Sunday, March 30, 2014

Celebrity Game Night

Here are some games to review vocabulary and practise speaking.

1. Celebrity Fusion  

A picture is shown which is a combination of pictures of two celebrities who have the same first name. The first team to name the two celebrities wins a point. 

Adaptations for the classroom

 •    As you probably won’t be able to construct a combined picture, just show two separate pictures. That’s still challenging enough for most students.

•    The similarity doesn’t have to be in the name. Show pictures of Orlando Bloom and Shakira, and students have to guess that they were both born in 1977.

•    The pictures don’t have to be celebrities. Show a picture of an apple and an orange, and students have to say they’re both types of fruit.

•    Find suitable pictures and either print them or make a slideshow to display on the IWB.

 2. Pantomime 

Each team is given a category such as “Greek comedies 1950 – 1960” or “Best Pictures at the Oscars”. The first team member is then shown a card with a name – in this example, the title of a Greek comedy – and has to mime the title. Team-mates have to guess the title, and the person who guesses each one takes the next turn. If they’re unable to guess, they can pass. Teams score one point for each title they’re able to guess within 90 seconds. When the first team finishes, the second team plays. 
Adaptations for the classroom 

•    Choose topics that students will be able to name in English; “Best Pictures at the Oscars” is a good topic, while “Greek comedies 1950 – 1960” obviously isn’t. 

•    Consider allowing more time, as 90 seconds probably isn’t enough for all the members of a team to get a turn. 


•    Having decided on the topics for each round, you need to make cards showing the specific title that each student has to mime.

•    Make sure you have a large clock or stopwatch

3. Smash the Buzzer


All players from both teams participate at the same time. The presenter specifies a category, and then lists items that might belong in that category.  Most of the items don’t belong, but when the presenter names an item that actually does belong in the category, the first player to hit the buzzer gets two points and the right to eliminate an opponent. If wrong, they are eliminated, and the opponent gets the points. The game continues until all the members of one team are eliminated. In this example, the category is “American Musicals”. 

Adaptations for the classroom 

•    Choose topics that students will be able to name in English; “American Musicals”, “wind instruments” or “card games” are all possible topics for advanced classes, but may be too difficult. “Islands of the Cyclades” is a good topic for intermediate level, as it familiarizes students with the English versions of the names of some Greek islands. For lower level classes, topics can be any sets of vocabulary items they have learnt, such as “fruit” or “means of transport”. 

•    To provide more focused practice, particularly for lower levels, list words that do belong in the category, and have students buzz when they hear a word that doesn’t fit. 


•    The only preparation needed is to decide on the topics, and the list of words for each topic.

•    Unless your classroom is equipped with buzzers, think of an alternative.

4. Celebrity Name Game


One player is shown the names of a series of celebrities and gives clues to one team-mate so (s)he can guess who it is. Each time the team-mate guesses correctly who is being described, the team wins a point and they move on to the next celebrity. They do as many as possible in 90 seconds. 

Adaptations for the classroom 

•    In the original design of the game, only one student gets speaking practice, and only one student guesses, so instead get all the members of both teams involved in the guessing. Whoever guesses a word describes the next word.

•    This game can be used for any type of vocabulary items. Use it to review the words that students learnt in the previous lesson. 


•    All you need is a list of words. These can be flashed up on the IWB or printed on slips of paper.

 Peter Beech -

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