Number one for English language teachers

Team games: Vocabulary guessing game

Level: Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper intermediate, Advanced Type: Extra

This is a good warmer to practise recently taught vocabulary.

This is a good warmer to practise recently taught vocabulary.


  • Write a list of previously taught vocabulary words (10 - 15 words) on a piece of paper.  Place two chairs at the front of the classroom.
  • Divide the students into two teams.
  • Nominate one student from each team to sit with their back to the board so they cannot see the board.
  • Write one vocabulary word on the board.
  • Tell the other students they must help their team mate sitting at the front to guess the word.  Tell them they can say anything (e.g. synonyms, antonyms, paraphrases, etc.), BUT they cannot say the word or any part of it.
  • The first student sitting at the front who guesses the word correctly wins a point for their team.
  • Once a point has been won, nominate two new students (one from each team) to sit in front of the class.  Write a new word on the board and repeat the procedure.
  • The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

For lower level classes allow students to use gestures (i.e. hand or body movements) for clues.  This often livens up the activity even more. 

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