This communication based activity is a very special kind of vocabulary review. Of course, there will be lackadaisical or even downright negative students but everyone else will enjoy the freedom of this quick, fun, and creative speaking challenge.

Basic Info

Time: 5 mins
Level: Junior high grade 2+
Works with: Vocabulary
Class size: Small to large

You will need:

  • nothing


  1. Students make pairs facing each other. One student should be able to see the blackboard, the other shouldn't.
  2. Put the word up on the board. Either write it or use a flashcard.
  3. The student that is able to see the board should give hints, try to describe the word.
  4. Students who get the word correct can sit down. (Or not, this may have a shaming effect and reduce motivation.)

After about 30 seconds, let everyone see the answer and paired students switch roles.


  • After each word, ask a few students what hints they gave.
  • This works best if you use vocab currently being studied. If the words are random, students may find this too difficult.


This game is great not just because it builds vocabulary, it also practices a real world skill every second language speaker needs - the ability to speak around a word. When you can't remember the word, or when you just don't know it, it's important to be able to talk around this communication hurdle. This game helps students build this skill.

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