The bomb game is good for drilling vocab or basic conversation phrases. Students must say the target word/phrase before passing the "bomb". Everyone gets very excited playing this game but watch out because tensions can get high.

Basic Info

Time: 5 - 10 minutes
Level: Elementary grade 3 - 6
Works with: Practicing dialogue
Class size: Small to large

You will need:

  • A "bomb" - something to be passed from student to student. See tips below for ideas.
  • A countdown timer (most classes seem to have one), the louder the beeper, the better. Smartphones can work well.

Lesson Description

  1. The students could be in a large circle (or if that is not feasible, just have the bomb go up and down the rows).
  2. Set the timer. Start the timer - "GO!!"
  3. The first student holding the "bomb" says part one of the target dialogue and passes the "bomb". The second student replies to the first then turns to the next student. Repeat.
  4. When the timer goes off, the student with the "bomb" is out. (See tips.)


  • Make sure the students have a fairly good grasp of the target phrase before starting this game.
  • You can use anything for the bomb, but something that will get the students attention works best, such as a stuffed toy.
  • You can make a great cartoon style bomb by screwing up a bunch of newspaper, wrapping it in black duct-tape and using a piece of white paper twine sticking out of the bomb as a fuse.
  • Try to have something the students say before passing the bomb, and something they say after receiving the bomb. ie. Two parts of a two line dialogue.
  • If you have a large class, have two bombs going around so the rest of the class isn't waiting too long without speaking.
  • The game works because none of the students want to be holding the bomb when the timer goes off but that means the one who loses can sometimes end up crying. Avoid tears by cheering the loser.


  • Keep your eye on the news. Tact may require you to play a different game if international events dictate it. Also, even though I've played this game many times (and with the class teacher leading the game), some games like this or hangman that can be related to death or violence may be inappropriate in certain situations and you may be a perfect scapegoat.
  • Some students in their eagerness will pass the "bomb" without speaking. Rather than watching everyone like a hawk, demonstrate with the class teacher not taking the bomb until the passer says the correct phrase.
Liked it? Please share!
# Siobhan 2018-02-07 06:22
I played this game with my 4th grade ES and they LOVED it! We used it to revise "I like science. What subject do you like?" I even had one of their home room teachers come up to me later that day to tell me the students were talking about how much fun they had in our English lesson! Thank you!
# 2018-02-07 07:49
Hey Siobhan, thanks for the comment. I am glad to hear your students enjoyed the bomb game.

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