What’s That Word?

by Bob Kim
(Maryland, USA)

Who is it good for? Anyone, but especially helpful for people who want to learn the English language as a second language. It helped me to learn English too!

Things you need: Paper and Pens How long will it take? As long as you want, but I play for around 15-20 minutes at a time.

How many people do you need? Has to be a multiple of four (4, 8, 12, etc.)

How do you play? Divide into as many groups of 2 as you can. I’ll use an example of 4 people playing for these instructions. Every group of 2 will verse another group of 2. I’ll call one group A, and another B.

First, choose who goes first. The people who go second, in this case, team A, will write 5 words of the English language, any category. Then one member of team B will turn around from everyone else, and the other member of team B will attempt to make the first member to say the word.

However, before team B can attempt to say anything, team A will write down 4 words the first member of team B cannot say to make the other member of team B to say anything.

For example, if the word is UP, and the 4 words that team A say team B cannot say are ABOVE, DOWN, NORTH, and SKY, the first member of team B cannot say any of those words in order to get the other member to say it.

If the first member does say a disallowed word, the word is invalid and team B has to move on to another word.

The time limit for the group of 5 words is 1 minute and 30 seconds, so after a minute and 30 seconds, however many words team B got to say are the amount of points that team B gets. Then, team A goes.

After 4 rounds like this, I usually end the game. If you are playing with 8 people, it will be tournament style, so whoever wins in the first games will verse whoever wins in the second games.

How did I come up with the game? Well, I was thinking of something to do with my foreign friends from Korea, and I accidentally came upon this game, combining two other games that I found online.

As an example, once, the word was RECIPE, and the 4 words were COOKING, CHEF, INSTRUCTIONS, and FOOD. So, the person who was trying to get the other person to say RECIPE said that it was a “informative list on how to make something that you eat”.

It was pretty obvious by then that it was RECIPE, but he still couldn’t figure it out, and thought it was COMPUTER instead, which made us crack up.

Make sure you choose challenging words such as INTERROGATION, INVESTIGATION, or BROADCAST.

If you have 24 people playing, it can be almost a “World Cup” style game, with a round of 6, round of 3 (where every team plays the other teams and whoever wins more will be first and second most second), and you can choose team rankings after the game.

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