Pictionary

Learning focus:   Students show their understanding of vocabulary by trying to draw key words or phrases from current topics for their team.

Benefits:   Students carefully consider the meaning of important vocabulary and how they can represent them visually, enables students who are less verbal and more visually orientated to participate, high turnover of important vocabulary, engaging, allows teachers to assess whether students understand words (look for students not drawing anything, and a team in despair).

Timing:   10 – 20 minutes. Suitable for beginning, middle or end of class.

Equipment:   List of vocabulary to review, mini-whiteboards or scrap paper, pens.

Planning time:   Not much!  A list of words for review, and that’s it.

Method:   

  1. Have students sitting in groups of 3 or 4.
  2. Invite one student from each group to the front of the class, and show them a word from your list (making sure they don’t see any others; I have a scrap piece of paper where I write the current word so Ss only see that and previous words).
  3. Count down from 5, giving all students a chance to get back to their groups, then say “GO”.
  4. Students must draw a picture to try and communicate the word/phrase to their group. (Students are not allowed to speak or write words, they may only say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to confirm the groups’ guesses.)
  5. When a group has the correct word/phrase, they must put up a hand and say their answer.
  6. The first team to guess correctly gets a point.
  7. Repeat from step 2 for a different student, everyone must have a go at drawing.
  8. At the end, it may be useful to go back over any words some groups had trouble with.

Tips:

  • Throw in an unrelated funny word/phrase to mix it up a bit and make the students laugh (e.g. ‘rocks are awesome’ when studying geology).

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