Three vocabulary games | A guest post

Clarissa Macdonald.jpg

This is a guest post from my friend Clarissa MacDonald who has used these three games with her learners and found that they are engaging and offer lots of practice.


Game 1: Word volleyball

Level

  • Any level

Materials

  • A ball

Procedure 

  • Divide Ss into two teams.
  • Each team needs to pass the ball three times within their own team and then the ball is thrown to the next team. The second team passes the ball three times within their team and then throws the ball back to the other team
  • While passing the ball each player needs to say a word that starts with the letter that was the final letter of the previous word.
  • You can start the game by letting the Ss use any word and then increase the difficulty by limiting the words to specific lexical groups.
  • For example, Team 1 > Player 1: team > Player 2: Meat > Player 3: tax.The ball needs to be thrown to the next team now. Team 2 > Player 1: Xylophone > Player 2: Emerge > Player 3: Egg. The ball needs to be thrown to the next team.Teams lose a point if they:
    • throw the ball too quickly to the next team i.e., they haven’t passed it three times within their own team
    • drop the ball
    • use the wrong word
    • throw the ball too low or too fast.

NB: Ensure the Ss say the words out loud.


Game 2: Taboo 

Level

  • Intermediate & above

Materials

  • Download two apps from Play Store: Taboo (which is easier) and Party Game Taboo (which is easier)

Procedure 

  • Divide the Ss into teams with at least two Ss in each team.
  • The participants are not allowed to use actions or use any word they see on the card in the app. They can use other words to get their teams to guess the main word. They can use stories, paint a picture (with words) or fill in the blanks to get their teams to guess the word.
  • Their team needs to guess as many words as possible in 60 seconds.
  • Each team gets 60 seconds to play their turn.
  • They aren’t allowed to use opposites or part of any on the words mentioned on the card. The student can’t use any of the words below the main word even if his team has used it. NO ACTIONS or pointing out.
  • For example, in the following image the student has to get their team to guess the word “Crack”. The student cannot use the five words mentioned under “Crack”. The student can say – If a ceramic plate falls on the ground, a crooked line is formed on the plate. What is that line called? Or If the ceramic plate falls, what will happen? His team may say break but the student cannot use the word break even if his team uses the word. So the student should say no not that something else happens?

vocab-apps

The app keeps score, however the trainer must ensure the student clicks on the right option.

  • Taboo – Yeah: if guessed correctly (add one point)
  • Taboo: if the student used a word mentioned in the card (minus one point)
  • Pass: The students get only three passes in case the word is difficult
  • Party Game Taboo – Correct: if guessed correctly (add one point)
  • False: if the student used a word mentioned in the card (minus one point)
  • Pass: The students get only three passes in case the word is difficult

Game 3: Password 

Adapted from the Jimmy Fallon show. 

Level

  • Upper Intermediate & above

Materials

Procedure

  • Divide the Ss into two teams.
  • The participants aren’t allowed to use actions or point.
  • Each team sends a member to the front of the class.
  • T gives those Ss the same word.
  • They have to get their team guess that word by using only one word.
  • They can make a sound but no actions.
  • Their team needs to discuss and then give the trainer one word they think relates to the word given by their team member. The first word that’s given to the trainer is considered. They can only say one word so their team needs to discuss first.
  • In case the first team doesn’t guess the word the next student from team 2 can say “Add” or “Subtract” and then give their word. Now the second team has two words to guess the word.
    • Add: if they would like their team to include the previous student’s word
    • Subtract: if they don’t want their team to include that word
  • There are four passes till the word is guessed correctly.
  • For example, if the T gives both the student the same word – “Secret”. Team 1 player says “Diary”. Team 1 discusses and says “School”. Over to Team 2. Team 2 player says “add write”. Team 2 discusses and says “story”. Back to Team 1. Team 1 player says “add shhhhh”. Team 1 discusses and says “Secret”.  If team 1 didn’t guess the word, the last try would have gone to team 2. Team 2 could have also said “Subtract Victoria’s”. Team 2 discusses and says “Secret”.
  • If team 1 starts and gets the word right, then team 1 gets 10 points. If it passes to team 2, then they get 8 points. If it goes back to team 1, then team 1 gets 6 pointsThe last pass to team 2 and if they get it right, they will get 4 points. In the next round, team 2 starts the game. Team 2 then gets a chance to score 10 points.
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