20 Questions

  • Choose one member from every group and give them a card with the name of an animal, a famous person or an object in the classroom. The other members of the group have 20 questions to find out what they are. The answers to the questions can only be yes or no. The team that guesses first is the winner.

What am I?

  • Write the names of everyday objects on post it notes and put 1 each on the backs of your students. Students should mingle, asking other people yes/no questions to try and find out who they are. Once students have guessed, they can remove their post- it but should continue to answer questions for the other students.
  • Examples of words
  • book, pen, keys, hospital, road, car, farm, dog, hamburger, mother, computer, house, salt, lion, cow, The Eiffel Tower, Bondi Beach, Barrack Obama, The Sydney Opera House, apple, tomato, Ireland, camera, mobile phone, Tom Cruise, The Bible, cat, The Pope, steak, pen, shark, The Beatles

Back to the Board

  • Divide class into two teams. One team sends up a member who sits with their back to the board. You write a word on the board (recently studied or met). The team gives definitions or examples of the word without saying it. Provide a time limit of two minutes to see how many they can get right. Team changes over. Students can use whatever they want to explain the word: rhyme, collocations, synonyms.

Explain the word

  • Word on card face down. One person in the group must explain the word to others without saying it. You could also give three words that they cannot use in the definition (e.g. snow: cold, white, winter) Others can guess but not ask questions.
  • Groups could compete against groups in a speed race.
  • Or the competition could be between students in the group. Each student in the group take turns explaining and the student to guess correctly gets to keep the card. The student in the group with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.


  • Like 'Back to the Board', but the students are told three words they can't use in their definitions (e.g. if the word to guess is 'snow', the taboo words could be 'white, winter, ski').

Team Pictionary

  • Put the students into two groups, then one person from each group is shown a word they have to draw. The student has to run back to their group and draw the word for them to guess. The first group to guess wins a point.

Call my bluff

  • Each pair of students looks up an unusual word in the dictionary, then they write three definitions for the word, 1 true and 2 false. The students give their words and definitions to other pairs for them to guess which is true.

Yes / No Questions

  • Students in small groups. Give a category (e.g. jobs) A student thinks of a job (e.g. waiter). Other students ask yes / no questions to try to guess the word. One point to student who guesses correctly. Other categories could include movies, animals etc. - or even companies (for a business class)

Guess the category

  • Read out a list of words and students need to say what the title of the list is.
  • Lower levels: sink, spoon, cooker, frying pan, fridge (kitchen words)
  • Higher levels: Beatles CD, wedding ring, file paper, doughnut (things with holes)
  • Team starts with 10 points and loses a point for each wrong guess, get point for right guess.

Hangman (with words or sentences)

  • OR Shark attack (girl on 5th step above shark) – move her down the steps