their card to their group. They can use as many words as they need to, but they cannot say the original word. The first learner will get through as many word cards as they can in this round.
  6. Model picking up a card and explaining it until the group is able to guess the word. Remind them that they can look at the list of words on the board to help them remember.
  7. Give the learners 1-3 minutes for the round. When the round is finished, have them replace the cards in the middle of the table and mix them up.
  8. Ask the groups to choose a learner that will go second. Explain that the second learner will pick up a card, and then say only one word to get their group to guess the word. They can use synonyms, words that have a similar sound, or words that remind them of the word on the card. If their group is unable to guess after one word, they may say a second word. The second learner will get through as many cards as they can in their round.
  9. Model picking up a card and saying one word prompts until the group is able to guess the word. Remind them that they can look at the list of words on the board to help them remember.
  10. Give the learners 1-3 minutes for the round. When the round is finished, have them replace the cards in the middle of the table and mix them up.
  11. Ask the groups to choose a learner that will go third. Explain that the third learner will pick up a card, and then act out the word on the card. They cannot say anything. The third learner will get through as many cards as they can in their round.
  12. Model picking up a card and acting out the word until the group is able to guess the word. Remind them that they can look at the list of words on the board to help them remember.
  13. Give the learners 1-3 minutes for the round.
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