Easily adapted from the famous game of the same name (check out Uncle Wiki for a more detailed description), this vocabulary game is a useful way to repeat words that you’ve covered in class and gives students practice at paraphrasing and describing. What’s more, students give positive feedback for this game.


You will need your target words. For each target word, prepare a card with 3 related words that you don’t want your students to use during the description. The number of cards you prepare will depend on how long you want the activity to last and the size of your class, but I normally go for around 12 cards.taboo

You will also need a hat, bag or something to randomise the cards.

Time: 10 – 20 minutes
When: Warmer or cooler
Level: Elementary – Advanced
Happy students: ****

Detailed procedure:

  1. The student takes a card from the hat
  2. The student explains the target word without using the word itself or any of the 3 related words

You can play the game as a competition between 2 teams or individually – with the students taking it in turns to describe a word and the rest guessing. Make it competitive by giving points for correct guesses or explanations

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2 Responses

  1. This is a cool idea. I could definitely do it with my older class.

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