December 23, 2011

Great Review for Content or Vocabulary

Have you ever played Taboo or Catch Phrase?  These are two of my favorite party games.  Basically, you give clues to your team to help them guess the mystery word. Sooo much fun!

I have incorporated this game in my classroom for review of academic vocabulary or content in all subject areas. The kids love it and it takes zero prep work so I love it too!

Here we go:

1) Students choose partners.  One partner sits in a chair facing away from the projector screen.  The other partner stands in front of them waiting for the word list.

2) Teacher puts up word list.  Students give any clues they can to help their partner guess the words in order.  (I write the lists write on the spot and include a mix of words from things we have been studying and some words just for fun.)

Sample List:
  1. erosion
  2. factor
  3. hippopotamus
  4. fraction
  5. weathering
  6. renewable resource
  7. Cinderella
3) Students have 2 minutes to give clues and help their partner guess all the words. I will stop time early if it looks like the kids have breezed through everything.

4) We quickly discuss the kinds of clues that were given for the academic words.  How did you get your partner to guess fraction? What words did you use to describe renewable resources?

5) Partners switch roles and participate in another round. I usually mix in some of the same words on each word list so that the really important words get reviewed over and over again.  

You can play as many rounds as you want and use this fun activity to review for any subject.  Have fun!


  1. I love this idea, Amanda:
    I can't wait to try this for our earth science review when we return in January... I think the kids will love it!
    May I ask for some clarification? Do you have several partners working at the same time? What are "the others" doing while the partners work though the word list? Are they working against other groups or tables? Do you keep track of points?
    Thanks for sharing such a fun activity! I'm anxious to implement this with my sixth graders

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. Hi Kim! I'm so glad you will be able to use this activity in your classroom. I don't keep track of points. They are just excited to get through the list. I also have everyone going at once. It is chaotic and loud, but if you stop and listen...they are actually all doing what they are supposed to be doing. It's kind of amazing! The other bonus for all kids going at once is that when some of my lower kids get stuck on clues, they hear what other clue givers are saying and mimic them. It offers them a little more support. The kids that are guessing are usually very focused on their clue giver, plus the people around them are all moving through the list at a different rate, so students really have to rely on their partner to get their clues. They don't often get answers from people around them. Does that make sense? Hope this helps and if you need more clarification... please ask. ~Amanda

  3. Oh my gosh! What a GREAT idea! Catch Phrase is one of my all time FAVORITE games!

  4. Merry Christmas!!!! Hope you're enjoying a day full of love & laughter surrounded by loved ones!!!

    I've got your Christmas gift waiting for you!!!!! Come unwrap it ♥

    ❤ Mor Zrihen ❤
    A Teacher's Treasure

  5. I LOVE playing this game myself and I know my students will have a blast with it. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Love, love, love this idea!

  7. This is SO cool! My friends and I love catch phrase at our adult get togethers (read: wine nights). I absolutely love the game. There is always so much laughing and it gets super competitive. As long as kids don't get as loud as we do playing, I will incorporate this for sure. I am a new follower!


  8. Hi Amanda! This is a great idea! I have to try it with my kids. I just found your blog, I’m your newest follower!
    Science for Kids Blog

    1. Hi Susan! I'm so glad you found my blog. Your kids will love this. Mine are always begging to play. It's a hit. Enjoy!!


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