This activity is adapted from a popular party game.


  • Put students into groups of four, depending on their ability.
  • First, the group chooses a word that they have learned and write the chosen word at the top of a piece of paper.
  • Next, the group chooses five 'taboo' words and writes them at the bottom section of the paper. (The 'taboo' words are defined as the five most common words that a student would be likely to use in explaining the meaning).
  • After the Word Taboo slips of paper have been completed, the papers are placed into a pool and volunteers are selected from each group. Each volunteer's role is to take any of the Word Taboo papers from the other groups and try to get the whole class to guess the word by describing it in words and sentences. The group which created the Word Taboo is not allowed to play on that occasion.
  • The volunteers are not allowed to say any of the five taboo words, to mime the words, to make sound effects, to sing tunes that relate to the words or to spell the words. To make sure that the volunteer does not mention the taboo words a group member who designed the Word Taboo will stand behind the volunteer to monitor his/her words and actions.

The volunteer who can help the class guess the word(s) in the shortest possible time will make his/her group the winner of the contest. On the other hand, if the volunteer says or does any of the taboo words or actions, they have to sit down.


The words selected could be confined to word groups such as verbs, parts of the body, vehicles, food, etc. This will also help the weaker students.