Pictionary or How to Make Vocabulary Learning more Interesting

Have you ever been thinking of bringing your favorite Saturday-evening-with-friends distraction to your classroom?  I have, and I have decided to take advantage of this amazing game of quick draw called Pictionary.

The rules of the game are very simple – the players are divided into 2-4 teams and each team has a person who is drawing (not always the same player) and the others that are guessing. The drawers pull out cards with words written on them. The words are divided into categories, for example ˝object/person/place˝ or ˝hard˝ and there is a color for every category. The drawers have to draw the word that has a matching color with the field they are standing on the game board. The drawers have about a minute to draw the term and their teammates have to guess what they are drawing, i.e. guess the word. Of course, only drawing is allowed – no words or mime.

Are you already seeing how amazing it would be to play the game with your students?

Since the original game comes with a nice game board, a bunch of word cards, and is quite expensive, you can always make things simple and more classroom-appropriate, without the expense at the game quality. Divide your classroom into two groups and let them come to the blackboard and draw, or you can make more small groups of students who would sit around the table and play the game. You don’t really need a game board – decide upon the winning team by giving pluses or points.

I think it is a perfect activity for vocabulary revision, especially if you can find a way to divide the vocabulary into some sorts of groups (e.g. jobs and professions, body parts, adjectives, or even phrasal verbs and idioms). Write categories on the blackboard so that the whole class can see it, make a bunch of word cards written on colorful pieces of paper, with each color representing one category and watch your students use their little grey cells while thinking about how to draw, retrieve, and guess the word, and at the same time competing and having a blast.

I am sure your students would be grateful for a bit a classroom fun and that the words from the game would stay in their heads for a long time.

DISCLAIMER: This post was kindly written by my dear friend and colleague Dora Rolj, who is going to be an amazing teacher someday. Thank you, Dora, and I'm looking forward to more of your fabulous ideas. :)


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