The parachute game is a fun and less morbid interpretation of hangman. The mechanics of the game are very similar to hangman - students have a set number of guesses to get the answer but there are a few different ways you can play the parachute game in an elementary class.

This game came about because I heard that hangman wasn't appropriate in a school classroom. Imagine that! Also, at the time I was a member of a paragliding club so the parachute game was born.

Time: 10 minutes
Level: Elementary grade 5 - 6
Works with: Spelling (but can be used in many situations)
Class size: Small to large

You will need:

  • A blackboard and chalk (or whiteboard)


The below is a description for the parachute game hangman alternative.

  1. Draw a stickman wearing a parachute. (I also draw water under him and an island nearby, just to show he won't die.)
  2. Show how many letters are needed with some dashes.
  3. When a student guesses incorrectly, write the letter in an empty space and remove a string from the parachute. When they guess correctly, fill in the letter above the dashes.


  • In the past I've used this game in combination with teams and the "who can do it first" aspect of competition to play a fairly convoluted game that students quite enjoyed. Here's the parachute game with teams.


  • Give hints. Every couple of strings I take off, I like to give a hint to help them along.
  • When you play this game for the first time, especially in elementary school, start with super easy words. eg. CAT, DOG, MOON, CAR, etc


  • This doesn't work with younger students, be sure your students at least know the ABC's before trying this game.


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