Activity

Pictionary - Vocabulary Game

A staple game that is great for practicing vocabulary while having fun!

What You Will Need

  • Game board printout.
  • Player pieces (can be bought cheaply online/ or use erasers).
  • 1 D6 per team.
  • Word cards for the 4 categories printout.
  • Timer.
  • A whiteboard/blackboard, and pen/chalk to draw pictures on. (Paper if you really must, but it will be very wasteful!)
  • Buzzers (very optional but very fun for the kids).

Preparation

-Print out and laminate the game board.
-Print out the vocabulary cards. If you have thick A4 paper of the right colors you can print each category directly onto that, or print out on normal paper and glue it to colored card. You will need Green, Pink, Yellow, and Blue paper.
Alternatively if you don't have colored paper, just make sure to keep the categories organized and separate.

Laminating is optional, but might make them last a bit longer.
-Cut out the cards, and keep them organized in the same category piles!

How to play

If you have ever played Pictionary this will be very familiar.

Split the class into at least 2 teams but more is better. The minimum number of rounds will be 9 so teams should have no more than 9 members each so they all get a turn.

Place the word cards in separate piles according to color(category), and the game board somewhere near the whiteboard/blackboard.

The teams place their player pieces in the start square.

Janken, or decide however you like, which team will go first.

The first team rolls their die, and moves that number of squares forward.

There are 5 colors that represent categories of vocabulary.
As uploaded these are:
-Blue - Animals
-Green - Places
-Yellow - Verbs/Actions
-Pink - Objects
-Orange - Free choice (anything they want to draw)

You can modify the cards to be whatever you want to review/learn, or any category you like so every game is different!

The first member of the team goes to the whiteboard/blackboard and picks up the top card from the color pile they landed on. THEY MUST NOT LOOK AT THE CARD YET.

Start a timer (1 minute is plenty for good students, 3 minutes is usually about as long as you'll ever need). The student can look at the card and begin to draw a picture of what is written on the card on the whiteboard/blackboard.

Important Rules
Students must not write any words. Only draw pictures.
Students that are drawing cannot speak at all.

Free-for-all style

I like to play free-for-all, so all the teams can guess what the drawing is.
If a student wants to guess, they must stand up and shout "Guess!" or whatever word you like. I have gameshow buttons they push that light up and make a sound (about 3000yen from Amazon for 4).

The guesser says what they think the picture is. If they are correct their team can go next. If they are wrong that student cannot make any more guesses and the drawing continues. If nobody guesses before time runs out, just move clockwise to the next team for the next turn.

Turn-based-points-style

Only the drawer's team can guess, if they get it right they score a point (keep track on the whiteboard/blackboard). If wrong, no points. Move clockwise to the next team every round.

The next team begins their turn and repeats the process until someone reaches the finish square.
-If playing free-for-all, the team that gets to the finish first wins outright.
-If playing turn-based-points, tally up the points scored throughout the game and the most points wins.

Hope the instructions make sense! Have fun playing.

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Submitted by onighost June 28, 2023 Estimated time: 30 - 35 min.
  1. Mango June 28, 2023

    Exactly what I was looking for- thank you!

  2. kusobaba June 28, 2023

    I like this idea, especially how you propose playing it. You mention printing one game board, do you put it on the whiteboard so that everyone can see it? Just trying to visualise it. Love the idea of the buzzers, will have to check those out. Thanks for sharing.

  3. onighost June 28, 2023

    @kusobaba I put the game board somewhere towards the front or center as the person who rolls to move the piece will be walking up to the blackboard/whiteboard. There is nothing to stop you from putting it on the board and using colored magnets for player tokens. Whatever you think works best for your room layout!
    I like doing it "traditional" style like a boardgame to make it feel less like learning and more like just playing a game.

  4. kusobaba June 30, 2023

    Got it. Thanks. I'll definitely try it sometime.

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